A little more than 3 years ago I gave myself a new challenge. August 31st of this year, I ended my mission successfully. I have completed the Broadcast Meteorology Program offered by the Mississippi State Distance Learning Program.
3 semesters a year for 3 years, 9 semesters overall; the program covers everything in scope from Earth's place in space to studying water on a molecular level. If you care to peruse then curriculum then click the word -> curriculum.
Of course, the great majority of our classwork involved the planetary processes and synoptic scale motions that create weather events, and the interactions between the atmosphere and the surface which affect what happens where YOU live.
Bottom line: I'm fully equipped to diagnose what's going to happen weather-wise and why, and I can communicate what that means to you (and your family).
This was no "blow-off" online course. This is the same challenging program that over 2,000 broadcast meteorologists have taken, many of which work for national networks (CNN, Weather Channel etc.) Former WGRZ meteorologist Chesley McNeil (now in Atlanta) current meteorologist Jennifer Stanonis, and at least one other WNY TV forecaster have also completed this program.
The culmination of the program requires you to visit the Mississippi State campus for a series of workshops and lab work. To receive your certificate as a broadcast meteorologist, you MUST finish the comprehensive final exam with a grade of 80 or better.
So just know that when you hear me referred to as a meteorologist on-air or online, just know it was 3 years of schooling behind that designation. I know I like to have fun on the air, and still will when appropriate. But we don't mess around with weather around Western New York, and I intend to earn your trust one weather live hit and one forecast at a time.
Please know that I'm taking my place at the end of the weather bench here at WGRZ! Our beloved meteorologist Mary Beth Wrobel has obtained a job outside our area, so I will moving into her spot behind Kevin O'Connell, Maria Genero, Jen Stanonis, and our AWESOME morning meteorologist Andy Parker.
Thanks for your well-wishes! I still will spend most of my time at the station having fun on Daybreak live at various locations in WNY! I already have the best job in the building, and will step into weather mode as needed. Enjoy our gorgeous few days of sunny weather!