High-energy physics lab takes on high-energy weather
WGN meteorologist Tom Skilling talks about severe weather at his annual Tornado Seminar in April 2008.
Calling all weather buffs, storm chasers, and would-be tornado spotters. It's time for the 29th annual Tom Skilling Tornado Seminar at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Batavia, Illinois. The seminar is one of the largest non-professional weather conferences in the Midwest.
Talks will start at noon and repeat at 6 p.m. on April 25.
Last year 2800 people attended the free event. The program draws weather enthusiasts from across the country, wanting to catch a glimpse of amateur storm chaser video as well as hear scientific explanations of recent weather phenomena from National Weather Service personnel stationed in hard hit states. And, of course, everyone wants to see meteorologist Tom Skilling, who has become as close to a movie icon in the Chicagoland area as a weatherman can.
Fermilab has hosted the event 27 of its 28 past years. The partnership between the high-energy physics laboratory and the meteorologist community is aptly explained in a past WGN Weather Center blog post.
This year, 10 speakers will attend the seminar to talk on topics ranging from how to protect your institution from severe weather, how National Weather Service centers decide to issue weather warnings and watches, the dangers of high winds and lightening, and recaps of the near-disaster weather of last summer that affected Chicago near the Loyola University Campus, northern Illinois, and northern Indiana.
A special highlight this year, is guest speaker Louis Uccellini, co-author of "Northeast Snowstorms", rated one of the five best weather books by The Wall Street Journal.
To get an idea of what the day's worth of talks has to offer, here's a sample of some of the information offered at last year's event.