Meteorology Students Chase Tornadoes Across the Great Plains

Stormchasers Group

Nine Embry-Riddle Meteorology students became storm chasers this summer when they headed to the Great Plains to forecast and observe severe thunderstorms, supercells, and tornadoes on a four-week Severe Storm Field Forecasting study-away course arranged through the Embry-Riddle Office of Global Engagement at the Daytona Beach Campus.

After a handful of days of introductory on-campus lectures and safety briefings, professors Dr. Shawn Milrad and Dr. Tom Guinn led the storm chasers on a 6,500 mile long trip over the course of 13 days where they observed more than 12 tornadoes across Kansas and Oklahoma and saw severe thunderstorms in five different states.

The study-away course gave students hands-on experience in forecasting locations, timing and intensity of supercell thunderstorms and tornadoes, and understanding and using severe storm visual cues that can only be observed in the Great Plains.

“This experiential learning course was an invaluable opportunity for students who want to pursue careers in weather operations, forecasting support and research,” said Milrad.  We will work with the Office of Global Engagement to offer the course again next summer. The course is a unique once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for students to use what they learn in the classroom and apply it to real-time severe weather.”

About the Meteorology Degree Program at Embry-Riddle’s Daytona Beach Campus

The Bachelor of Science in Meteorology gives students with a passion for weather the opportunity to explore and research a variety of atmospheric challenges ranging from climate change to tornadoes in our new, fully equipped Weather Center. Unique to the program is the focus on Aviation Weather. Graduates will be competitive for professional careers in university research, government or military weather operations, broadcasting and private industry. Students completing this degree will meet all American Meteorological Society guidelines for a degree in Meteorology as well as all U.S. Office of Personnel Management Qualification Standards for a Meteorologist.

The Bachelor of Science in Meteorology degree is housed in the Department of Applied Aviation Sciences in the College of Aviation.