Tony Laubach is an American professional storm chaser and Meteorologist. He has participated in several field research projects and is one of the surviving members of TWISTEX. He has been contracted as a severe weather photojournalist for various major television networks, starred in several television shows, including Seasons 3 through 5 of "Storm Chasers" on Discovery Channel
Laubach is the Weather Warrior for WSIL-TV in Carterville, Illinois and was brought onto the team on July 31, 2013. In 2015, Laubach created and produced a nine-part segment that aired every Wednesday from May 3-July 8 called Weather Warrior Wednesday. It was a weekly package detailing his storm chasing that he produced from the field. He did a second season of his Weather Warrior segment in 2016, airing between May 4-July 13 featuring eight packages and two narratives. In August 2016, Laubach is to start doing fill-in weather broadcasts on the weekend morning news shows.
Laubach was the Contributing Producer, one of the Videographers, and one of the featured talent in KMGH 7News's 2011 television news special, "Tracking Twisters". The special has received two awards; one in 2011 from the Colorado Broadcast Association for "Best Single Program Including News Magazine Programs" and the other a 2012 regional Emmy award from the National Television Academy Heartland Chapter for "Magazine Program/Weather Program".
His images and footage have been used by networks including CNN, ABC News, Good Morning America, Fox News, The Weather Channel, The National Geographic Channel, The Discovery Channel, The Travel Channel, Associated Press, Univision, Women's Entertainment, and numerous local media news outlets nationwide.
Laubach was a contributor to the TornadoAlleyLive.com website.
Laubach has earned undergraduate and graduate degrees.
2016 Master of Science in Professional Media and Media Management Studies
Concentration in New Media and Journalism
Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, IL
2009 Bachelor of Science in Meteorology and Technical Communications
Minor in Mathematics, Concentration in Interactive Media
Metropolitan University College, Denver, CO
Prior to college, he graduated high school in 1999 from John F Kennedy High School in Denver, Colorado after relocating from Ohio where he attended Circleville High School in Circleville, Ohio.
Storm chase career
Laubach's first chase was in May 1997 where he documented a small tornado near Clarksburg, Ohio. After moving to Colorado, he began his professional career in 2002 and has since been featured on several television specials with his video work appearing nationally across various major networks.
From 2007 through 2011, Laubach was a permanent participant in the field research project, TWISTEX, headed up by engineer, Tim Samaras. He was in charge of operations in a mesonet vehicle, taking measurements of RFD in supercell and tornado-producing storms. From 2009-2011, He was part of TWISTEX featured in Storm Chasers.
In 2008, Laubach took part in the filming of shows for the National Geographic Channel and Women's Entertainment, both shows airing in early/mid-2009. In 2011, Laubach was part of the filming for the KMGH special, "Tracking Twisters", airing in July 2011.
On May 24, 2011, Laubach saw his 200th career tornado in Fairview, Oklahoma.
In 2012, Laubach returned to solo chasing.
On May 31, 2013, Laubach documented the largest tornado on record near El Reno, Oklahoma. That tornado took the lives of his fellow TWISTEX teammates Tim Samaras, Paul Samaras, and Carl Young of South Lake Tahoe, California. Laubach escaped the storm by less than a minute early in its life-cycle as it was quickly growing to its record width and was three miles south of his TWISTEX teammates when the storm struck them.
On May 24, 2016 near Dodge City, Laubach saw his 300th career tornado.
Credited television appearances
- Twister Sisters - Episode 6, Women's Entertainment (Aired January 15, 2009)
- Disaster Labs - Into the Tornado, National Geographic Channel (Aired May 14, 2009)
- Storm Chasers - Ep. 13, "Storm Catchers", Discovery Channel (Aired October 18, 2009)
- Storm Chasers - Ep. 14, "Bigger In Texas", Discovery Channel (aired October 25, 2009)
- Storm Chasers - Ep. 16, "Inside The Tornado", Discovery Channel (aired November 8, 2009)
- Storm Chasers - Ep. 17, "Not In Kansas Anymore", Discovery Channel (aired November 15, 2009)
- Storm Chasers - Ep. 19, "Sean Casey At The Bat", Discovery Channel (aired November 29, 2009)
- Storm Chasers - Ep. 20, "EF-3 Strikes You're Out", Discovery Channel (aired November 29, 2009)
- Storm Chasers - Ep. 21, "What Goes Around", Discovery Channel (aired October 13, 2010)
- Storm Chasers - Storm Chasers 2010 Greatest Storms, Discovery Channel (aired October 14, 2010)
- Storm Chasers - Ep. 22, "Why We Chase", Discovery Channel (aired October 20, 2010)
- Storm Chasers - Ep. 24, "Dedication", Discovery Channel (aired November 3, 2010)
- Storm Chasers - Ep. 25, "Smoke Monster", Discovery Channel (aired November 10, 2010)
- Storm Chasers - Ep. 26, "Perfect Storm", Discovery Channel (aired November 17, 2010)
- Storm Chasers - Ep. 27, "Twilight Zone", Discovery Channel (aired November 24, 2010)
- Storm Chasers - Ep. 28, "Judgment Day", Discovery Channel (aired December 1, 2010)
- Storm Chasers - Behind The Storms, Discovery Channel (aired December 8, 2010)
- Tracking Twisters - KMGH ABC 7News (Aired July 31, 2011), also credited as Photographer
Laubach was featured in the opening credits of Storm Chasers in season 5, but never appeared in an episode.
Credited print publications
The Colorado Weather Almanac - Mike Nelson
Tornado Hunter, Getting Inside the Most Violent Storms On Earth - Stefan Bechtel
- National Television Academy Heartland Chapter Regional Emmy Award, 2012 "Magazine Program/Weather Program" for "Tracking Twisters" (Contributing Producer/Videographer/featured talent)
- Colorado Broadcast Association, 2011 "Best Single Program Including News Magazine Programs" for "Tracking Twisters" (Contributing Producer/Videographer/featured talent)
- Weatherwise, 2012 Photo Contest "Third Prize" for "The sun sets through a supercell featuring arc clouds and a banded underside of an anvil cloud, photographed near Tryon, Nebraska, on August 17, 2011."
- Weatherwise, 2012 Photo Contest "Honorable Mention" for "The sun sets at the end of a stormy day near Pratt, Kansas, on May 20, 2011."
- 303 Magazine, 2009 "Odd Job Of The Year" Award
- 2012/03/01 - Continuous Upper Air Profiling Near an EF3 Tornado
- 2008/10/27 - TWISTEX 2008: In situ and mobile mesonet observations of tornadoes