Meet the Team


Dan Herrstrom

Director of Information Technology Operations

Dan Herrstrom

Director of Information Technology Operations

Dan Herrstrom is a chaser and the Director of Information Technology Operations for the Iowa Weather Network. Dan specializes in making sure the network web interface is reliable, secure, and well-maintained. He also chases multiple events. Dan is also one of the three original founders of the network.

Dan works as an Information Technology professional by trade and resides in Madrid, Iowa, northwest of Des Moines. He works at Des Moines Area Community College as a IT Specialist and also holds an Associates Degree in Network Administration from there as well. He also holds a Bachelors Degree in Applied Computer Science from Morningside College in Sioux City.

Dan is also a firefighter in Madrid, where he notes is partly why he got into the weather world. His two main hobbies remain as computers and weather, and he funneled this into his original website, Iowa-Skywarn.org, founded in 2004. This was one of the three websites that merged together into the Iowa Weather Network in 2012, along with IowaWX.com and iaswc.org.

Derek McKay

Horticulturist

Derek McKay

Horticulturist

Derek McKay is a horticulturist for the Iowa Weather Network. Derek is a degreed horticulturist and writes frequent posts about Iowa prairie and gardening tips, in addition to leading the fall foliage and spring bloom reports.

Derek is 25 and grew up in the town of Clayton, Wisconsin. He moved to south after college to his current city of Cumming, Iowa after stints in Rochester, Minnesota and Cedar Rapids, Iowa. His hobbies include weather, while his passion and career is in the horticultural field. Derek works as a greenhouse and horticulture specialist at Ted Lare Garden Center located in Cumming, where he helps people with plants selections.

Derek's education consists of a degree in horticulture, which he received at University Center Rochester in Rochester, MN. Derek is very involved in the community and spends his spare time volunteering at the Des Moines Botanical Center. He's loved weather and gardening for as long as he can remember, but became highly involved with the weather after the June 2001 straight line wind event in northern Wisconsin. In December 2007, he was inspired to start a weather blog, but now does horticulture columns with the Iowa Weather Network.

Anyone that has questions regarding plants or is in need of something identified is encourage to email him at derek.mckay@iawx.net. He enjoys reading your emails and does a great job responding.

Joey Krastel

Senior Forecaster

Joey Krastel

Senior Forecaster

Jacob Bartels

Assistant Lead Forecaster for Social Media Operations

Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Jacob Bartels

Assistant Lead Forecaster for Social Media Operations

Jordan Hamann

Assistant Lead Forecaster for Hazardous Weather Operations

Mason City, Iowa

Jordan Hamann

Assistant Lead Forecaster for Hazardous Weather Operations

Jordan Hamann is the founder of the twitter account @SKYWARN_NorthIA, of which is in its 2nd year of existence. Jordan was born and continues to live in Mason City, IA.

Mason City is the largest residency in the northern part of the state of Iowa with just over 29,000 people who live there. Mason City is the county seat of Cerro Gordo County of which consists of early 50,000 people.

Jordan has shown interest in weather since he was about 14, and especially after shadowing former Chief Meteorologist Adam Frederick in 2014. Adam has noted Jordan as great young man who aspires to possibly pursue a career in weather.

Currently Jordan is employed by Hy-Vee and Caribou Coffee. While not working, Jordan enjoys hanging out with his close friends, watching/playing basketball, watching football, and finding the latest technological items that spark his interest.

Jordan currently studies at North Iowa Area Community College, pursuing a major in liberal arts. Afterward, Jordan plans to attend a 4-year university in the state of Iowa for an unknown major.

Steven Brown

Social Media Specialist

Steven Brown

Social Media Specialist

Steven Brown is a social media specialist with the Iowa Weather Network. He became part of the team on July 21, 2015. As an avid weather enthusiast, he has been following and learning about weather events since childhood.
Outside of enjoying weather, Steven is a licensed Amateur Radio Operator and an Emergency Communications Dispatcher for the Polk County Sheriff's Office. He's also is part owner of LaLa Salon & Spa in Ankeny, IA.
When he's not working, Steven enjoys being a father, husband, and spending time with hobbies such as web design, fitness, and of course, weather.

Nathan Tranel

Social Media Specialist

Nathan Tranel

Social Media Specialist

Nathan Tranel is a social media specialist with the Iowa Weather Network. He came to be apart of the Network in the winter of 2016. Growing up in Dubuque, Iowa, Nathan has been exposed to countless weather events, from frigid winters, to severe springs, hot and humid summers, and pleasant autumns. He realized his passion for the weather in his freshman year of high school. That passion has since stuck with him. Obviously, Nathan stays busy with other activities than simply watching and studying the weather. He’s often busy preparing for both cross country, as well as track, each a year round activity. Currently, a senior in high school, Nathan is already looking towards the future. These plans include attending college to study meteorology.

Dan Gottschalk

Chaser/Photographer

Olin, Iowa

Dan Gottschalk

Chaser/Photographer

Olin, Iowa

Charles Dean

Chaser/Photographer

Marcus, Iowa

Charles Dean

Chaser/Photographer

Marcus, Iowa