Alan Roger Moller (February 1, 1950 – June 19, 2014) was an American meteorologist, storm chaser, nature and landscape photographer known for advancing spotter training and bridging operational meteorology (particularly severe storms forecasting) with research.[2]

Al Moller
Born(1950-02-01)February 1, 1950
DiedJune 19, 2014(2014-06-19) (aged 64)
Ft. Worth, Texas, U.S.[1]
Alma materUniversity of Oklahoma
Known forStorm spotter training, weather forecasting, photography
Scientific career
InstitutionsNational Weather Service
Thesis The Climatology and Synoptic Meteorology of Southern Plains' Tornado Outbreaks  (1979)

Early years


Moller was born in Fort Worth, Texas, on February 1, 1950, grew up in the South Hills section of Fort Worth, and attended R. L. Paschal High School. He studied meteorology at the University of Oklahoma (OU) where he earned B.S. and M.S. degrees in the late 1960s and early 1970s. He made a career as a forecaster at the National Weather Service (NWS).

Storm prediction pioneer


Moller was influential in developing the national Skywarn storm spotter training program, he produced, appeared in, and provided photography for its training film Tornadoes: A Spotter's Guide (1977) and its training video StormWatch (1995), and he collaboratively developed the concept of the "integrated warning system".[3] He was influential in developing new spotter training materials in the 1970s that were used nationally and he continued to refine training materials and techniques throughout his career. Moller intensively trained spotters in his NWS office area of responsibility in North Texas as well as around the country by way of frequent speaking engagements. Himself an amateur radio operator, he was enthusiastic at the ground truth information provided via amateur radio.[4]

Moller believed that storm chasing was important in providing field experience for spotter trainers as well for forecasting convective weather. He viewed chasing as an important avenue in providing imagery illustrating storm processes for spotter training and public preparedness. Moller passionately photographed storms and skyscapes, actively shared this imagery, and was also a noted nature and landscape photographer.[5] Moller began chasing as a graduate student of OU and was a participant in the first organized scientific storm chasing projects, such as the NSSL/OU Tornado Intercept Project, in the early 1970s.[6] He was a forecaster for Project VORTEX in 1994–1995.[7]

Moller participated in major pieces of media coverage regarding forecasting storms and storm spotting and chasing. He was an important contributor to Storm Track magazine and wrote or co-wrote dozens of scientific journal articles, conference papers, and monograph chapters. Moller was a fellow of the American Meteorological Society (AMS).[8] The Texas Severe Storms Association (TESSA) made a formal tribute to Moller upon his retirement and established the Alan R. Moller Severe Weather Education and Research Scholarship a few years prior to his death.[9]

Father of the storm spotter training system


Moller is sometimes referred to as, the "Father" of the storm spotter training system utilized by the National Weather Service to train storm spotter groups across the US. He utilized his storm photography skills to produce weather images he incorporated during spotter training classes, and in training publications. A storm spotter is a volunteer who watches nearby storms, most often from a vehicle, and reports what they see to the National Weather Service who cannot see features like tornado ground circulation with radar. Moller understood the spotter's role in providing "ground truth verification" and was passionate about developing a formal method for training them.



"Terrible Tuesday" (1984) Moller appears in this documentary about the deadly Wichita Falls, Texas of April 10, 1979.

"StormWatch" (1995) A storm spotter training video produced by Moller, meteorologist Gary Woodall, and TESSA chairman and filmmaker Martin Lisius with financial support from the Meadows Foundation of Dallas. "StormWatch" was conceived when Moller approached Lisius and expressed his desire to offer a video that could update the earlier "Tornadoes - A Spotter's Guide."

"The Chasers of Tornado Alley" (1996) Moller and research meteorologist Charles A. Doswell III appear in this award-winning documentary about storm chasing produced and directed by storm chaser and filmmaker Martin Lisius.



"Alan R. Moller - Chaser, Photographer, and Forecaster Extraordinaire" written by Charles A. Doswell III

"Some Memories of Al Moller" by Storm Prediction Center meteorologist Roger Edwards

"Remembering Al Moller" by engineer and meteorologist Timothy P. Marshall

Personal life


Moller contracted early-onset Alzheimer's disease and died of complications thereof on June 19, 2014, aged 64.[1] Moller enjoyed drag racing and fast cars, baseball, travel, western art, barbecue, and blues music.[10]


  1. ^ a b "Alan Moller Obituary – Fort Worth, Texas". Greenwood Funeral Home. June 19, 2014. Retrieved June 20, 2014.
  2. ^ "Remembering Al Moller". National Weather Service Fort Worth Texas. June 2014. Retrieved June 20, 2014.
  3. ^ Doswell III, Charles A.; A. R. Moller; H. E. Brooks (1999). "Storm Spotting and Public Awareness since the First Tornado Forecasts of 1948". Weather Forecast. 14 (4): 544–57. Bibcode:1999WtFor..14..544D. CiteSeerX doi:10.1175/1520-0434(1999)014<0544:SSAPAS>2.0.CO;2.
  4. ^ "SKYWARN Pioneer Alan R. Moller, N5ZCB, SK". News. American Radio Relay League. June 24, 2014. Retrieved June 25, 2014.
  5. ^ Doswell, Chuck (June 19, 2014). "The passing of Alan R. Moller". Chuck's Chatter. Retrieved June 20, 2014.
  6. ^ Naftel, Blake (June 20, 2014). "Al Moller". News. Storm Chasing History and Anthology. Retrieved June 20, 2014.
  7. ^ Lisius, Martin (2006). "TESSA 2006 Texas Storm Conference". Presenters. Texas Severe Storms Association. Retrieved June 21, 2014.
  8. ^ "List of AMS Fellows". American Meteorological Society. June 20, 2014. Archived from the original on July 25, 2014. Retrieved June 20, 2014.
  9. ^ Lisius, Martin. "TESSA Alan R. Moller Severe Weather Education and Research College Scholarship". Texas Severe Storms Association. Retrieved June 20, 2014.
  10. ^ Kerrin, Patrick (February 25, 2009). "Another Tribute to Al Moller". Canadian Texan. Retrieved June 20, 2014.