Significant Weather Makes Future Meteorologists

Meteorology inspiration, FSU
Meteorology inspiration, FSU
Posted at 4:35 PM, Sep 15, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-15 14:19:20-04

TALLAHASSEE, FL (WTXL) -- In the last 30 days, the nation has experienced two destructive and powerful hurricanes. With the active storm system leaving plenty of destruction behind, there's no doubt that interest has been sparked in future meteorologists.

As ironic as it may be, these major weather events inspire a future crop of scientists who want to learn about what causes storms and how to keep people safe.

The weather is the one thing that affects everyone, and has the ability to cancel plans, from raining out events or just making it too hot.

"We always experience the weather," says Dr. Henry Fuelberg, a meteorology professor at FSU. "It's not a 'sometimes' thing. Most days, it's tranquil and we're concerned 'is it going to be hot or is it going to be cold, or are we going to have rain?'"

For most meteorologists, that interest is different. The passion runs deeper and the interest? Well, it's sparked at a younger age

"When I was in second grade, Hurricane Ivan made landfall over in the Pensacola/Mobile area," explains Margaret Hollis, a junior meteorology student at FSU. "It was a large enough storm that we were seeing a lot of tornadoes even here in Tallahassee."

Many meteorologists find their interest as a kid, but some, like Tevin Wooten, see that interest spark later in life.

"Probably my junior or senior year in college the first time around. This is actually my second time getting a degree," says Tevin Wooten, a senior meteorology student at FSU. "Being from Arkansas, we didn't have a meteorology program, so I finished my journalism degree, worked a little bit and curated my my interest in meteorology through really my dad."

Dr. Fuelberg continues, "I think just about everybody in meteorology at some time or another, perhaps many times, they are excited about their field and what they see happening in the atmosphere.

No matter the age a meteorologist got started or how long they'll continue to pursue their passion, that interest will always be pulsing through their veins. 

Dr. Fuelberg and other meteorology professors notice a spike in interest with each notable weather event. We'll have to wait a few years to see how many today's children who experienced hurricanes Harvey and Irma will become tomorrow's meteorologists.