St. George’s Light Up, St. George, Utah, August 27, 2022 | Photo Credit: Brody Cowing, St. George News
st. George — Brody Cowing, a 16-year-old high school senior in Santa Clara, has a house that’s easy to find among the rest of the houses on a cul-de-sac. Boats and trucks surround suburban homes, with weather gauges and antennas hanging from the roofs. The weather equipment belongs to this teenage weather enthusiast of hers.
Cowing made national news with a photo of a tornado that landed near St. George.Washington Post included a picture of him Among other Southern Utah weather photographers on August 22nd.
“Ten days ago was the first time a tornado was in sight of St. George since 1994,” Cowing said. “The wind had more shear than expected, more lift and more moisture in the atmosphere, more chance of precipitation than expected.It was really unexpected.”
“I was lucky,” he said. “I was just in the perfect spot, just between the two houses and he could see it. It was so cool.
Cowing says many people misunderstand the difference between a tornado and a dust devil. Dust devils originate from the earth’s surface, while tornadoes originate from clouds and descend to the earth’s surface.
Cowing has loved the weather since he was a child, he said. His advanced knowledge began with a simple desire to feel the rain.
“I love rain, so I wanted to predict when it would rain,” he said. “That’s where it started”
Cowing, who lives in Santa Clara, Utah, where tornadoes are extremely rare, says that tornadoes are her favorite aspect of the weather and “arguably the most difficult to learn.”
To understand and predict the weather at home, Cowing says he monitors “a massive 500-mbar extreme high-to-cyclone weather system in the North Pacific.” Cowing has connections to weather stations around the country, as well as his own weather station on the roof of his home.
“I need the instruments. I need the data. I need the whole ‘shebang’.”
Cowing said multiple official weather stations collect data from his home, including Utah-based weather channel The Weather Channel, WeatherNation, and a Las Vegas-based channel. Cowing said he built the weather station with his father at Christmas 2019.
With a new camera designed to take high-speed photos of lightning, Cowing is excited to keep looking for photos of lightning.
“Less known than the monsoon season, there is what we call the transition season between the monsoon season and the more typical winter,” Cowing says. “These can bring storms, but they’re usually not as intense as the monsoon season. That’s the only thing I can see right now.”
Cowing, who is trying to get his best grades in the next year and a half, said his dream school would be the University of Oklahoma, “in the heart of Tornado Alley,” where he would study meteorology. He went on tour in his November of last year.
“Many of the biggest storm chasers like Reed Timmer went there,” he said. I want to work at a National Storm Lab, and eventually I want to be an on-air meteorologist.”
Brody Cowing’s father, Crash Cowing, said he raised his son outdoors as much as possible, including hiking, camping, and boating.
Cowing attended a language immersion program at the age of five, has spoken Chinese for 11 years, and hopes to expand her career opportunities in the weather industry.
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