Since I can remember, I have always loved weather and science, but it wasn’t until I saw the movie Twister that I decided I wanted to become a broadcast meteorologist and research severe storms. Aside from wanting to share my passion for the weather, my goal in becoming a broadcaster was to become a communicator between the higher-level scientific community and the general public. I wanted my viewers to learn something about the weather while getting the necessary information they needed from a trusted source. In meteorology, communication is vital. The science behind meteorology can get really complicated really quickly, but if you have a good communicator presenting that information to you in a clear, concise, and interesting format, it can really help everyone understand it. Understanding what is happening with the weather allows you to make better and more informed decisions about how you and your family need to prepare for it. If you’ve ever seen the damage caused by a tornado, hurricane, blizzard, or other significant weather phenomenon, you know that the information you’re receiving from us matters, and sometimes, even seconds count. Every day, I strive to inform and protect the public when severe or inclement weather strikes.
So what experiences helped me most in my journey to The Weather Channel? During my time in graduate school at Texas Tech University, I was able to see first-hand what Mother Nature is capable of producing and was also able to gather data that is used to simulate severe storms and tornadoes. I was allowed the amazing opportunity of working in the field deploying instruments in severe thunderstorms during the second Verification of Rotation in Tornadoes Experiment (VORTEX2), which took place in spring and early summer of 2009 and 2010. Having a better understanding of high-level atmospheric processes helps me to make better predictions of where and when severe weather may occur, which ultimately helps keep you safe. At TTU, I also worked with our local community in Lubbock, TX by holding Severe Weather Awareness Day events with our student American Meteorological Society chapter, the local National Weather Service office, local Science Spectrum, and KCBD-TV. That event allowed us to have conversations about severe weather preparedness and use experiments to illustrate the atmosphere, and it was such a great way to educate people and get them asking important questions. All of these experiences only bolstered my desire to become a broadcaster because I wanted to share my knowledge and passion for the weather with everyone.
Now that we are fully immersed in the world of social media, communication with large groups of the public is faster than ever, but it is also important to know the origin of that information. Is it from a trusted source? What should you do with the information you’re receiving? These are questions that every person ingesting social media information must ask themselves. As broadcasters, our job is to take in the multiple pieces of data coming in and share it with you in a way that offers insight and clarity. Being active in social media is necessary to develop a relationship of trust with my viewers, and that is something I value greatly.
My passion for weather and how it impacts people have always been the driving forces for me in my career journey, and while there have been times of fault or failure in the past, those moments are vastly outweighed by my successes. Those struggles have only made me a stronger person, better forecaster, and a better communicator. For anyone out there who is considering a career in meteorology, my best advice is to not be afraid to take chances, and if you want something, don’t stop until you’ve achieved your goal. All of that hard work and dedication will pay off in the end!
Wishing you all the best!