The Weather Channel’s Mike Bettes to keynote Weather Fest on Saturday

Mike Bettes takes a break with Charger Blue during 2014 Weather Channel coverage on campus.

Mike Bettes takes a break with Charger Blue during 2014 Weather Channel coverage on campus.

Michael Mercier | UAH

Mike Bettes, on-camera meteorologist and lead tornado tracker for The Weather Channel, will be the keynote speaker at the annual Rocket City Weather Fest from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 25, at The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) Shelby Center for Science and Technology.

Hosted by the local student and professional chapters of the American Meteorological Society and the National Weather Association, Weather Fest is a free festival open to anyone who is interested in learning more about the weather.

Mike Bettes chats with Dr. Kevin Knupp during a pause in Weather Channel coverage on campus in 2014.

Mike Bettes chats with Dr. Kevin Knupp during a pause in Weather Channel coverage on campus in 2014.

Michael Mercier | UAH

Following a 12:30 p.m. weather balloon launch, Bettes will speak at 1 p.m. on “The Life of a Broadcast Meteorologist: 4 Seasons of Thrills.”

Also at the festival, WHNT News 19 meteorologist Christina Edwards and the Storm Hunter 19 chase vehicle will give visitors the opportunity to sit in the vehicle to see what it’s like to be a mobile storm spotter.

Dr. Themis Chronis will present his Van Der Graaff generator along with a talk titled, "The Secrets of Static Electricity Revealed" from 10:30-11:30 a.m. and 2-3 p.m.

Huntsville Utilities will give a Power Line Demonstration at 11:30-12:15 p.m. and 2:30-3:15 p.m.

At 3 p.m., visitors can hear a National Weather Service Skywarn Spotter Talk about how to spot hazardous weather and tornados.

Hands-on activities and demonstrations will be available throughout the event. Children’s activities include snowflake making, a can crush, colorful convections, a tornado in a jar, face painting, cloud making and an erosion demonstration.

“This event gives the atmospheric and related sciences community an opportunity to educate the public on weather-related phenomena, emphasizing safety and preparedness, and to showcase scientific research taking place here in Huntsville,” says David Haliczer, outreach chair.

For more information, visit www.rocketcityweatherfest.com.


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