Trent Bosler just remembers the noise.
The noise of the hail smacking the ground, the thunder and the 40 mph winds all combining to make a classic super cell.
He watched from less than a quarter-mile away as the tornado swallowed the ground.
Bosler and his fellow storm chaser recorded footage and data to track the severe storm that hit West Point on June 14, 2013.
“It’s a lot of adrenaline,” 19-year-old Bosler told the Norfolk Daily News. “But ultimately, we’re there to help the communities.”
That was the first chase he can remember.
Since then, Bosler, a Lutheran High Northeast graduating senior, has used his passion for weather forecasting and storm chasing to help Northeast Nebraska residents.
But he can’t go to the gas station without getting questions about the weather contraption that is mounted on his white 2008 Impala.
Bosler doesn’t mind.
He explains to regular onlookers that on top of his car is a Davis Weather Station, which transmits information to a weather-center device on the inside that tracks the data. The weather center displays anything from kite-flying weather, to a tornado, to the lunar eclipse that happened earlier this year.
The $1,600 spent on weather devices comes from an average 20 hours a week worked at Divots Convention Center in Norfolk.
“I worked hard to get all of this,” Bosler said, “and with it, I’m going to pursue my dream.”
All he wants to do is help people.
First, he had to overcome his childhood fear of thunder and lightning.
“I guess I just grew out of it,” he said. “I always hated seeing people lose their homes, and I wanted to give something back to try to protect that from happening.”
Bosler began pursuing his dream by volunteering for the Sioux Land Severe Weather Network as a high school freshman and has worked for it ever since. The network reports weather from Northeast Nebraska to northwest Iowa and parts of South Dakota
The most important part of Bosler’s job is just letting people know what he’s seeing. When he chases storms, he calls into the National Weather Service in Nebraska to report what’s happening on the ground, and he uses social media to get the word out.
Bosler became a certified storm spotter by taking basic classes through the National Weather Service in Nebraska, but he wants to further his education, so he can eventually work for the National Weather Service as a forecaster or a researcher.
“Ultimately, it’s wherever God takes me,” he said. “I’m doing it for His glory.”
After graduation, Bosler will attend Northeast Community College for his general education credits before going to Iowa State for a meteorology degree.
His aspirations have always been supported by his teachers and high school friends, Bosler said.
After middle school at Wisner-Pilger, Bosler transferred to Lutheran High Northeast for his four years of high school.
“I wasn’t ready to make new friends,” he said. “But I had one warm welcome, so I eventually made them.”
The high school’s motto is “brotherhood.”
“Everybody here has got your back,” Bosler said.
His dad, Loren Bosler, said he hopes Trent will pursue his dreams beyond high school. As a farmer, Loren is excited about Trent wanting to help the community prepare for impending weather.
“I’ve encouraged him to do what he loves to do,” Loren said.
Throughout Trent’s time at Lutheran High Northeast, he has dabbled in the drama department, been the football team manager and the official leader of the “day-by-day” chant before games, and volunteered at Mercy Meals in Norfolk.
His most time-consuming hobby, however, is Civil War re-enactments.
In 2008, Trent followed his mom, Janet, to a Prairie Days re-enactment event in Tilden. A Union soldier was out for the day, so Trent got a wool coat and an American flag and jumped into the scene for the first time.
Six years later, he has a collection of Civil War artifacts, such as a canteen, rifle, bayonet and full wool uniform.
“I just love showing people history,” Trent said. “I love to show people how things took place.”
Between a love for Civil War history and weather tracking, Trent chose to pursue the latter in his future plans.
“I love teaching people history,” Trent said. “But my decision came back to just protecting. I want to give back to the community, and weather forecasting is how I’m going to do it.”
Trent said he will miss his teachers, his close-knit graduating class and the overall environment as he goes into his college years.
But Trent said he’s ready for the challenge and ready to help the community.
“Never stop chasing,” he said.
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