Storm Chasers To Speak At Moraine Park


On Monday, June 13th, Josh Swangstu, owner and President of the Midwest Spotters League and members of his club will be speaking at the Fond du Lac Amateur Radio Club meeting held at Moraine Park College in room a-102. The meeting is open to the public. The Midwest Storm Spotters League is a not-for-profit, volunteer group of Skywarn storm chasers mostly in the Wisconsin area. They also have chasers located in Iowa, Indiana, and Illinois. The membership has a wide range of experiences. Some study the meteorology spectrum, and some are trained in SAR (Search and Rescue). Everyone on the team is required to be fully trained and must also attend in person classes that are held every spring just before the severe weather season takes effect.

At 6:30 PM, Josh will have one or two of his trucks parked at the entrance door of the “A” building at Moraine Park College. The public will be able to see their trucks and ask questions weather permitting. They will give their presentation to the club at 7:00 PM.

Josh started his team after working alongside other teams, and it hasn’t been an easy job! Even with the storms they have chased, they have had to learn the hard way sometimes that it takes more than just one individual to get things done. “We have had to rely upon the entire team to complete our goals. The team I currently have now, which numbers around ten to fifteen people, I couldn’t be more proud of. They’ve been dedicated, hard working, and during our down times and absolute blast to have fun with.” Josh said.

“So far the best chase I’ve had to say we’ve had was last summer on June 29th, 2015. We had a system come over the Stoughton, WI area with a well defined and definitive shelf cloud. The storm itself wasn’t much of a producer in terms of severe weather, but just how photogenic it was made the chase just as thrilling. The first shelf cloud I ever captured was back in 2012 before I had ever became a storm chaser and after the storm of that particular day, it pretty much sealed my fate. I have loved what I’ve been doing since then and will keep doing it for many more years to come.”


The SKYWARN Storm program was created by the National Weather Service (NWS) to improve warning services. The NWS needs real-time reports of hail size, wind damage, flash flooding, heavy rain, tornadoes, and waterspouts to effectively warn the public of inclement weather. Even as new technology allows the NWS to issue warnings with more lead time, chasers will always be needed as links between radar indications of severe weather and ground truth. Storm chaser volunteers serve as severe weather spotters for the NWS and local emergency management programs, and generally have two things in common – an interest in the weather and a desire to serve their community.

The meeting is open to the public and free of charge. For more information call Joe Scheibinger at 920-237-1450