WKU storm chasers gearing up for annual expedition across Plains
|Date: Monday, May 12th, 2014||Return to Archive|
Each year during WKU’s May term, Dr. Josh Durkee, Associate Professor of Meteorology and Climate Science in WKU’s Department of Geography & Geology, chooses a group of eight students for his Field Methods in Weather Analysis and Forecasting course with the aim to forecast and document severe convective storms across the Great Plains.
Since its inaugural year in 2010, WKU storm chasers have traveled 32,000 miles and documented nearly 30 tornadoes, along with numerous damaging hail and windstorms, and floods.
The award-winning and internationally recognized summer program runs for four weeks, with two spent by students who will venture across the Plains analyzing and determining where the most dangerous weather will occur, and traveling to those locations to document the outcomes of their predictions. The final week is spent back at WKU organizing the collected data and developing research questions surrounding the events that unfolded. This year’s trip is scheduled for May 20-June 3.
“The purpose of this course is to provide a capstone learning experience for students studying meteorology at WKU,” Dr. Durkee said. “Ultimately yes, we are chasing storms but there is so much more to it than that. Students gain daily practical skills in forecasting, weather map, radar, and satellite analysis, road navigation, written and oral communication, data collection, and research reanalysis, among others. And to go a couple steps further, I bring the data and outcomes back as learning materials in various courses I teach, and students often present findings from research and analysis of these events at various conferences. In that sense, this course provides a well-rounded learning experience throughout the entire academic year.”
Students participating in the 2014 course are: Mallory Schnell of Louisville, Brian Urbanic of Louisville, Tyler Binkley of Ashland City, Tenn., Michael Flanigan of Pewee Valley, Zachary Leasor of Georgetown, Melissa Moore of Evansville, Ind., Jordan Bailey of Burlington and Cail Knight of Hopkinsville.
You can follow Dr. Durkee’s storm chase group as they document each day at http://meteorology.blog.wku.edu/, on Twitter at https://twitter.com/wkustormchase and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/wkumetclimsci
Contact: Josh Durkee, (270) 745-8777.
The Western Kentucky University Alumni Association recently thanked nine volunteers who are retiring from the WKU Alumni Association National Board of Directors after their term of office.
Veterans Upward Bound at Western Kentucky University is currently accepting new students.
STUFF THE BUS provides an annual opportunity for community members to fill school buses with donated school supplies, which are distributed to Family Resources Centers at schools throughout Southcentral Kentucky.
Get ready for the end of summer WKU PBS Pool Party being held at the Russell Sims Aquatic Park on Sunday, Aug. 6, from noon to 5 p.m.
The WKU Alumni Association recently elected 11 new board members for 2017-2018.
WKU alumni and friends will celebrate "There’s No Place Like Home" for Homecoming 2017.
Note: documents in Portable Document Format (PDF) require Adobe Acrobat Reader 5.0 or higher to view,
download Adobe Acrobat Reader.
Note: documents in Excel format (XLS) require Microsoft Viewer,
Note: documents in Word format (DOC) require Microsoft Viewer,
Note: documents in Powerpoint format (PPT) require Microsoft Viewer,
Note: documents in Quicktime Movie format [MOV] require Apple Quicktime,