August 2017 by Anton Kapela

Time waits for no one!  How did I get so busy in retirement?  Actually, I do work a part-time job (supporting Social Security and Medicare!) on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.  It's nice to meet different people on the job and also look at the sky while I drive my routes!

I uploaded 32 new SLC Club pictures to the SLC Club web site over the August 19-20th weekend.  They can be found on a new page entitled 2017.  Take a look!  We finally have an entry from Australia!  I'm still trying to get some SLC images from South America and Asia (I can use your help).

Additionally, I added a new page concerning the purchase of SLC T-shirts.  It can be found in the "Information" tab in the menu bar.

As for the total solar eclipse on August 21st - I'll wait to see the images and videos posted on Twitter, Facebook and on commercial TV/Cable.  Hopefully, there will enough breaks in the expected clouds over southern Wisconsin during the eclipse!


2017 Already? by Anton Kapela

Ouch!  March 24, 2017!  Haven't done a thing with this blog since last August.  Good thing I don't do this for a living. It's unreal how busy one gets in retirement!  Actually, I do work a part-time job...for money!  I'm a delivery guy for a company that provides clean floor mats, towels, shop rags, aprons and uniforms to various businesses.  I have two defined routes and the number of stops varies from week to week. It's a physical job - I'm getting paid to work out!  I bring the dirty mats and bags of whatever back to the shop for washing/drying. Then repeat the next week.

I added one more SLC picture today.

The hail swath associated with a severe storm in the evening of March 23rd just missed my local neighborhood, but a mile away some cars were "dinged" by the hailstones ranging in diameter from 1/2 inch to 1.25 inches.  Even 12 hours later small piles of hailstones remained on the ground in low spots as rain water washed the stones off road surfaces.

Tomorrow, March 25th, I talk about the SLC Club at a severe weather seminar (2017 Dark Skies) sponsored by MidWest SSTRC at Madison College.  The seminar goes from 8am to 430 pm, There are several speakers lined up, including a severe weather spotter class conducted by the Milwaukee-Sullivan NWS office.

I will do a spotter class on April 10, 2017, at the Delavan FD building on Ann Street, from 1 to 3 pm. Hope I remember how to do it!  It should go well, I'm using the current 2017 spotter slide set developed by the Sullivan office.


August 27, 2016 by Anton Kapela

Where did the summer go?  Not much in the way of "heavy-hitting" severe weather in southeastern Wisconsin this year.  That's OK with me.  I don't wish severe weather on anyone.  It may not seem like it, but the U.S. still averages the most tornadoes annually.

I've never chased severe storms or tornadoes.   I guess I got my fill while working for the NWS for 36.5 years.  However, I did observe the April 21, 1974 tornado that eventually tracked northeast through Oshkosh, WI.  I wasn't chasing, but rather, driving back to UW-Madison after visiting friends in Neenah, WI.  I drove dab-smack into a squall line which was moving through eastern Wisconsin.  Due to heavy rains, poor visibility, hailstones and gusty winds on the order of 40 to 50 mph, I pulled over to the side of I-41 a bit south of the STH 26 intersection to wait out the storm (other vehicles did the same).

Eventually the rain and hail stopped but it remained windy with my car displaying a slight rocking motion (so much for the calm before the tornado idea!).  From my I-41 location I then observed the development of a funnel cloud and then the tornado.  Yes, I couldn't believe it!

I thought I was about 2-3 miles away from the tornado but years later found out I was about 7-8 miles away!   Guess I can't judge distances better than anyone else!

I took 21 pictures (35mm slides) of the tornado as it moved northeast, however, the battery of my Cannon Super-8 movie camera quickly ran dead.

Here are a couple of the scanned pictures: 

Above I chose to show picture #1, #9 and #18.  Obviously, it was a multiple-vortex tornado, as revealed in #18.  The tornado in picture #18 was west/northwest of my surface position, but still southwest of Oshkosh.

