Ben McMillan

Field Correspondent

Ben McMillan started storm chasing during his high school years growing up in Pella, Iowa and it has stuck with him ever since. Focusing on a career in public service, Ben has worked in law enforcement, for several hospitals, and currently works in the Fire/EMS system in Phoenix, Arizona.

After witnessing the many severe storms growing up in rural Iowa, Ben chose to combine his interests of public service and weather by becoming a professional storm chaser. While enrolled at Iowa State University, Ben worked for the campus police department and co-founded Iowa State’s student news program “Newswatch 18” frequently contributing weather videos to the show.

In 2008, Ben tracked and witnessed Iowa’s last EF-5 tornado, the strongest type of tornado that can be recorded by scientists.

Ben was credited as being one of the initial storm spotters that tracked the storm, and helped alert the town of Parkersburg a tornado was coming its way.

Ben worked for KCCI television in Des Moines before joining the WeatherNation team, and has been featured in several Emmy-nominated and/or Emmy winning news stories. Ben was also honored by companies such as Ford and Red Bull in their portrayal of people making a difference in their communities through service-oriented jobs.

In his free time, Ben enjoys spending time with his family in Arizona, their horse and several dogs. Ben is also an aviation enthusiast who hopes to someday get his pilot’s license, and loves being in the great outdoors.

Q&A with Ben McMillan

What inspired you to become a field correspondent and pursue a career as an on-air weather caster?
Through my time working as a first responder, I witnessed the profound impact natural disasters have had on people and their communities. A tornado, hurricane, or wildfire is an extreme weather act that is lifechanging for the many families that have to pick up the pieces after dealing with these disasters. I have devoted my career to helping people prepare before, react during, and recover after these terrible events.
What is your most memorable weather experience?
During June of 2014, I tracked the historic "twin tornadoes" that impacted the community of Pilger, Nebraska. We had two strong tornadoes (EF-4s) drop out of the sky simultaneously move alongside each other’s path. This was a very rare weather event to watch and have the 2 strong tornadoes co-exist so long next to each other.
Outside of weather what are your hobbies and life interests?
Besides spending time with family and in the great outdoors, I am a huge sports fan. I follow my local teams in Arizona very closely rooting for the Cardinals, Suns, Diamondbacks, and Coyotes! I dream of watching the Cardinals play in a Super Bowl someday, hopefully soon.
Besides your parents who has influenced you the most in your life?
I had the privilege to be a part of the TWISTEX tornado research team in 2011 and work with storm chasing greats like the late Tim and Paul Samaras, the late Carl Young, Tony Laubach, and Ed Grubb. The positive attitude and sense of teamwork displayed by the TWISTEX team was second to none. The way the team members conducted themselves not only as chasers, but as people. This still serves as a guide for my professional and personal relationships today. Tim would always say "Keep your focus on your passion in life and the things you enjoy doing. You'll get there. Trust me. I'm doing it."
What is a little known fact about you?
During college, I worked for Walt Disney's College Program and worked as one of the cast members who operates the ride "Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin" in Tomorrowland at Disney World's Magic Kingdom. I dressed up in a space suit, and dodged laser beams throughout the day during my sophomore year of college.
What are your hopes and dreams for the profession of weather?
When I joined the WeatherNation team it was the best fit possible for my life-long goal of bettering the warning process for people in the path of dangerous storms. WeatherNation's 24/7 weather coverage provides a critical information source for people, always there, around the clock. Our meteorologists are ready to answer the call whenever the weather becomes hazardous. By providing up-to-date information to our team back in the studio from the front lines of storms, I can contribute to our coverage and do my part to help keep people safe.

Tweets

An updated look at #wind concerns for the West Coast heading into Monday morning: https://t.co/jLOYV39uE4

2 hours ago by WeatherNation

Freezing rain accumulated to 1/4"+ in a few spots in the Northeast on Sunday: #NJwx #PAwx https://t.co/YwpQ9RNV3T

3 hours ago by WeatherNation

If you missed hitting the slopes this weekend, here's a video from a ski lift to help you feel like you didn't.… https://t.co/tXEqNOmT3T

4 hours ago by WeatherNation

Running away from the cold for the holidays? If you're heading to Miami, well, :) #FLwx https://t.co/zIjjKTqkT9

4 hours ago by WeatherNation

Powerful storms continue to slam the West Coast and this will lead to high surf through the week. https://t.co/bNCLlIaI3t

6 hours ago by WeatherNation

It's now officially Roanoke, VA's wettest year on record! #VAwx https://t.co/GTB7J4YdOf

6 hours ago by WeatherNation

The temperature will feel like it's zero degrees in spots! #Winter https://t.co/4ftXI3axzh

8 hours ago by WeatherNation

PARADE OF STORMS: Yet another set of alerts to add to a growing list. Multiple storms will hit the northwest into n… https://t.co/JLn6U3Vivu

9 hours ago by WeatherNation

Rain will be moving out of the Philadelphia area shortly, here's the soggy view from earlier. https://t.co/VW5tyEXPge

10 hours ago by WeatherNation

The morning rush in Maine could be tricky - give yourself extra time as you head on into work tomorrow! #MEwx https://t.co/MCcvfW1Utm

10 hours ago by WeatherNation

🚗🚘HEADS UP COMMUTERS! 🚘🚗 #Fog will greet you on the roadways Monday morning. Visibility will begin to drop after m… https://t.co/dnEzEbL7vv

11 hours ago by WeatherNation

Snow and ice will be a concern just outside of the big cities overnight tonight and into Monday AM: #MAwx #PAwxhttps://t.co/kTM8kPbAOA

11 hours ago by WeatherNation

Washington D.C. is at its wettest year on record - already over two inches over its previous high mark from 1889:… https://t.co/qoVjcOsp63

12 hours ago by WeatherNation

BUZZ WORD: Atmospheric Rivers. They're expected to bring heavy rain and snow to the west, but do you know what the… https://t.co/A0cQR1swcq

14 hours ago by WeatherNation

Gorgeous sunrise this morning in Greers Ferry, AR!☀️ https://t.co/LPDf1yKa1r

14 hours ago by WeatherNation

Check out this incredible morning satellite view of swollen rivers in South Carolina. Recent heavy rains and snow m… https://t.co/lwTxSeZAK7

15 hours ago by WeatherNation

Freezing Fog took over lower Michigan today. Making for some pretty pictures from @NWSGaylord , but dangerous road… https://t.co/7AGCuE7Qm6

15 hours ago by WeatherNation

Soggy weather continues for the northwest! Stay dry! https://t.co/JELGVKdclR https://t.co/qsUS78IctU

16 hours ago by WeatherNation

With Denver staying well above their average high, this dog is staying cool up in the mountains! ⛰️ ❄️ https://t.co/eHMvvtyzSS

17 hours ago by WeatherNation
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