School of Environmental and Biological Sciences

Mon
25
Jun

Rutgers Students Hit the Road to Chase Gathering Storms

Credit: Matt Drews

‘Severe Weather Field Trip’ took budding meteorologists to Tornado Alley

Photo credit: Matt Drews

A few days into their adventure, students who signed up for the new 3-credit course “Severe Weather Field Trip” spotted the Holy Grail for storm chasers. Just north of Cheyenne, Wyoming, 15 Rutgers students watched a swirling tornado.

The sighting was a highlight of the two-week storm-chasing caravan that crisscrossed the highways and back roads of Tornado Alley.

“From a safe distance of 10 miles, we saw [the tornado] quite clearly, not as a big funnel but as swirling dust,” said Steven Decker, an assistant professor in the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences. “Even if we hadn’t seen a tornado, every team of students managed to see severe thunderstorms, their structure. It was exciting, dramatic and fun to see.”

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