The parent supercell thunderstorm moved northeast.  Therefore, the tornado was on the backside (rear) of the storm, relative to it motion.  This is pretty much standard for supercell thunderstorms.  Note, there was no rain in the immediate vicinity of this tornado.  However, in other cases, a tornado can become rain-wrapped and difficult to see.

Ultimately, per request, I had 560 duplicate slides made of the original 21.  Some folks wanted the complete set while others wanted one or two.  Number 18 was duplicated the most, naturally.  The tornado was well behind the barn.

You can find more information about this tornado on-line by using a browser and typing this phrase:  1974 Oshkosh tornado.

Since 1974 I've seen two rotating wall clouds but no other tornadoes.  None of the many homes or apartments I've lived in (in the Cleveland, OH, Sioux Falls, SD, and Milwaukee-Madison areas have been affected by tornado winds. Lucky?

Post 2 - 10 Lashes with the wet noodle by Anton Kapela

My daughter, Tracy Kapela, pointed out to me that it's been about 10 months since I made my first blog posting. Ouch!  I'm still trying to sort out my retirement and I have to admit I was getting lazy adding new SLC pictures to the gallery and of course posting something in this blog.

Today, July 24th, I added over 70 new scary-looking cloud pictures which I've been storing since the 2015 summer.  As with the pictures previously put into the SLC Club, the quality remains high!  A BIG thanks to all of you who graciously submitted your pictures.  You were in the right place at the right time!  Your pictures will add to the educational content of this web site - and that's why this site exists....for education and also FUN!

Some of you already know - I sell a Scary-Looking Cloud Club t-shirt for $15 plus shipping.  I don't make much money, in fact, I donate 50% of the profits to local non-profits.  Milwaukee Area Skywarn Association (MASA) and MidWest Severe Storm Tracking and Response Center (SSTRC) are two of the non-profits.  If you're not interested in purchasing the t-shirt, perhaps you have a relative or friend is always talking about the weather - they'll probably like the t-shirt!


There is only one color as seen above.  Men's sizes S, M, L, XL, 2XL, 3XL, 4XL, 5XL.  Material is a blend - 50% cotton and 50% polyester.  To place an order, email me at  I need your mailing address and a check or money order upfront.

One of my SLC goals is to have pictures from 6 continents: North & South America, Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia. Yes, Antarctica is the 7th continent, but the chances of getting a picture from someone down there is very remote!  Currently, we have pictures from North America, Europe and Africa.  If you have any contacts in Asia, Australia or South America - encourage them to submit a SLC picture to:   Thanks!

I'm exploring the idea of posting short video clips of scary-looking cloud.  More on that later - don't know the impact on storage capacity & bandwidth issues.

I've been asked by many people if I ever chased tornadoes.  The answer is no.  Never had time while actively working for the National Weather Service.  Ironically, I'm very busy in retirement.  However, I happened to be in the right place at the right time on April 21, 1974 and took 21 pictures of the Oshkosh tornado as it developed and approached the city.  I'll post some of those pictures in a future blog post!

GreetingS! by Anton Kapela

The Scary Looking Cloud Club web site migrated to a new site on October 1, 2015.  Same great stuff, but just a new domain and slightly different structure.

Our new URL is:

If you navigate to the old URL of... will re-directed or referred to the new URL.

From time to time I will comment on added SLC pictures and other weather-related items.

The SLC Club web site wouldn't be what it is without the help and efforts of my daughter Tracy Kapela.  She designed the logo and second SLC Club web page in the fall of 2013.  She taught me how to set up our new web page (version 3) in the fall of 2015 using Squarespace.

Also - a thanks is extended toSteve Davis, Lead Forecaster & office webmaster, set up the original (first) SLC web page in September 2009.  Thanks Steve!   All I had to do was edit some text and post pictures as they came into the office!

As of October 1, 2015, we have 239 pictures in the gallery.  However, we do have a total of 255 pictures we're migrating from the old web site to the new one, plus an additional couple dozen which have never been posted.  Give us some time during this construction phase.  

Rusty Kapela   (retired September 2013)