Northeast Student Protects Community as a Storm Spotter


Karly Liska, Reporter

Trent Bosler is a student at Northeast Community College and is a certified storm spotter. You may have seen his car around campus because it is the only one with what looks like a weather station on top.


Being a storm spotter means that Bosler watches what the weather is doing and then reports bad weather to the news stations, the National Weather Service and social media. Media outlets then warn the surrounding communities to be on the look out. It is a funny fact that Bosler was actually afraid of storms when he was a little kid. He was especially afraid of lightning, but obviously he grew out of it.

Bosler first met Jeff Robinson, who has storm chased since 2002, on Facebook and started talking to him about his weather group, which later became Siouxland Severe Weather. Bosler and Robinson first storm chased together earlier this year when there was a slight risk of storms near Wayne. Now Siouxland Severe Weather has a number of storm chasers throughout Siouxland who watch the skies.

Bosler really started getting into being a storm spotter when he realized that some people are not careful during storms.”I have witnessed first hand what people have done during crazy storm events,” said Bosler. His chase partners, Brian and Shelly Nelson were in Coleridge one day and noticed people were just standing there, watching the tornado coming towards them. “It’s those kind of people that drive me up the wall.” It makes him appreciate being a storm chaser, informing people, and saving lives.


Storm chasers only receive money from the National Weather Service or media outlets if they are the first ones to get the weather information to them. Chasers can also ask people for funds but Bosler doesn’t like to do that. He says that, for him, it’s all right if they volunteer money but he won’t ask anyone for it.

This is Bosler’s sixth year of being educated as a weather spotter. Northeast offers a two-hour long class once a year in the Life Long Learning Center. To be a certified weather spotter you need to complete the classes and also finish additional online classes. After that, the new spotter is registered in the local and national weather service.

Bosler offers up some words of wisdom, “I can tell you this, it’s not the movie “Twister”.” See more of Trent, his car, and storm chasing weather gear at The Viewpoint’s Flickr page.