Events News

July 10, 2019 at 3:10 pm

OHIO’s Meteorology Major, Peter Vanden Bosch, Saved Lives during Dayton Tornadoes on May. 27

Picture of sign and a man in red shirt.

Vanden Bosch in front of The National Weather Center, Norman, Oklahoma, Spring, 2015.

by Regina Yoong

Peter Vanden Bosch, a Meteorology major at OHIO, saved lives the night tornadoes hit Dayton on May 27, 2019. Vanden Bosch cautioned friends and family prior to the tornadoes hitting town. He explains, “by using the rotational track observed on radar, I was able to get an idea of how the tornado was moving. It appeared that the tornado was going to spare my aunt, uncle, and cousins in Fairborn, but my grandma, who lives in Riverside, appeared to be in the direct path of the tornado.”

Vanden Bosch’s grandmother, aunt, and cousin were together at the north side of Dayton when the power went off. Vanden Bosch’s family was clueless about the impending storm, but he, watching the debris field closely, updated and advised them with the necessary safety precautions. He recollects, “since it was approaching midnight, I had my mom call my grandma to make sure that she was awake and in her basement. Thankfully she was. My mom was also in contact with some other of her friends and family members around the Dayton area, and she was asking me whether or not they need to be in shelter.”

That night, Vanden Bosch’s mother, Mary Vanden Bosch, continued posting her son’s weather updates on Facebook. A family friend of Mrs. Vanden Bosch, who was watching Netflix at the time, was oblivious to the dangerous weather changes. In the nick of time, she stumbled upon Mrs. Vanden Bosch’s Facebook post and immediately took refuge in her basement, seconds before a tornado plowed through her neighbourhood, wrecking her home. She managed to escape the hit, just in time.

Who would have known that Vanden Bosch’s interest in meteorology would impact his surrounding community that night? Sharing his side of the story, “I was terrified of thunderstorms when I was a kid. I feel like if I could help just one person feel more comfortable in a scary situation like that evening, then my hobby is worth doing. I’m very lucky that my hobby also fascinates me, and it will, hopefully, evolve into my career.”

Vanden Bosch also thanked his professors from OHIO’s Geography Department: Dr. Ryan Fogt, Associate Professor and Scalia Lab Director, and Dr. Jana Houser, Assistant Professor, Meteorology for their support.  He says, “None of this would’ve been possible if it weren’t for the professionals, such as the anonymous National Weather Service meteorologists on Facebook and Dr. Fogt and Dr. Houser, who would take time out of their busy day to not only answer my questions as an ambitious wannabe meteorologist, but also to offer encouragement. As I grow older and become more experienced, I better not forget my roots and pay it forward to the next generation.”

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