Welcome to the WKU Meteorology blog! The main goal of this blog is to create a medium for the discussion of long-range weather forecasting with a primary emphasis on weather events that may affect the mid-south region. My hope is to engage current and future Meteorology students at WKU, K-12 science Teachers in the mid-south region, and local weather hobbyists, in discussions that can range from the prediction of upcoming winter storms, arctic outbreaks, and severe weather to discussions of recent research in climate change to seasonal forecasts based on El Nino.
The genesis for this blog occurred during the Fall 2006 semester when I utilized the discussion board feature of Blackboard in my Synoptic Meteorology course to engage my students in a discourse on weather events that occurred during the semester. After over 100 threads, I realized that blogging could allow me to have the same kind of weather discussion with a much larger population of students 365 days a year.
Why am I qualified to blog about long-range weather forecasting? I worked as a meteorologist for AccuWeather for three years before deciding to pursue my PhD. My research topic involves using climate teleconnections such as El Nino and the North Atlantic Oscillation to understand how temperature and precipitation patterns evolve on seasonal timescales. This research allows me to peer farther into the future than most meteorologists to discern pattern changes for the United States.
What will this blog not be about? Since I am mainly interested in discussing pattern changes in the mid-south region, my forecast window will focus on days 5-14 of the forecast period. The National Weather Service computer models are generally quite accurate at predicting weather in the days 1-5 forecast period, and I will leave that forecast period to them. The only exception will be if I have a strong disagreement with the NWS forecast for a significant weather event (e.g., severe weather, winter storm).
Secondary motivation Another reason for writing this blog is to publicize the many changes in the WKU Meteorology program in the Department of Geography and Geology. With the addition of the new B.S. Meteorology degree (the only such degree in either Kentucky or Tennessee) and the Kentucky Mesonet, these are exciting times to be a Meteorology student at WKU.