Stavros Kesedakis 

My name is Stavros Kesedakis, I am a 49-year-old storm chaser/weather photographer based in Rhodes, Greece. I started chasing storms about thirteen years ago and soon got into photography too while I also got interested in meteorology mostly to enhance my storm chasing tactics and make it safer. Having captured more than 200 waterspouts/tornadoes I still feel the same passion and need to be out there witnessing the raw beauty and power of storms. Being a spotter for ICWR has also given me extra motivation to capture and understand these amazing waterspouts especially in a hot spot like Rhodes, Greece.

Giannis Gasteratos

My name is Giannis Gasteratos. I am a Forester – Environmentalist MSc, based on Corfu Island, Greece. I was born there in 1982 and from a young age I was interested in the climate and weather and the more intense and unusual phenomena. In 1995 I filmed my first waterspout and at the time I thought it was something unique. The next few years I learned more and started understanding the pattern of their appearance, when a cloud was ready to form one etc. Since then, I have recorded loads of waterspouts and tornadoes, mostly around Corfu, but also in a few other parts of Greece. Also, I collected some historical information that was unnoticed to the weather community, like the damaging tornadoes of Corfu, in 1709.

Realizing that this information can be useful to meteorologists, I started providing data to weather scientists. These data have been used in several scientific papers such as:

Waterspout cloud top detection using MSG SEVIRI infrared brightness temperature over the northern Ionian Sea, Greece

Analysis of synoptic conditions for tornadic days over western Greece

A climatology of tornadic activity over Greece based on historical records

Composite Mean and Anomaly of Synoptic Conditions for Tornadic Days over North Ionian Sea (NW Greece)

Additionally, in 2018 I recorded an impressive outbreak of 32 waterspouts, which is included in the following paper:

Waterspout Outbreak Environments and Forecasting in Greece

I'm still a weather enthusiast, storm and tornado/waterspout hunter.

Monique Palmisano

My name is Monique Palmisano, and I am a 52-year-old that lives on the beautiful island of the Bahamas called New Providence, which you may know as Nassau. I have been a weather enthusiast since I was a child but never pursued it until 2020. During the pandemic, I completed a few online classes which included the basic in Backyard Meteorology, Tsunami and Storm Surge, Natural Disasters, One Ocean One Planet, Climate Change and Climate Solutions. I am also a certified storm spotter from SKYWARN and Spotter Network that are both based in the USA.

The Bahamas is an archipelago of islands, and waterspouts are very common around the country. My occupation is mobile, so I am able to see and report waterspouts to the ICWR for data collection. It’s my pleasure to be a spotter and partner with ICWR.

Maryann Fekete

My name is Maryann Fekete. I am a storm chaser and weather photographer. I am based in Ontario, Canada. I started chasing and photographing storms 17 years ago. I have witnessed extreme weather in its many forms, and one of my favourites is waterspouts. Since 2020, I have had the opportunity to document over 100 waterspouts. Being surrounded by three of the five Great Lakes, the ICWR risk maps have been my go-to source. Lake Erie, Lake Huron and Lake Ontario have produced some of the most photogenic spouts I have captured. One of my greatest opportunities came in 2022, when I captured several tornadic spouts going over Huron from the US. Later in the same year, I captured several large spouts during an outbreak over Lake Erie. As I continue to learn, delve into and further understand waterspouts, my goal is to witness and photograph  this spectacular phenomenon around the world.

Lorraine Matti

My name is Lorraine Matti. I am a 37-year-old storm chaser and professional photographer based in Illinois, U.S. I started chasing storms in 2011 to conquer a fear I had of tornadoes. I saw my first tornado on April 9th, 2011, and I've been hooked ever since! I've documented over 60 tornadoes and waterspouts since then. One of my tornado images is published in a National Geographic book called “Rarely Seen”. My proximity to Lake Michigan makes it easy to chase waterspouts, especially with the help of the ICWR and their amazing forecast maps. Sometimes my husband and son join me in waterspout chasing. I always look forward to the fall when it transitions from normal storm chasing to waterspout chasing/reporting to the ICWR. When I'm not chasing storms and waterspouts, I volunteer at a wildlife rescue, primarily working with birds of prey.

Kevin Bente

My name is Kevin Bente, and I'm based in Nassau, The Bahamas. I am 28 years old, have a Master's degree in Atmospheric Science, and have a genuine passion for severe and tropical weather phenomena. Waterspouts are extremely common in my part of the world, but they can sometimes be fickle to see due to the nature of the convection they like to be associated with. The Nassau Convergence Line, aka the NCL, is a nearly-daily weather feature that develops downwind of the island, and is a fantastic source region for waterspouts. With the predominant wind in the Bahamas out of the east, and my house being on the western tip of the island, it creates almost daily opportunities to see waterspouts. ICWR has been a fantastic entity to partner with to share what I often see from my back porch, and showcase what our waters are capable of!

