Hello and welcome to WxChaser.com! My name is John Wetter. I
have been storm chasing since 1996. Back then, I was just a hot
shot high school kid that went out when there were storms in the
area. I started chasing much more seriously in the year 2000,
when Bob Conzemius
took me out chasing with him and Scott Woelm. I can't
thank them both enough for the guidance that they have given me
in my chasing endeavors.
A little background about me. I grew up on a dairy farm in the
small town of Buffalo, Minnesota. I attended St. Cloud State
University in St. Cloud, MN as a meteorology major. I became
very active in Stearns
County Skywarn, being a net control officer and sitting on
the board of directors for a 2002-2003 term. I also am a certified
Skywarn severe storm spotter instructor for the state of Minnesota. Due to Skywarn, I have also gotten involved with
Amateur (ham) radio. My callsign is KØWDJ. I am currently the coordinator of skywarn operations at the National Weather Service in Chanhassen, having helped to make the hub and spoke reporting system a reality. I've also worked with Todd Krause in developing the Skywarn video training used by the Chanhassen office since 2002. I
am a past president of the SCSU chapter of the National
Weather Association. I value all of the interaction that I
have had with the faculty and students in the department.
I have participated in several national and regional severe storms conferences with areas of interest in severe storms forecasting and radar interpretation. I've presented at the National Severe Weather Workshop regarding tornado damage survey investigations and integrating GIS into those surveys. Regionally I have presented on topics such as storm spotter organizational structure, radar interpretation including volumetric radar data interrogation, and severe storms forecasting. I am also a co-collaborator on the HopWRF project, a convective allowing model with a 3km resolution that has shown great success in the upper midwest.
Outside of Meteorology, my interests are many. Every year, I
participate in the Nowthen
Threshing Show, an exhibition of years gone past in the agricultural
community, for whom I helped to build a website for. I am a licensed
steam engineer and enjoy showing our families 1911 AD
Baker steam traction
engine as well as a 1914 Case and 1919 Minneapolis steam traction engine annually. I also am a student of the game of golf.
It is a very humbling game, as is storm chasing! I also enjoy
astronomy. It was my passion before I came back down to earth
I worked for the Buffalo
School District as a computer support technician from 1996 until August of 2006.
I now work as the technical Services Manager for Hopkins Public Schools. In the past, I have authored a syndicated computer
support column for Internet Broadcasting Systems' websites around
the county. The title of the column was "The
help! menu". I was also involved in the initial launch
which was at the time paired with WCCO-TV in the Twin Cities.
In 2006, I started as one of the storm chasers for KSTP-TV in the Twin Cities. Andrew Revering and I make up the team of the SkyMax 5 Storm Trackers.
I have been an alpha and beta tester for SwiftWx software when it was new, and have worked with and tested the GRLevelx radar software suite and the Spotter Network, I am currently the president of Spotter Network. I am quite a large proponent of these programs, as I believe they
can greatly help Skywarn organizations to place spotters to protect
life and property through early warning of severe storms.
I also worked with Rory Groves from SwiftWeather to put together a yearly workshop to help with Skywarn training in Minnesota starting in 2006. In 2008, Rory moved out of state and therefore had to end his involvement in the project. Now, my wife and I put on the Minnesota Severe Storms Conference every spring as a resource for training and connecting with other Skywarn organizations. The workshop has included keynote speakers such as Tim Samaras, Chris Novy, and Tim Marshall, Dr. Chuck Doswell, Dr. Paul Markowski, Dr. Harold Brooks, Dr. Robin Tanamachi, and Dr. Katherine Finley, along with regional experts such as Paul Douglas, Dan Miller, Dr. Kenny Blumenfeld, and Todd Shea along with numerous speakers from the surrounding National Weather Service offices.