WATCH: 37th Annual Fermilab/WGN Tornado & Severe Storms Seminar

Did you miss the 37th Annual Fermilab/WGN Tornado and Severe Storms Seminar? You can watch the whole seminar on demand in the player above. We will also be posting each of our speaker’s talks online at wgntv.com/fermilab, where they will be available for viewing over the coming year.

About this year’s Fermilab/WGN Tornado and Severe Weather seminar and its speakers

Our 2017 speakers will include:
Dr. Louis Uccellini, Director of the National Weather Service (NWS)
Dr. Russell Schneider, Director of the NWS Storm Prediction Center
Tim Marshall, Storm chaser, researcher and structural engineer
Ed Fenelon, Area Manager, National Weather Service-Chicago
Brian Smith, Warning Coordination Meteorologist, NWS-Omaha
Mike Bardou, Warning Coordination Meteorologist-NWS Chicago
Matt Friedlein, Lead Forecaster, National Weather Service-Chicago
Dr. Don Wuebbles, Nobel-prize winning climate researcher from the    University of Illinois in Champaign

Dr. Steven Ackerman, Director of CIMSS (the Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Tom Skilling, Chief meteorologist, WGN TV/radio & the Chicago Tribune

Note: Summaries of each speaker’s talk will be posted here in coming days. Watch this space!

The 37th annual Fermilab will be held April 8.

Dr. Louis Uccellini

Dr. Louis Uccellini, Director of the National Weather Service

Spearheading the effort to prepare this country for the Belvidere’s and Oak Lawn’s of the future–but also for the range of weather extremes unchallenged anywhere on the planet is National Weather Service Director Dr. Louis Uccellini who joins us at this year’s April 8th program from Weather Service Headquarters outside Washington,DC.  The arsenal of tools and the dedicated legions of meteorologists Dr. Uccellini leads across  U.S. have been–and ARE–engaged in an effort to transform the country into a “Weather Ready Nation”–one in which preventing loss of life and limb at the hands of severe weather is Job #1.   It’s an effort which is about to incorporate the most advanced weather satellite ever build–GOES 16—supercomputers whose lightning speed has armed forecasters with models of the atmosphere’s future moves which now spotlight nature’s most violent moves as much as a week or more before they occur.

Dr. Russell Schneider

Dr. Russell Schneider, Director of the NWS Storm Prediction Center

Storm Prediction Center Director Dr. Russell Schneider, whose staff in Norman, OK serve as our country’s 24/7 severe weather sentries, on the lookout for severe weather development and source of all of the  tornado and thunderstorm watches as well as alert on the increasing threat posed by wildfires.

 

 

Dr. Steven Ackerman

Dr. Steven Ackerman, Director of CIMSS (the Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

On hand at our seminar this year to discuss the revolutionary new GOES-16 weather satellite–the most advanced weather satellite ever developed, with its real-time lightning detection system and the first time an ability to produce images of the western hemisphere’s weather every 30 seconds, will be Dr. Steven Ackerman of “CIMSS” (the Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Ed Fenelon

Ed Fenelon, Area Manager, National Weather Service-Chicago

Also joining us will be as Meteorologist In Charge of the National Weather Service Forecast Office in Chicago Ed Fenelon and his colleagues meteorologists Mike Bardou and Matt Friedlein of the National Weather Service-Chicago. They will look at how a half century of advances in weather forecasting have impacted severe weather forecasting since 1967 while famed Storm Chaser and structural engineer Tim Marshall as well as Storm Prediction Center Director Russ Schneider will rundown the atmospheric set-up which produced the horrors of that fateful day.

 

Mike Bardou

Mike Bardou
Warning Coordination Meteorologist
NOAA/National Weather Service – Chicago/Romeoville, IL

Despite having occurred nearly 50 years ago, many aspects of the April 21, 1967 tornado outbreak serve as reminders of what can happen today.  There have been countless advances in forecasting skill and communication over the past half century, yet population has substantially grown with more people across a vastly larger area.  Thus tornado impact concerns from 1967 hold just as true today, such as tornadoes occurring as schools dismiss and as after school activities occur.

Matt Friedlein

Matt T. Friedlein, Lead Forecaster, National Weather Service-Chicago/Romeoville, IL

In addition, the late afternoon and early evening is peak climatological time for tornadoes, which overlaps the daily commute that is nowadays much heavier trafficked in the Chicago area. This presentation will focus on how to leverage the advancements in forecasting skill and communication to increase our weather awareness and assess how we as a society will minimize the impact that thunderstorms and tornadoes have, especially during situations with increased vulnerability.

 

Dr. Don Wuebbles

Dr. Don Wuebbles, Nobel-prize winning climate researcher from the University of Illinois in Champaign

And no program on weather extremes and severe weather would be complete without a look at climate change. Our climate is undergoing stunning changes and nobel-prize winning climate researcher Dr. Don Wuebbles of the University of Illinois-Champaign will address this and what we may do to mitigate some of the effects of climate change. Dr. Wuebbles is one of our country’s most authoritative voices on our planet’s changing climate.