An integral piece of Drum Corps International’s continued commitment to participant and spectator safety is the ever-present topic of weather. As part of DCI’s preseason meetings held June 10-12 in Indianapolis, weather professionals shared important safety and forecasting information with key stakeholders in DCI’s 2022 Summer Tour event operations.
DCI’s presenters on the topic of weather, Dr. Kevin Kloesel and Spencer Adkins, are familiar faces to the drum corps community, having contributed to several meetings and conversations in recent years.
“Spencer and I will have the responsibility of trying to make sure forecasts are good,” Kloesel said. “But ultimately, the boots on the ground are the people who we met with this weekend. We had an opportunity to meet them, see what their needs are, and to take them through some experimentation and some scenarios. It's all the learning process that's required to have a safe summer.”
Dr. Kevin Kloesel is the director of the Oklahoma Climatological Survey and a university meteorologist for the Oklahoma University Department of Campus Safety. Spencer Adkins has held the position of chief meteorologist for WOWK TV in West Virginia since 1997.
The two provided plenty of insight and beneficial information to a group of Drum Corps International event safety managers and contest coordinators. Their weather-related discussion ranged across a variety of subtopics, including decision-making, real-world examples, and technology for weather analysis.
“Meteorologists have the opportunity to see the entirety of the three-dimensional atmosphere; weather apps just can't do that,” Kloesel said. “We’re making sure that the individuals who are taking care of the safety at DCI events understand what they're looking at and understand how that information can be used.”
According to Kloesel and Adkins, weather safety as it relates to live events is a rapidly-moving target, and creates many ripple effects through other corners of a given event’s operation. Key in-the-moment decisions related to weather and the prioritization of safety can impact a variety of event-related details.
As such, the convening of meetings prior to the 2022 DCI Tour’s June 24 kickoff was essential in order to put all event management personnel on the same page.
“You don't just snap your fingers and the show stops. So many things change,” Adkins said. “Even if you think about Finals Week in Indianapolis, if we make a change, that changes literally the whole flow of traffic in the town, things that you wouldn't think about.”
“We appreciate what everybody else is doing on the management side,” he added. “And they can appreciate some of the decisions that we have to make on the meteorological side.”
Ultimately, while Kloesel and Adkins are distinguished professionals in their fields, they’re also fond admirers of the drum corps activity. Both individuals shared a gratitude to be involved in the drum corps community — a gratitude Drum Corps International reciprocates for their efforts and contributions — and an excitement to help create a safe stage for performance and competition across the country this summer.
“This is a great thrill for us. It's a professional challenge,” Kloesel said. “We do understand that there's some pressure that goes with this, but also, we are so privileged and honored to be assisting in this way to keep this activity as safe as it can possibly be.”
“We’re as excited as all the fans to see what the corps are going to bring us this year,” Adkins added. “We're happy to be able to take part in it and help keep people safe.”