Robert Meister

My name is Robert Meister. I was born and grew up in Germany. In 1979, my family and I moved to Nassau, Bahamas. At age 17, I was on a small boat with friends spearfishing off Nassau when 3 large waterspouts were heading for our boat. We sheltered on a nearby small island and watched two waterspouts dissipate while the third one went over another island and violently pulled up a bird vertically inside its funnel. This incident, and a few other key weather events involving lightning and hurricanes that happened to me while young, evolved into a fascination and admiration of weather and meteorology. 

I am a trained severe storms spotter and storm chaser. In 2022, I joined up with waterspout legend Wade Szilagyi to chase waterspouts in The Bahamas. In 2023, I participated in a week-long storm chasing lecture tour in the Midwest with tornado legend Roger Hill. I am currently enrolled at Penn State University in their Meteorology Department’s Weather Forecasting Certificate program to advance my weather and forecasting skills further.

Besides chasing waterspouts, I record and log every reported waterspout (and tornado) observed in The Bahamas and relay any waterspout reportes to the ICWR for research and statistics. My Facebook group, "Bahamas Weather Watchers", provides pertinent and timely Bahamas weather information and updates for its members.

Steve Marshall

I'm Steve “Mainstreet” Marshall, based in Erie Pennsylvania. I have worked in television weather as a Certified Severe Weather Specialist since 1994, now semi-retired, focusing on storm chasing and spout hunting for WJET TV in Erie. I've been an active Storm Chaser since 1972, having started “organized chasing” in SE Oklahoma long before the internet, on-board radar feeds or video cameras. In 1998 I became the first Storm Chaser to be sponsored by an automotive manufacturer, first with Hyundai, and then Saturn 2000 to 2002, appearing at dealer events and in a limited run TV commercial. I was under contract to The Weather Channel in their first years on air.

My job today is to be in the field as storms approach our region, get video, do live reports and give our Meteorologists the “ground truth”. This is an especially important role as our area is about 100 miles from any of the 4 National Weather Service Doppler Radars that cover the region and the lack of low level radar coverage sometimes gives us unpleasant weather surprises.

While Lake Erie usually doesn't offer the spectacular water spouts of the Mediterranean, the Bahamas or even Florida, due to the area's enormous pleasure boating industry and numerous beaches, a dedicated watchful eye is needed on those spout risk days in the fall.

David Piano

My name is David Piano and I’m based in Ingersoll, Ontario. I am fortunate to live so close to 3 of the Great Lakes, especially warm Lake Erie which tends to be a prolific waterspout producer in the late summer / fall. My love for weather began at a young age and I now enjoy combining my passion for storm chasing / meteorology with my passion for photography by documenting and photographing various weather phenomena out in the field. Waterspouts are one of my favorite subjects to track down as they often have surprises in store regarding their appearance, behaviour and tendency to develop in families. These factors make for interesting photo opportunities. I see waterspout hunting as a challenge since it is one of the tougher weather phenomena to forecast and relies on intricate details in the lowest reaches of the atmosphere. Often, high resolution models will hint at the development of a land-breeze convergence zone overnight on the lakes but may fail to resolve convective details. It then comes down to pattern recognition and understanding the parameters that prove conducive to the development of waterspouts. Over the past 4 years especially, my ability to find Great Lakes spouts has improved substantially and I have now documented more than 60 waterspouts/funnels over Lake Erie, Lake Huron and Lake Ontario. Aside from the photography aspect, I also enjoy being able to help document waterspout occurrences as many I have seen may not have been captured and documented otherwise.

Jeff Barnes

My name is Jeff Barnes, and I am 37 years old from Chardon, Ohio, U.S. Chardon is well known for its heavy lake effect snow, averaging 112 inches a year downwind from Lake Erie. I enjoy fishing, as well as observing our crazy weather around Ohio’s snowbelt county's (Lake, Geauga, and Astabula Counties). While fishing in 2016, I saw a huge waterspout in front of the Fairport Harbor west break lighthouse. On that day, I was instantly hooked. During my early days of waterspout chasing, I did not know how to find them, so I started investigating and found the ICWR. The ICWR has helped me so much with my passion of filming, taking pictures, observing and documenting waterspouts. With the help of the director of the ICWR and the rest of the team, I have now observed 72 waterspout funnels and 7 mature waterspouts over Lake Erie. I have learned so much about waterspouts and how to look for them. I look forward to continuing my work with the ICWR to further help understand and forecast waterspouts. I also hope to see tornadic waterspouts or land tornadoes in the future. I am very fortunate to live only 12 miles south of Lake Erie, as it is a hotspot for waterspout activity and it's lake effect weather patterns all year around.

Rising Star

Jonas Hinderer

My name is Jonas, and I am a 16-year-old waterspout chaser/weather enthusiast from Brunswick, Ohio. I have always been interested in weather since I was a kid but about 3 years ago, I got interested in looking for waterspouts over Lake Erie. Lake Erie is especially a very interesting hotspot for fall waterspouts since it absorbs heat over the summer very well leading to cold air masses passing over creating some of the most unbelievable waterspouts I’ve ever seen. The ICWR has helped me with my passion for spotting and forecasts unbelievably well and my contribution to spotting for them has helped a lot as well. I am looking forward to keeping working with the ICWR and seeing my favorite weather phenomenon on my home waters of Lake Erie!