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2009 Severe Weather Symposium

This page is for archival purposes only.

Below is information regarding the 2009 Severe Weather Symposium, which took place on Saturday, March 21, 2009:

Join Emergency Managers, Storm Spotters, Media, Meteorologists, and Weather Enthusiasts for Douglas County Emergency Management's Annual Severe Weather Symposium. The event will be held 7:30 a.m. - 12:45 p.m. on Saturday, March 21, 2009 at the Lawrence Arts Center, 940 New Hampshire in Lawrence, Kansas.

The Symposium is for Storm Spotters, but is open to the public. This day is designed to train and expand your knowledge in advanced storm development, spotter safety, and the importance of spotter reports. The presentations will include incredible storm videos; experts in the field from the National Weather Service and the private sector, and will conclude with a Round table discussion with local television meteorologists.

Guest Presenters include: Shawna Davies, Storm Chaser - Kansas City; Scott Blair, Journeyman Forecaster - Topeka NWS, Jon Davies, Private Meteorologist & Storm Chaser - Kansas City; and David Floyd, WCM - Goodland NWS.

The symposium is $15.00, pre-registration is required and due by Friday, March 13, 2009.


Symposium Speaker: Jon Davies

Jon Davies

"June 11, 2008: Deadly Rain-wrapped and Nighttime Tornadoes in Kansas and Iowa"
Jon Davies saw his first tornado at age 9 growing up on the plains of Kansas, and has been hooked on studying severe weather and storm chasing ever since. Jon now lives in the Kansas City area, and focuses on practical operational research about tornado forecasting, with many professional papers published. He has also worked as a meteorologist and forecaster for several television stations and weather consulting firms, including the Weather Channel in the 1980's. Jon was recently married to fellow storm chaser Shawna Davies. He has also written (with Shawna's help) a book about tornadoes and storm chasing for late grade school and middle school kids, "Storm Chasers! On the Trail of Twisters". Jon and Shawna continue to enjoy storm chasing and storm spotting as a serious hobby and educational activity.
Presentation: Symposium Presentation: Jon Davies (PDF format)

Symposium Speaker: Shawna Davies

Shawna Davies

"Beyond the Storm: Chasers Helping with Communities and First Response"
Shawna Davies lives north of the Kansas City area with her husband meteorologist Jon Davies, and is both a mother and experienced storm chaser. She has chased storms since the late 1990's, and became interested in severe weather as a girl after her family had a close call with a tornadic storm. Shawna has a strong interest in public education about severe weather safety and response to disaster. She recently received her certification as a member of the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) through Douglas County, Kansas. She has also completed CPR and First Aid training through the American Red Cross. When not chasing, she enjoys speaking to grade school kids about storms and severe weather. Because men far outnumber women in storm chasing, she encourages girls not to be shy about their interest in science, and hopes to see more women become meteorologists, storm chasers and spotters.
Presentation: Symposium Presentation: Shawna Davies (PDF format)

Symposium Speaker: Scott Blair

Scott Blair

"Electronic Storm Spotting and Emerging Technologies in the Field"
Scott Blair is a forecaster with the National Weather Service in Topeka, KS. Prior to arriving in Topeka, he served as an operational meteorologist with the NWS in Goodland, KS. Scott graduated from the University of Louisiana at Monroe with a Bachelor of Science degree in Atmospheric Sciences. He has been involved in several research efforts, with current interest in the collection and analysis of in situ tornadic measurements. Scott is an active storm observer and photographer, driving thousands of miles each year across the Great Plains in search of photogenic storm phenomena. Scott maintains a website named "Target Area" at, where a collection of his photography can be viewed.

Symposium Speaker: David Floyd

David Floyd

"Big Tornado Days: The Role of Storm Spotters and Doppler Radar in NWS Warnings"
Dave has 34 years of experience in the field of meteorology, graduating from the University of Wisconsin in 1974 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Meteorology. The first 20 years of his weather career were in the private sector, first in radio and TV broadcasting in Wisconsin, followed by three years in New York City forecasting commodity weather on Wall Street, and then 12 years in Minneapolis as training manager for a large weather database company. Dave joined the National Weather Service (NWS) in 1994, working in Norman, Oklahoma as a Doppler radar instructor specializing in radar interpretation of severe storms, then later as a forecast meteorologist. In 2002 he moved to Goodland, KS and currently serves as the Warning Coordination Meteorologist at the National Weather Service (NWS) office. Dave's favorite pastime in the spring and summer is storm chasing. His annual storm spotter training sessions incorporate pictures and video from previous years of chasing. He has been involved in spotter training since 1988.
Presentation: Symposium Presentation: David Floyd (PDF format)

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Roundtable Discussion Participants

  • Scott Blair: NWS Topeka
  • Bryan Busby: Chief Meteorologist KMBC
  • Jon Davies: Private Meteorologist/Storm Chaser
  • Shawna Davies: Storm Chaser
  • Matt Elwell: Meteorologist 6 News Lawrence
  • David Floyd: NWS Goodland
  • Tom Hagen: Meteorologist 27 News
  • Jeremy Kappell: Chief Meteorologist 27 News
  • Joe Lauria: Meteorologist Fox 4
  • Devon Lucie: Meteorologist KCTV 5
  • Matt Miller: Chief Meteorologist KTKA 49 News
  • Karli Ritter: Meteorologist Fox 4
  • Frank Waugh: Meteorologist 27 News
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Presentation Schedule
Saturday, March 21, 2009
Lawrence Arts Center
200 W. 9th Street
Lawrence, KS 66044
7:00 a.m. - 7:45 a.m.Registration
7:45 a.m. - 8:00 a.m.Welcome
8:00 a.m. - 8:45 a.m.1st Speaker
9:00 a.m. - 9:45 a.m.2nd Speaker
10:00 a.m. - 10:45 a.m.3rd Speaker
11:00 a.m. - 11:45 a.m.4th Speaker
12:00 p.m. - 12:45 p.m.Roundtable

Special Thanks

Douglas County Emergency Management would like to give a special thanks to:
  • Jay Antle for his continuing support of Douglas County Emergency Management and the Severe Weather Symposium.
  • Wyandotte County Emergency Management for providing the printing of flyers and brochures.
  • Paul Davis Restoration for providing refreshments.
  • Aman Reaka for designing the flyers and brochures.
  • Scott Blair for the wonderful photography.
Special Thanks: Paul Davis Restoration
Special Thanks: Wyandotte County Emergency Management