Opening Keynote


Tuesday, February 1, 3:30 - 5:00 pm, Hall SA1

Technology and Extreme Storm Chasing Go Hand in Hand

Reed Timmer
Meteorologist, Lead Storm Chaser
Discovery Channel Storm Chasers

Did you know violent, destructive tornadoes are most common after sunset? Or that Storm Chasers use Lexan polymer as a bullet-proof protective bubble to guard against projectiles in a tornado? Mobile radar and probe-launching tornado cannons enable extensive research capabilities in the science of meteorology. Learn how the advancement of technology, such as GPS, cell phones and radar play a key role in meteorology education, as well as in the advancement of our understanding of tornadoes and the prediction these potentially deadly storms. Ground-breaking scientific data that was collected inside a mile-wide EF4 tornado in Minnesota during the 2010 season will also be shared, along with a summary of how this data can and will be used to save lives.

About Reed Timmer:

Melding the latest in science and technology with a passion for education, Reed Timmer has spent the last 13 years in the eye of the storm.

As the lead meteorologist and professional storm chaser on Discovery Channel’s award-winning series Storm Chasers, Reed is one of the world's most respected experts on severe weather forecasting, safety, and survival.

Born and raised in Grand Rapids, MI, Reed became interested in extreme weather at a very young age. His first official storm chase was at the age of 13, when he intercepted a severe storm in his front yard and was pelted by golf ball size hail that destroyed his family's video camera. Ever since that day, he's been obsessed with extreme weather. An avid insect, reptile, amphibian collector and tree identification enthusiast, Reed decided to pursue his greatest passion when he began studying meteorology at the University of Oklahoma.

After documenting a massive F5 tornado that struck Moore, Oklahoma in 1999, Reed was addicted to extreme storm chasing ever since. Every spring and summer season, Reed travels over 50,000 miles from the Mexican Border to Canada, striving to photograph tornadoes from extreme close range.

With an innovator’s spirit and a respect for the power of technology, Reed became the first person in history to capture High Definition video from inside a tornado and has captured over 200 tornados on film. Reed and his team of experts designed an armored chase vehicle known as the Dominator to safely collect ground-breaking scientific data. Featuring an HD camera in bullet proof casing, advanced vertical radar and a remote controlled aircraft designed to fly closely around tornadoes to collect further data, the Dominator is built with safety in mind. The vehicle has a roll bar and race car safety seats with full torso belts. In the event of wind speeds topping 100 mph, the Dominator drops the armored frame to the ground with a state-of-the-art hydraulic system; keep wind from flowing under the car and potentially flipping or lifting the vehicle. The team is equipped to handle extreme conditions better than ever before.

Reed's "hands-on" experience with a vast assortment of hazardous weather and natural disasters, as well as his extensive education in the science of meteorology, have made Reed a strong advocate for extreme weather and disaster education. He conducts storm spotter seminars for the National Weather Service, emergency managers, and the general public.

Reed recently published a spell-binding book detailing his storm chasing adventures over the last decade. Into the Storm is Reed's personal account of his storm chasing exploits from the monster that hit Moore, OK, to Hurricane Katrina in Louisiana, to Canada. Reed also starred in the documentary film Tornado Glory and regularly shares his knowledge of weather with science and technology lovers of all ages, appearing on national news broadcasts including Good Morning America with Diane Sawyer, CNN with Wolf Blitzer, CBS, NBC, and, of course, The Weather Channel.

In addition to storm chasing year-round, Reed is currently working toward a PhD in meteorology at the University of Oklahoma.

Sponsored by

Discovery Education

Join us for the FETC Opening Keynote sponsored by Discovery Education on Tuesday, February 1, from 3:30 to 5:00 pm in Hall SA1. Following the opening keynote, make sure you visit the Exhibit Hall Grand Opening and Reception from 5:00 - 7:00 pm.

Platinum Sponsors
  • Smart
  • Epson: Exceed Your Vision
  • Discovery Education
  • Earthwalk
  • Logo: Promethean - Lighting the flame of learning.
Gold Sponsors
  • Ernie :: HON
  • mediasite
Silver Sponsors
  • Mind Research Institute


Technology Sponsors
Earthwalk Lightspeed Qwizdom Epson: Exceed Your Vision Promethean
SMART TrueFlix nComputing