Joe Lawton

Storm Spotting

Since 2006, I have been an active, trained weather spotter for the National Weather Service. Reports that I've called in or submitted range from rotating wall clouds to the snow depth at my house. These type of reports help the weather service with ground truth on what the weather is actually doing to assisting in the creation of better models for predicting snowfall.


Want to go on a storm chasing vacation?

PDS Storm ToursIn 2012, I went on an "on-call" chase with P.D.S. Storm Tours. After hours of driving, we caught up to a developing tornadic storm in Kansas, where we witnessed 7 tornadoes in less than 3 hours...and all from a safe distance.

For those that want to chase but are unfamiliar with the weather science background, I highly recommend going with P.D.S. Storm Tours.

Isn't this just storm chasing?

While somewhat similar to storm chasing, storm spotting is simply observing the weather from a location and reporting any severe or noteworthy events to the National Weather Service. I don't have to actually go chase a storm, but on occasion I will try to position myself if something is threatening a nearby community.

Joe at KSDK on Tour