Rain or Shine at the National Weather Service
A lot depends on the weather, for example, the amount of work Michael Hosek ’19 has on any given day. This summer, he is interning at the National Weather Service (NWS) office in Binghamton, N.Y., gaining hands-on experience on forecasting, as well as conducting some of his own research.
At the start of each day, Hosek reviews a variety of different weather models and current satellite data. After assessing the present weather conditions, he compares the prediction models for the coming day with the forecast released during the previous shift. Through this process, he is better able to accurately interpret what the models are showing.
“As I become more and more familiar with the programs involved in forecasting and with the process of forecasting itself, I’ll gradually take on more work and possibly even do some forecasting myself,” said Hosek.
After this task, Hosek’s work is entirely determined by the weather that day. In calm weather, when there is no chance of rain, or only light rain, Hosek has a more relaxed workload, using this time to familiarize himself with various meteorological programs and concepts. But on more severe weather days, Hosek works quickly to help forecasters warn the public of any developing storms that may become dangerous.
Among its many practical uses, a major concern of most meteorology is public safety, with forecasters constantly on the lookout for any potentially dangerous weather.
Hometown: Ballston Spa, N.Y.
High School: Ballston Spa High School
Typically, a career in meteorology follows one of three paths: research, education - which usually takes the form of a professorship - or forecasting - which includes general and local forecasting. Though he is unsure as to which of the three areas he will pursue, Hosek hopes his work at the NWS will help make that decision more obvious.
“Even if I do not end up forecasting, this internship will provide me with a great wealth of knowledge that will be beneficial for me in whatever I end up doing in weather,” said Hosek.
In general, meteorology is rather difficult field to break into, but work with the NWS offers Hosek a distinct advantage. The programs and techniques utilized by the NWS to make forecasts, in addition to the Hamilton classes Hosek has taken concerning meteorology, will serve as a strong foundation to his graduate school education.