Tornadoes in a warming world

DeKALB – For storm chasers, the coming of spring means one thing: tornadoes.

Recent tornado-related disasters have led experts to wonder how climate change is affecting the frequency and intensity of these destructive storms. At the next STEM Cafe, NIU STEM Outreach will present “Chasing the Storm: Tornadoes in a Warming World.” This free presentation and discussion with the audience will take place from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 22, at O’Leary’s Restaurant and Pub, 260 E. Lincoln Highway, DeKalb.

Storm chaser, meteorologist, and physical geographer Dr. Walker Ashley will lead a discussion on tornadoes, climate change, and strategies for survival in severe weather. Ashley is an associate professor of meteorology in the Department of Geography at Northern Illinois University. His research examines the meteorology and climatology of severe storms, human mortality due to weather hazards, the influences of cities on thunderstorm formation, and how weather affects fatal motor vehicle crashes.

During the STEM Cafe, Ashley will share the latest research on the role of climate change in severe weather and explore common myths about tornadoes, such as the ideas that tornadoes never strike cities, tornadoes don’t cross rivers, and tornadoes are attracted to mobile homes. He will also talk about how amateur weather watchers can train to become weather spotters or even participate in storm chases.

This event is part of NIU STEM Outreach’s series of monthly STEM Cafes. The events are free and open to the public. Food and drinks are available for purchase from the host restaurant.

Learn more about STEM Cafes and other events at or contact Judith Dymond at or 815-753-4751.

Loading more