Discovery Channel Star Talks Weather at Northland College

By KBJR News 1

March 27, 2011 Updated Mar 27, 2011 at 9:40 PM CST

Ashland, WI (Northland's NewsCenter) -- Northland College offers a broadcast meteorology major and their students train here with meteorologist Dave Anderson.

This weekend, they also got to work with a national name in the weather game.

Dave Anderson tells us about their special guest and his special car.

"Good evening folks. I'm meteorologist Adam Lorch with your weather for this week."

Every Sunday, meteorology students from Northland College in Ashland practice with me to become weathercasters.

For whatever it's worth, I may have been the biggest deal in the weather world these students may have met but that all changed on Saturday when they met a nationally known storm chaser.

"Reed Timmer! Reed Timmer visited Northland College yesterday and it was a fantastic event. We had 250 people packed into Alvord Theater at Northland College!"

Timmer is a meteorologist and star of the Discovery Channel's Storm Chasers TV show.

He spoke about hunting tornadoes and the research he does on them.

"It's difficult to forecast anything if you don't understand it. Our goal is to get inside and get a 3–D X–ray of the meteorology in a tornado."

Timmer gets those inside tornado pictures with a modified Chevy Tahoe called the Dominator.

"It has steel armor and hydraulics so you can drop the shell flush to the ground and that eliminates the wind underneath the vehicle so we don't have lift and it has bullet proof windows."

Northland student Carissa Steffenson enjoyed learning about tornadoes from someone who has seen them up close.

"There's different stuff I didn't know and I think it is cool how they're capturing it with the Dominator and what their plans are to do with that."

Timmer hopes to use his data to help design tornado resistant homes in Tornado Alley.

Storm chasing is already a passion for several Northlanders.

One young Duluth man even marketed local storm chasing videos a few years ago.

Northland student Claudine Pierz has been on her own ten day storm hunt.

"On the eighth day, we ended up in Earl, Arkansas and we were chasing a tornado for about thirty minutes."

Reed Timmer shares the information he learns in the tornado strewn fields through video conferences available through Discovery Education.com.

The Northland College students were glad to meet him and feel that connection will pay off in the future for storm chasing and TV meteorology.

"I sure hope so. Actually, his girlfriend works at a news station in Chicago and has an opening for an internship so I told them to hook me up!"

Timmer says that even in his armored car, it is dangerous to get close to tornadoes so storm chasers without such protection should take pictures from a safe distance.