I'm 2/C Ashleigh Keister and I'm a spontaneous, full-of-energy, fun loving 21-year-old from Louisville, KY. I look forward to spending the next two weeks with some of the coolest and most fun people I know!
So a funny story about me, and my parents can attest to this...when I was younger, I had the biggest fear of storms. I'm serious, it was so bad that when I saw the storm clouds rolling in, I would start to freak out. Any time I heard thunder or saw lightning, I would immediately grab my blanket, a flashlight, a few dozen candles, a bell to ring, my cat, and run down to the basement. I'm not talking a fast walk, here, I truly mean that I would sprint down to the basement and plop myself down on the bed and curl up in the corner until my parents got down there. It didn't matter if the tornado sirens were going off or not because if I was scared, that's where I would go. Now, as embarrassing as it may be, this phase lasted until the summer before my freshman year of high school. It was all thanks to my dad for helping me out with my fear by providing some silly analogy that is far too embarrassing to write about on here. If you ask me in person, I will gladly share that with you.
After this phase passed, I began to enjoy the beauty of the storms that rolled across my city and actually looked forward to the severe weather. Because I live in a city, storm-watching isn't very easy to do unless you enjoy watching through skylines or are fortunate enough to live above the city. For me, the latter was how I did my watching. We lived on the 17th story of an apartment complex facing north so we got to see 180 degrees of horizon from the comfort of our balcony. I believe that living up in the sky before coming to the Academy gave me the love that I have for storms today because I was able to watch a storm develop in the West, feel the temperatures drop and the wind speed pick up, watch it zoom across my city, then pass to the East. This was incredible! I could never get enough of it and I always wanted more. So because of this, it was a no-brainer to choose Oceanography as my major because I wanted to learn all I could about the weather and get my feet wet out in the field a time or two.
With all of that said, I cannot wait to go wheel up on Friday the 13th and start the journey out West to find the storms I am hungry to chase. I'm excited to learn how to predict severe weather and tornadoes and go out to see if my predictions were correct. I can't wait to get in the area of the storm, chase it, and then help the people who have been affected by the storm because I am always ready to lend a helping hand. I will have my camera with me at all times (it's my baby...she goes everywhere with me), so you can look forward to some exciting pictures of the storms and the team!
It's going to be a great time and I hope you can follow us and our adventures on the page!