From left to right: Armando Morillo, Allyce Rogers, Ryan Rogers, Brandon Vincent
By the early 1990's I realized that I was extremely passionate about Meteorology, particularly with regard to severe
weather. Whenever severe thunderstorm or tornado warnings were issued, I was the kid that ran outside and wanted to
watch what would happen. It was also during the early to mid 1990's that I began thinking about how cool it would be
to work for the National Weather Service, to be part of the organization that issues the official forecasts, watches,
warnings and advisories. I moved to Raleigh, NC in 1998 where I studied Meteorology at North Carolina State University.
I completed undergrad at NCSU in 2002, graduating with a B.S. in Meteorology and a B.S. in Marine Science. I began
working toward an M.S. in Meteorology at NCSU in the summer of 2002. During the summer of 2003 I was offered a
position with the National Weather Service in Newport/Morehead City, NC. So, I left graduate school and began my career
with the NWS in August of 2003. By late 2005 I was offered a promotion with the NWS in Raleigh, NC, where I work to
this day. Good friends invited me to go storm chasing with them in May of 2007. I saw my first tornado near Hill City,
KS on the day that we arrived and quickly got "hooked" on chasing, having done so every year thereafter. Well, almost
every year. Historically, there have been 2 chase-negating factors, 1) the Death Ridge and 2) conflict with baby due date.
I was extremely frightened of storms as a young child growing up outside of Winston-Salem, NC. Over time my
fear turned to wonder. Before my family moved to a new house a tornado came through and cleared the lot on
which our new house would be built. I remember being fascinated by the power severe weather could have. In
May of 1998 another tornado struck the Clemmons, NC area 10 years to the day from the one that had struck
before we moved there. This time I was outside with my jaw on the ground in amazement at what nature was
capable of given the right conditions. I went off to school at NC State in 1998 to study aerospace
engineering. After a year of instruction I realized that, while I was happy that there are aerospace
engineers, I am not one of them. I switched majors to meteorology and graduated in 2003. After a few years
as a restaurant manager I accompanied Brandon and other NCSU alums on a storm chasing trip to the Plains in
2008. That trip truly changed my life. The first storm on the first day made it very clear to me that I was
not truly happy managing a restaurant. I resolved to return to meteorology (in an academic sense) and in
2011 I was accepted into the University of Alabama Huntsville where my research examined using total
lightning (IC/CG) as a way to diagnose the threat of convective turbulence to aircraft in regions where
traditional remote sensing platforms are lacking. In May 2014 I graduated from UAH with a Master’s degree.
Luckily, the 2013 hiring freeze at the National Weather Service thawed just in time for me; I applied to
every opening across the country and was offered a Meteorologist-Intern job with the NWS in Mobile, AL. I
wake up every morning in disbelief that I actually get paid to study the weather. I hope and fully expect
to remain similarly awestruck and fascinated by the weather (and, by extension, chasing) for the rest of my
life. My lovely wife Ally and I are expecting a baby boy any day now…fittingly his name will be Chase!
My curiosity for weather started the evening of May 5, 1989 when Winston Salem, NC was hit by a damaging tornado.
Five years old at the time, I was looking out the back window of my dad's car in the Hanes Mall parking lot when I saw
the aforementioned tornado hit a SEARS automotive building. I was extremely scared, yet truly amazed at how a spinning
cloud could cause such destruction. Over the years I purchased numerous severe weather videos and would frequently climb
onto the roof to take video of nearby thunderstorms. Thanks to Ryan and Brandon I had the opportunity to go storm
chasing in May of 2010, and that's when I officially got "HOOKED" on chasing. The experience was amazing and potentially
life changing given that I have now decided on going back to school for Meteorology and merging it with my current pursuit
of a career in professional aviation. I've traveled to the Midwest with Ryan and Brandon every year since 2010, an annual
tradition that I will take part in as long as I am physically capable.
Ryan's wife, Ally, is our photographer and the sole female member of Red Team. Ally enjoys animals, tornadoes, and back seat