Extreme Meteorologist and Storm Chaser
Reed Timmer is one of the most famous storm chasers in the world! Reed has documented over 1,000 tornadoes and dozens of hurricanes in two decades of storm chasing, including extreme weather events Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and the super tornado outbreak in Dixie Alley in April of 2011. He published an autobiography and educational book Into the Storm in 2010. Reed is most well-known for being featured on four seasons of Discovery Channel’s Storm Chasers from 2008-2011. During the 2012 and 2013 storm chasing seasons, Reed and a team of veteran storm chasers filmed and produced a documentary series called Tornado Chasers which premiered on TVNweather.com. Following the years filming his storm chasing adventures for television, Reed returned to the University of Oklahoma and earned his Ph.D. in Meteorology in 2015. Since then, he storm chased for AccuWeather from November 2016 to October 2019 covering extreme weather events across the country and beyond. Currently, Reed is focused on researching tornadoes by launching data-streaming rockets into them to record meteorological data. He hopes that this data brings scientists a more detailed picture of the complex dynamics of tornadoes.
Chief Meteorologist FOX59 WXIN Indianapolis
Brian Wilkes has been the chief meteorologist for FOX59 since July 1995. He is a graduate of Columbia College with a bachelor of science degree in science communication. He completed a two-and-a-half year internship at WGN-9 (Chicago) under Meteorologist Tom Skilling. Brian's fascination with weather started early in fourth grade. Growing up on the far south side of Chicago, the blizzard of 1979 kept him out of school for two weeks! This sparked his excitement for weather, which continues to this day. Brian is a member of both the American Meteorological Society and the National Weather Association. In August of 1996, he received his Seal of Approval from the National Weather Association.
Warning Coordination Meteorologist, NWS Indy
Sam Lashley was born and raised in Crawfordsville, Indiana and attended Purdue University (Boiler Up!). He graduated in 1991 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Atmospheric Sciences and began his career with the National Weather Service (NWS) in 1993 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Sam moved back to Indiana in 1995 and has worked at both the NWS Indianapolis and Northern Indiana offices since that time. Sam accepted his dream job as the NWS Indianapolis Warning Coordination Meteorologist (WCM) in September 2019. Having lived, worked and chased storms in the Midwest most of his life, Sam understands the complex and variable weather patterns that impact this region. His most memorable storm chase was during the Henryville, IN tornado in 2012 where he and his daughter, along with a NWS co-worker, intercepted the devastating EF-4 tornado before it hit Henryville. Sam is a long-time member of the AMS, the National Weather Association, and the National Weather Service Golf Association.
Dr. Victor Gensini
Assistant Professor, Researcher, Storm Chaser
Dr. Victor Gensini is an Assistant Professor at Northern Illinois University in the Department of Geographic and Atmospheric Sciences. He received his Bachelor and Masters in Meteorology from Northern Illinois University as well, and earned his Ph.D. from the University of Georgia. He is a member of the American Meteorological Society and is a Certified Consulting Meteorologist (CCM). Victor is also a HAM radio operator. Victor’s research umbrella covers extreme weather and climate, with specific interests focused on: severe convective storms, synoptic/mesoscale meteorology, applied climatology, GIS techniques, geoscience data visualization, weather forecasting and climate change.
Manager of Meteorology, American Electric Power
Meghan Klee was born and raised in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Like most meteorologists, her passion for weather began early in life. Meghan decided to pursue that passion and graduated from Purdue University in 2011 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Atmospheric Sciences. While an undergrad, she and some classmates conducted research on how wind farms affect local weather conditions and were able to present their research at the 2011 AMS conference in Seattle, WA. This research was also selected to be published in the Journal of Purdue Undergraduate Research (JPUR) in 2011. Meghan’s professional career began in October 2011 when she accepted a job as an Associate Meteorologist at Southwest Airlines in Dallas, TX. In 2013, SWA’s meteorology group won the Heroes of the Heart Award and even had their own specialized 737 jet! In 2014, Meghan decided to broaden her experience and take a position as a Meteorologist at American Electric Power in Columbus, OH. In 2018, Meghan was promoted to Manager of Meteorology of a small group of meteorologists. In her spare time she enjoys dodging Ohio State Buckeye fans (just kidding, she married a Buckeye), cheering on the Colts and Boilermakers, cuddling her dog “Freckles”, and nerding out over weather.
Speaker to be Announced!
Jay Farlow, 30-Year Spotter, HAM Operator
Sam Lashley, WCM at NWS Indianapolis
Meghan Klee, Meteorology Manager at AEP
...more to be Announced!