My Weather Story

My name is Kelsie Knowles, and I am 20 years old. I was born and raised in Lynnwood, Washington, which is about 20 minutes north of Seattle. I grew up with my parents, my sister, Shelbie, and my dog, Wilson. I went to Lynnwood High School and graduated in 2015. Afterwards, I attended Shoreline Community College, and I am now to attending the University of Washington. I enjoy playing my guitar, violin, and ukulele, watching football (go Hawks!), going to Lake Chelan, Washington with my family, playing with my dog, and hanging out with my friends.

A picture of me after I got my University of Washington acceptance letter

Growing up, I was scared of almost anything that could cause damage. This included volcanoes, fire, earthquakes, and last but not least, thunder and lightning. When I was a young kid, I was terrified of thunderstorms, especially in Lake Chelan. I remember hiding inside the house during a storm when I was around seven, trying to stay away from the noise. This fear continued for quite a few years. However, in the second grade, we had a unit on weather, which culminated in a play called The Weather Show. I hated being in front of people, but I had to be in it, so I chose to be the only part that didn’t have to memorize lines—the narrator. The reason I bring that up is because this was the first time I really started to learn about weather. I believe the weather play and weather unit sparked my interest in weather, and it made me realize I didn’t have to fear it as much as I had previously. Shortly after that, my fear of thunder and lightning decreased, yet my interest in weather started to grow.

As I grew older, my interest in weather didn’t subside. My parents began to notice, and started buying me weather books at book fairs. I was learning more and more, and the more I learned, the more I loved it all. I also started to watch The Weather Channel quite often. I’d watch it for hours on end, which annoyed my sister at times, but I still did it. This all happened for quite a few years before I truly realized how much I loved weather. I was in the eighth grade when I made the decision that I wanted to be a Meteorologist when I grew up.

The view from my family’s house in Lake Chelan

All throughout high school, I kept the end goal in mind. I took classes that I believed would help me get a degree in Meteorology. Then, in August of 2013, I experienced something that further cemented my love for weather and desire to become a Meteorologist. I was on vacation with my family in Lake Chelan, which I do a few times each summer. It was fairly warm throughout the daytime, and it was perfect beach weather. However, one evening, clouds began to form, and the wind began to pick up a bit. As the daylight fled, I started to see that something was forming. Then the lightning started. And it did not stop. There were visible strikes every few seconds for many, many hours. When my family went to bed, I stayed up. I was mesmerized by the insane lightning; I had never seen it like that before. At around one in the morning, I actually ended up seeing a strike of lightning that started a fire. Thankfully it got put out very fast and didn’t cause any structural damage, but it was still a crazy sight to see. I finally fell asleep (reluctantly) at around 4 A.M., amazed at the weather that I had just seen.

When I woke up the next morning, I was upset that it was over. But that didn’t last long. About 12 hours later, the storms were back—this time even stronger than the night before. Unlike the previous night, this storm was accompanied with very strong wind and rain. I remember standing outside on our front porch getting sand blown in my face, even when it was wet. The lightning was just as intense as the night before, along with the wind and rain, which made for a very intense storm. I had no idea of the impact the storm had had until the next morning. One of the boat docks had been disconnected, and a part of it was missing. There were some boats washed up on the shore, along with some jet-skis. It was astonishing to see what the weather was capable of doing. Witnessing these two storms made me realize that I was making the right career choice. I couldn’t keep my eyes off the entire time, and it was apparent to myself and my family that I truly loved weather. It is a little ironic because I had watched two separate storms, with a difference of about 10 years between them, through the same window with attitudes on the complete opposite ends of the spectrum. I was no longer that scared little kid, trembling at the sound of thunder. I was instead that weather fanatic who couldn’t get enough.

A picture of lightning I took during a storm in 2015

Now, every time there is a good storm (which doesn’t happen that often in Lynnwood), I act the same way as I did during those storms in Chelan, even if they don’t even compare in intensity. I’m like a kid in a candy store. The thought of a good storm just makes me want more. I want to see more and I want to know more. This is why I am pursuing a degree in Meteorology. Being a Meteorologist will allow me to be surrounded by what I love every day. I will be taking the next step in the fall, as I am enrolled in the Atmospheric Sciences program at the University of Washington, which I am very excited about. I am looking forward to learning new things, and hopefully, there will be lots of awesome storms for me to see in the future.

