Though I’ve never gotten my degree in Meteorology I was able to finish school with a computer science based degree and that associated math and science aspects have helped me develop my personal meteorology experience greatly. I don’t like to call myself a “Meteorologist” because I think that title should be kept for someone who has the degree. A degree in Meteorology or Atmospheric Science is not an easy one to attain, I hold a lot of respect for the time and hard work those who have acquired them have put in. I like to refer to myself as a “Storm Chaser” or “Amateur Meteorologist” however, as I feel that most accurately describes what I am when it comes to weather.
Academic Experience (Colorado State University)
I took several undergraduate and even one graduate level class at Colorado State University related to atmospheric science. I spent many days pestering professors and even was able to storm chase with a group associated with the CHILL radar facility in Greeley on a couple of occasions. These classes and excursions were my absolute favorite and while I toyed with the idea of pursuing a masters degree in Atmospheric Science, at the end of the day the financial toll would have been too great. Perhaps someday I can go back and finish, but in the meantime I’m getting my weather fix outside of school these days!
Professional Experience (Storm Chasing and Short to Medium Range Forecasting)
I’ve not worked in the industry as of yet, most of my experience comes from my academic experience in school, talking with other storm chasers/meteorologists and my own personal experiences and studies. I’ve been storm chasing seriously for 6 years now (since CSU days) and have had a few photos and videos featured on some local news outlets.
Over the years I’ve switched my attention to forecasting. Not only being out there and chasing but trying to get an idea of exactly what is going on in a storm. For this I’ve been studying short and medium range forecasting of severe weather, fronts, storm systems, etc… I’ve been dabbling more into radar meteorology and have been especially focused on weather dynamics around mountainous areas.
In that time I’ve seen many different types of weather phenomena but there are still many left to experience. In my travels I’ve made great friends, met some of my favorite veteran storm chasers and meteorologists and learned a ton!
Currently I run a small weather-devoted website and contribute weather articles for several small publications around the Castle Rock area in Colorado. I hope to continue honing my forecasting and storm chasing skills in the near future. I also hope to continue developing software to assist me in data collection and tracking during storm chases and additional software to analyst that data. Hopefully I can also get better at long range forecasting and that is something I’m working on now.
My weather website: Mountain Wave Weather