Meet the Speakers
Skip Talbot is a storm chaser and software developer from Illinois. Captivated by and compelled to witness tornadoes since the 1990 Plainfield F5 tracked near his childhood home, Skip has been roaming the plains in search of supercells and tornadoes since 2003. He’s participated in endeavors from forecasting for a Tornado Intercept Vehicle IMAX movie, piloting small aircraft for aerial supercell shoots, to driving for the College of DuPage’s Thunderstorm Lab, but Skip can be spotted most often with his regular chase partner, photographer Jennifer Brindley Ubl. Combining his programming skills with his passion for storm chasing, he created the software for the El Reno Survey, a study of the deadly and record breaking El Reno, OK tornado of May 31, 2013. Skip also helps run an all-volunteer, non-profit organization that raises money for storm victims called Storm Assist. 
Chancy Smith is originally from the Concordia Kansas area and has lived in Abilene for the last 23 yrs. with his wife Cristy and four children: Casity 24; Caysen 20; Carstyn 8; and Tenley 6. He began his association with emergency services as a Military Police Officer in 1988. After serving in two combat theaters “Operation Just Cause” and “Desert Storm”, he decided in 1991 that civilian law enforcement would be safer. In 2005 Chancy went to work for Dickinson County as the Emergency Management Director. During his 11 years as the Director, Dickinson County has had five presidentially declared disasters, three floods, one ice storm and a tornado. Chancy is a Kansas Certified Emergency Manager, the current North Central VP for the Kansas Emergency Management Association (KEMA), the past president of the Emergency Management Support Association of Kansas (EMSAK), a member of the North Central Kansas incident management team and a lifetime member of the VFW. Chancy also has an associate’s degree from Barton County in Emergency Management. Chancy will be talking about the 2016 EF-4 Tornado that impacted his County and their response to it.
Lauren Rainson studied Broadcast Meteorology at Eastern Illinois University, where she graduated with a Bachelor of Science in 2013. She started her television career as a Fill-In Meteorologist/Reporter at the NBC affiliate in Decatur, IL. A little more than one year later, she came across a much better opportunity at WMBD CBS/WYZZ FOX in Peoria, IL. She has been the Morning/Noon Meteorologist since July of 2014. This past December, 2016, she graduated with a Master's Degree from Mississippi State University. As a Central Illinois native, she feels lucky for the opportunity to serve an area that she can call home. Thanks to everyone who lets her into their homes every morning!
John Dwyer, Champaign County IL EMA Director and James Auten, Lead Forecaster NWS Lincoln, IL will be sharing their perspectives of the possible future of severe weather information that both of them tested at the National Severe Storms Laboratory (NSSL) in Norman OK during May 2016. They will be discussing their use of “PHI” (Probabilistic Hazard Information) in various weather scenarios, some of the uses as well as potential issues with the system, interactions between meteorologists and emergency managers, and how “PHI” can influence decision making.  Other tools used in the experiment, such as NWSchat and GR Level 2 & 3 radar, will also be discussed.

Pay 2017 Central IL Weather Net County/City Membership Dues Here


Brandon Sullivan - Morning Brandon Sullivan - Afternoon
Jared Guyer - Storm Prediction CenterJenny Fulton - PIO
NWS Lincoln OfficeAnthony Heddlesten - Army Corps
Spotter Technology Mapping A Disaster
NWS Severe Weather Ops NWS Flood Response
NWS Storm Ready Program Advanced Spotter
Meso Analysis Values Spotter Websites
Social Media in Disasters