Tim Marshall talks tornadoes with students

Posted on 04 December 2013 by admin

Sky clubs hosts Tim Marshall, meteorologist and civil engineer

Tim Marshall, meteorologist and civil engineer, speaks to an audience of students and community members Tuesday, Nov. 26. Marshall talked about his government-funded project Vortex 2, whose goal was to learn more about tornadoes.

Tim Marshall, meteorologist and civil engineer, speaks to an audience of students and community members Tuesday, Nov. 26. Marshall talked about his government-funded project Vortex 2, whose goal was to learn more about tornadoes.

By: CASSIE KIBENS
Production Manager

The theater slowly filled with students, community members and National Weather Service meteorologists. This was no ordinary presentation; this event was about the destruction, uncertainty and science of tornadoes.

More than 150 students and community members attended the presentation in the STLCC-Meramec Theatre given by Tim Marshall, meteorologist and civil engineer, on Tuesday, Nov. 26. Marshall has appeared in various television shows on networks such as The Discovery Channel and PBS and is a published author. Marshall is known for his collaboration with Severe Storm Prediction Center and National Weather Service in order to assess damage from severe storms and tornadoes.

“I’ve always been interested in the weather since I was a little kid, there was no choice to be made,” Marshall said. “In Chicago where I grew up we had severe storms in the summer, we had snowstorms in the winter. I just love storms.”

In the presentation Marshall discussed his experiences working on a government project called Vortex 2, which is a government-funded project whose objective was to understand tornadoes. Marshall talked about how more than 100 people and more than 60 vehicles equipped with scientific instruments traveled across the U.S. to predict and chase tornadoes. Last semester Sky Club hosted Reed Timmer, professional storm chaser, featured on The Discovery Channel’s television series “Storm Chasers.”

“Reed did it more from a personal perspective and Tim did it more from a government-project perspective so he was talking more along the lines of ‘this is a government project, we have this many people we have to take care of them we have to think about logistics, we have to plan accordingly,’” Arielle Byington, president of Sky Club, said. “Reed, he makes last minute decisions all the time. He doesn’t have to plan how 126 people are going to get there. [Marshall’s presentation] gave a different perspective.”

Marshall has been studying the weather and storm chasing for many years now and has seen the advancements of weather instruments throughout this time. He said he finds it rewarding that he has been able to make it this far in his career. Marshall said he was not the straight-A student, but rather had to discover a work ethic in order to make his dream of studying the weather a reality.

“In the beginning it was just trying to find a storm,” Marshall said. “We had no hands-on radar, no internet, no cellphone. We basically had to drive out and run into [a storm]. Or stop, call, via payphone, the weather service and see where the blob was.”
Byington said many representatives from the National Weather Service were in attendance.

“I personally was very impressed that we were able to get so many community leaders to come to our event,” Byington said. “[To have] the weather service, a government agency, coming to a little club’s event on the Meramec campus is impressive. They don’t normally do stuff like that.”

Joe Schneider, instructor and Sky Club adviser, helped spread the word about the event through advertisements made by Byington. Schneider talked to faculty at St. Louis University and talked to potential attendees at a storm festival.

“A lot of these people who were there then were a lot of the general public so it looks like we did our job as far as getting out there and getting the word out to the general public,” Schneider said.

The Sky Club is hosting a Storm Spotter class Saturday morning Feb. 22. The class is free, held in the Meramec Theatre and the Weather Service will issue any attendee who stays for the entire presentation an Official Storm Spotter number.

 

Advertise Here

Photos from our Flickr stream

See all photos

Advertise Here

Upcoming Issues

Dec. 7, 2017
Jan. 25, 2018
Feb. 8, 2018
Feb. 22, 2018
March 8, 2018
March 29, 2018
April 19, 2018
May 3, 2018