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 Community@weloveweather.tv if you’d like to tell us about your journey with weather.