Do you want to share your weather story? We’d love to hear from you! Email us at if you’d like to tell us about your journey with weather.

Join the Discussion


  1. My family depends on The Weather Channel and our Noah digital weather radio.

  2. Great photo of lighting. When we first moved to Arkansas which is part of tornado alley I got very frightened when we had storms so we finally got a safe room. I feel much better now having a safe room as I was born and raised in Southern California where they have very few storms.

  3. Wow Kelcie , My story is about the same… Fear as a child turned into excitement …. I grew up in a small shack with a tin roof , little to no insulation … When it stormed it was like a tent except the tin roof made it louder and the wind shook the place… I remember being stressed even in a passing of a cold front when the wind blew all night with gust. The spring and summer afternoon storms were wild, Lightning would strike close and anything in the house using power that was on got zapped.. I saw an arc from the lightning come through the kitchen window and hit the back of the stove . In the spring when there was a tornado watch out , I was a mess inside … A man seeing my Mother at the time took me fishing and i heard it on the radio on the way… I was at the lake with a pole out but couldn’t fish for being worried and watching the sky… I had only known of a tornado from the Wizard of Oz and, my Grandmother told me a story of when she was a girl and one hit their home and tossed her out into the field at their farm in middle Tn. As i grew into a teen and learned about basics of clouds in Jr high school it was getting my attention. I remember learning about squall lines and watching the sky about that point but, from a curious point instead of fear … My fear had began turning into a passion.. At age 17 i picked up an old clunker for 375 , I would go to the best spots around to see a storm rolling in … I was storm chasing so to speak before i knew there was such a thing.. I kept up learning about weather as i had a resource , I got heavy into the encyclopedia to help me predict winter weather in my area… i didn’t know of anyway to pursue it with my limited resources but i gave it a hard time as best as i could , i had predicted snow when it was never mentioned on the media a few times .. Other than family and friends still contacting me to get a weather report during potential stormy or icy weather , that is the extent of my weather background … I’m not the weatherman i was at 23, lol I have gotten away from getting too involved many years ago now , If its not your Job there is not enough time unless you dont have anything else to do … The new radars and computer models are very accurate and beyond my backyard abilities…. I will still get involved and glued to the radars in the event dangerous conditions are possible like a row of Mesa Cyclones heading my way , man that fires me up : ) .. I also will track winter icing with temps and roads and give a better idea of whats more likely.
    I would have liked to have done more with weather , it just wasn’t in the cards for me…. Go for If you can , passion leads to greatness ! ps I acquired my first dslr camera and have been using it about 17 months , I took my first pics of lightning last week : )

  4. When I was about 8 years old, living in southeast Texas, we had many hurricanes visit our small farm. Each time a hurricane came through, it took one of our buildings away – one year a chicken house, one year a barn. But these hurricanes were not the worst.

    The last big hurricane of my childhood was probably in 1945 (yes, that’s a longtime ago). The hurricane that year spawned a tornado that picked up our house and turned it in a slightly different direction, then set it back down. Probably the only thing that kept the house from being destroyed were the water and gas pipes under it. That was a very scary storm for me. After that, I was very afraid every time we had a severe thunderstorm.

    Because of the tornado, we got our small house remodeled into a larger one – more suited to a family with eight children – and my sister and I got to share a bedroom upstairs!

    I’ve seen many hurricanes since then; the latest was Harvey. My family and I were in the Houston area visiting relatives. Most of them had some damage to their homes, but none were completely destroyed. Thank goodness there wasn’t a lot of wind to accompany all that rain!

    My son and his family were staying with one relative in The Woodlands, while I was with my sister in Humble, TX. They couldn’t get to me to take me with them to the airport in Austin, so I waited a day for the Bush Int’l. Airport in Houston to reopen, then I flew home to Seattle. What a vacation!

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