Storm chasers are a rare and select breed of individuals who delight in viewing cumulonimbus cloud structure, watching a barrage of hail and lightning, and seeing skyscapes unfold.
Here at Agrible™, we have one of our very own "storm chasers": Eric Snodgrass, lead Atmospheric Scientist who assesses and forecasts weather risks in the agriculture industry. His expertise lies in synoptic weather analysis and forecasting, and much of his research has focused on high resolution satellite and dual polarization Doppler radar observations.
The inspiration for his career came early when as a child, Snodgrass was fascinated with weather and would watch the weather channel rather than other popular kids shows. Extreme weather such as snow and rain storms particularly interested him. In high school, he was an amateur storm chaser, where he learned the visual clues needed to better understand safety precautions during these storms.
Snodgrass is also a Director of Undergraduate Studies in the Department of Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Illinois, and his Severe and Hazardous Weather class has a cult following among students. This class and others have earned Snodgrass recognition on the "List of Teachers Ranked as Excellent" by the Center for Innovation in Teaching & Learning. He has also won the "UIUC Campus Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Education" and the award for "Best Online Course" from the University Professional Continuing Education Association.
In 2013, Snodgrass and colleague Bill Chapman started a weather and climate logistics company to provide long range weather guidance for the insurance industry. That company was later merged into Agrible, Inc., where Snodgrass currently provides the science support for weather products.
"It takes a lot of weather data to produce a forecast, and we pull the correct data and filter out the incorrect data for the users of our Morning Farm Report web platform," says Snodgrass.
These accurate weather data and forecasts are in high demand from a variety of clients, web followers, and social media fans who subscribe to his weekly weather videos. Snodgrass produces these videos that give viewers the latest national and global ag-related weather information each Monday morning. Find these weather videos on the Morning Farm Report™ website under "Weekly Weather," or subscribe to receive them via email every Monday at 5AM.
Whether he is teaching, guest lecturing, or providing valuable insights to growers, Snodgrass is happy doing what he loves, "geeking out on weather." He is co-author of a book titled, "Sustainability: A Comprehensive Introduction." where he contributed chapters on climate change. His experience has also been a valuable resource for the Sustainable Sourcing Yield Program within Morning Farm Report™, which allows growers to highlight their sustainability efforts and log their data throughout the season.
According to Snodgrass, "Agrible gives growers some amazing tools through the Morning Farm Report website that can help them document their sustainable practices and add value to the crops they produce."
When Eric is not at Agrible™ or the University of Illinois teaching, he enjoys reading and spending time with his wife and two children. He coaches recreational soccer leagues in Mahomet, and attends every University of Illinois home basketball game. He is an avid "car guy," and can often be found with a wrench in his hand and his head under a hood. But, when the weather is bad, Eric is on the road chasing some of the most violent and impactful weather in the world.