Meteorologist Andrew Pritchard will present "Chasing Tornadoes: It's not what you think!" on Friday, March 6 at 7 p.m., as part of the James B. Kaler Science Lecture Series at the William M. Staerkel Planetarium, where he will discuss tornado formation and myths about storm chasing.
As the weather gets warmer, the Midwest has an increased risk of severe storms. Meteorologists study the weather patterns that lead to these events and inform the public about what can be done to prepare for storms in the future. Pritchard uses this same information to hunt down tornadoes.
The lecture will provide a background on why tornadoes are prone to form in our part of the country, dispel some misconceptions about storm chasing, discuss severe weather safety tips, and share some videos of Pritchard's recent tornadoes.
Pritchard, the operator of Chambana Weather, is an alum of Parkland College and Northern Illinois University, where he completed his B.S. in Meteorology. Chambana Weather provides weather forecasts of east central Illinois each day for local media such as WILL. He works for Nutrien Ag Solutions, studying the effects of weather on production agriculture around the globe.
After the presentation, the Staerkel Planetarium will premiere the fulldome feature, Phantom of the Universe, at 8 p.m. Tickets for regular programs are $6 for adults and $5 for students, seniors, and children under 12. Lecture Series tickets are $2 per person. All tickets are sold at the door; they can be purchased in the Planetarium lobby 30 minutes prior to the show. For more information and a full show schedule, visit parkland.edu/planetarium or call 217/351-2446.