Cosmosphere Tornado Alley Event

Today was a great turn out for the Hutchinson, Kansas Cosmosphere Tornado Alley event where Mike was a guest speaker along with Discovery Channel’s “Storm Chasers” Star Sean Casey who was also appearing with his Armored TIV2 vehicle.

Mike’s presentation “Warnings Save Lives: A Look Back at Greensburg, Udall and Joplin” described how this year was the deadliest tornado season since 1947 but how many, many lives have been saved due to early and accurate warning systems being in place.

Mike had a question and answer session from the audience after his presentation and signed his book
 WARNINGS: The True Story of How Science Tamed the Weather.  The Cosmosphere is located at 1100 N. Plum in Hutchinson or visit

Saturday at the Cosmosphere

Repeating a Blog Post:
The real Apollo 13 on display  

Frequent readers of “Meteorological Musings” know what a fan I am of the Kansas Cosmosphere, generally thought to be the second best space museum in the world. It is second only to the Smithsonian’s Air & Space Museum.
There is an encore event surrounding Sean Casey’s IMAX movie Tornado Alley this Friday and Saturday. Here is the schedule:
Friday, Nov. 4
4 pm.  Sean Casey Presentation, with Q&A, “Storm Chasing Adventures”
4:45 pm.  Drawing for TIV2 ride winners followed by rides.
Saturday, Nov. 5
2:30 pm. Author and AccuWeather Enterprise Solutions Senior Vice President Mike Smith presents “Warnings Save Lives: A Look Back at Greensburg, Udall and Joplin.”
3 pm.  Book sale and signing with Mike Smith, “Warnings: The True Story of How Science Tamed the Weather.”
4 pm.  Sean Casey Presentation, with Q&A, “Storm Chasing Adventures”
4:45 pm.  Drawing for TIV2 ride winners followed by rides.
The Cosmosphere is at 1100 N. Plum in Hutchinson. 800-397-0330 or 620-662-2305. Visit
I will be incorporating some of the lessons learned during the just-ended tornado season, the worst since 1953.
Looking forward to seeing everyone next weekend at the Cosmosphere!!

Report on "Tornado Day" at the Kansas Cosmosphere

This past Monday, the Kansas Cosmosphere hosted the Tornado Intercept Vehicle (TIV) from Discovery’s Storm Chasers television show. The TIV visited because the Cosmosphere is showing the new movie “Tornado Alley” in its IMAX theatre. I gave the movie a very favorable review here. A number of people got to take rides in the TIV.

At 4pm, nearly 100 people came in to watch me present Miracle at Greensburg– the story of how weather science saved more than 200 lives that horrible Friday evening.

Comsosphere CEO Chris Orwoll was kind enough to introduce me and to tell everyone how much he was enjoying reading my book, Warnings. 

I then made my presentation, took questions and answers for nearly a half hour, and then signed copies of my book. While we sold a large number of books, there are a few left in the Cosmosphere’s book store and those copies are signed.

I had a wonderful time with a great audience. I also want to thank my friend Katherine Bay who simply came up to watch the presentation and got pressed into service taking the pictures.  Thanks again, Katie!
She is a great photographer and her web site is here.

Tornado Day at the Cosmosphere

Reminder that Monday, April 8, is tornado day at the Kansas Cosmosphere and Discovery Center in Hutchinson.

The Tornado Intercept Vehicle (TIV) will be there and a lucky participant will get to take a ride. The festivities begin at 10am.  Here are the plans:
10 a.m. – The TIV arrives

10:30 a.m. – Press Conference

11 a.m. – TIV ride for Cosmosphere Winners

TIV returns to Cosmosphere for viewing

2-4 – TIV Rides for drawing winners

4 p.m. – Meteorologist Mike Smith presents “Miracle at Greensburg” and signs his book

6 p.m. – Marcus and Brandon present about “Tornado Alley”

7 p.m. – Last showing of “Tornado Alley” for that day

And, yes, I will be there at 4pm. If you are coming, keep in mind that it is a good idea to make reservations for Tornado Alley, the IMAX movie about tornado chasing.

Hope to see you there!

Kansas Cosmosphere Presentation April 11

Mark your calendars, this is going to be special:  The Kansas Cosmosphere & Discovery Center is having a special day about tornadoes on April 11, 2011. They are showing “Tornado Alley” in their IMAX Theatre and will have the Tornado Intercept Vehicle (TIV) on site. They are having a contest to win a ride in the TIV.

At 4pm, I’ll be presenting Miracle at Greensburg and I’ll be signing copies of Warnings. You may bring yours or we’ll have them available for purchase.

The movie is terrific (my review is here) and it should be a great event. So, mark it on your calendars and I look forward to seeing you in Hutchinson!

Vacation in Wichita!

That’s a great idea according to The Washington Post. I certainly agree. While you are in the area, make sure you visit the Kansas Cosmosphere, my favorite space museum. Here is what the Post says about it:

Affiliated with the Smithsonian Institution, it is, in my view, every bit the rival of the National Air and Space Museum in Washington. 

Wichita got some other big news this week: It is now the #1 city in growth of exports due to its world-class aviation business (Boeing, Airbus, Cessna, Beech, Learjet, Hawker and others). 

I’m very proud of my adopted home town and am an unabashed booster. Come and visit. You’ll be surprised at all we have to offer.

40th Anniversary of Apollo 13

While Andrew and I were shooting photos in the Flint Hills yesterday, 50 mi. to the west a celebration was taking place: The 40th anniversary of the successful conclusion Apollo 13 mission at the Kansas Cosmosphere
The Wichita Eagle and Hutchinson News have complete coverage, just clock on the colored links. The Eagle has additional photos here
You’ll recall that Apollo 13 was the mission to the moon that suffered an in-flight explosion on the way. The mission had to be aborted and the astronauts barely made it back alive. It was the subject of the wonderful Tom Hanks’ movie Apollo 13

Yesterday’s event featured the astronauts, Gene Kranz the flight director (memorably played by Ed Harris in the movie), and the behind-the-scenes people who made the safe return possible.  The Eagle reported it was the first time astronaut Haise (played by Bill Paxton in the movie) saw the restored capsule since climbing out of it exactly 40 years before. 
The Cosmophere restored the Apollo 13 capsule and has it on permanent display. 
The Cosmosphere is at least the second best space museum in the United States. If you have never visited, do so next time you are in the area. You will not be disappointed.