My dad loved a good thunderstorm. I have so many memories of him sitting outside on our screened-in porch during a storm, while my mom yelled at him to come inside the house.
If you are a weather enthusiast like my dad, you really need to check out the Indiana Storm Chasers Convention (INChaserCon), returning Nov. 13-14, 2021, to the Hendricks County 4-H Fairgrounds & Conference Complex.
This annual convention will celebrate its 10-year anniversary by expanding to two days, plus an evening ice breaker event the night before at the new Hampton Inn in Avon.
The convention provides a weekend packed full of weather-related conversation, presentations, exhibitors and networking.
It is open to any weather enthusiast, storm chaser, storm spotter and meteorologist, and is not limited to Indiana residents. This event also draws in students from around the country as young as middle-school age.
Joseph (JT) Cooper is the founder of INChaserCon. He has chased storms for 16 years and studied meteorology at the College of DuPage and Mississippi State University.
He got the idea to start a convention in Central Indiana in 2011. At the time, there were no weather-enthusiast conventions anywhere in the Midwest.
About 15-20 people attended that first gathering, and it is grown substantially. In 2017, the event drew people from 18 states and as far away as Canada! This year they are expecting anywhere from 250 to 400 people.
What to Expect
Beth Carpenter, the event organizer and seven-year storm chaser, couldn't stress enough that the convention is open to everyone. You do not have to chase storms or even have a background or training in weather to attend. The speakers cover topics everyone can understand, and they try to diversify the topics and speakers from year to year.
New this year, the convention will host a panel that will include a ham radio operator, storm chaser, broadcast meteorologist and National Weather Service meteorologist, who will all speak from their perspective on how to prepare yourself and others in the event of severe weather. They will provide a behind-the-scenes look at what happens during a severe weather event from those who warn the public and from those who actively chase storms.
Also new this year, they will offer a one-hour basic severe weather class for novice weather enthusiasts or for anyone who would like to expand their knowledge.
Extreme Keynote Speaker
Extreme meteorologist and storm chaser Reed Timmer will serve as the keynote speaker. JT and Beth survey past attendees to find out who they would like to hear speak at the convention, and Reed Timmer has been a top request every year, so they saved him for the 10th anniversary.
Timmer is recognized as one of the most famous storm chasers in the world, documenting numerous extreme weather events over the past two decades, including Hurricane Katrina and the Dixie Alley tornado.
He may be best known for his role on the Discovery Channel’s Storm Chasers over four seasons and is currently researching tornadoes by launching data-streaming rockets into them to record data.
Tickets & More Info
You can find a complete list of speakers, the convention agenda and hotel and registration information by visiting the convention website. Ticket prices range from students with ID for $30; open tickets for $55 (available until full); and early bird for $45 (Aug. 15-31). Tickets will cost $65 at the door if they are available.
Every registered attendee will receive two free raffle tickets for the opportunity to win some awesome prizes, and you can also purchase a commemorative 10th anniversary INChaserCon T-shirt.
You can also contact Beth Carpenter by email if you would like more information on exhibiting at the convention.