Rain, clouds, and summer storms . . . .
By Molly Moser
Chasing storms, reporting on high winds and heavy snowfall, recording temperatures and precipitation, and posting that information online; these are the tasks required of a weather spotter. “I’ve been fascinated with weather since I was a little kid,” says Rod McLane, who is affectionately known to many as Facebook Weatherman Rod.
McLane has been an official weather spotter for KWWL for two years. “I always wanted to be a weatherman. I never got to do it, but now I can because of Facebook.” McLane predicts that weather spotters who specialize in forecasting for localized areas are the way of the future. His day-to-day forecasts for just the Guttenberg region can be very accurate for that very reason.
“When the weather gets crazy, the photos start rolling in,” says McLane. At the office of The Guttenberg Press, cloud photos taken by staff and readers alike often appear in email inboxes. News manager Shelia Tomkins browses her photo files, coming up with numerous images of colorful, billowy skies that have been submitted to her. Opening a particularly moving one, she says, “This is a picture of that wall cloud Deb Ross sent in. It’s just an example of how clouds fascinate people.”
Indeed they do. In McLane’s opinion, weather intrigues the public because it is completely out of human control. He finds this year’s weather patterns to be particularly attention-grabbing. Rainfall during a typical June averages five inches, but last month McLane recorded 9.13 inches of precipitation. Average annual precipitation in Guttenberg is roughly 35 inches. “We’re almost up to 30 already,” says McLane.
Continued in the pages of The Guttenberg Press