Ask Away! I'll Answer pt. 11
Answering several personal questions this week! Happy to answer all questions you may have.
As a reminder, you can submit questions in the comment section of this post or email me directly through the website contact form. You can also send questions through any of my social media platforms. Find me @leahwx11 on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. If I miss your question, keep commenting on futures posts! I want ALL your questions answered.
Question - Have you always wanted to be a meteorologist?
Nope! Just like any kid, what I wanted to be when I grew up constantly changed. I wanted to be an actress or singer and, at one point, a designer. For the longest time, I wanted to be a vet. While taking care of animals is still a passion of mine, I realized I couldn’t handle the sight of animals in pain. It just hurt me too much. So right around when I realized I didn't want to be a vet, my career goals shifted to meteorology. No regrets!
Question - What made you want a career in weather? How old was it when you started?
I used to be terrified of storms. You would catch me hiding under a bed when it was thundering. My fear came after a windstorm blew over our favorite climbing tree in the backyard. The tree very nearly hit our house.
I was able to overcome this fear when I was about 13 years old. I took an earth science class where one of the sections focused on meteorology. As my knowledge of science grew, I overcame my fear of the weather. I developed a passion for weather instead and decided at 13 y/o I wanted to be a meteorologist. I even decided then I wanted to go to the University of Oklahoma for college.
Question - Where did you go to college?
I graduated from the University of Oklahoma! I wasn’t always good at math, but because math is an essential part of meteorology, I realized I needed to improve. During high school, I took as many math and science courses as I could to prepare myself, even getting ahead of math which put me in a good position for college. I graduated in 2019 with my Bachelor's in Meteorology with a Minor in Broadcast Meteorology. Been working at kY3 ever since!
Question - Why did you choose Springfield?
My family is originally from the St. Louis County area. I'm a born and raised Missouri girl. I love everything about this state, from the cities to the rural area, the natural beauty, and tourist sites. This place has always been home. After being away at college for four years in Norman, OK, I missed being near my family. My goal starting in my career was to find somewhere close to home. I couldn’t have asked for a better place to work than Springfield. Not to mention, I was also already familiar with the city since my brother lived here for ten years.
I'm so grateful to be working here. Not only am I getting experience working with an incredible team and covering all sorts of weather, but I’m also in my home state and close to my family.
Question - What is the one food you can’t live without?
Tacos! Honestly not sure what I would do without a taco night at least once a week. As for desserts, brownies are my guilty pleasure.
Question - Does Pluto get excited when he sees you on TV?
Pluto doesn't have much of a reaction when I'm on TV. I've seen photos of him tilting his head when I come on, so he does recognize me, but he Isn't whining or barking. He is usually sleeping when I'm at work.
Question - What season is the hardest to forecast out of all four seasons?
It’s a toss-up between winter and spring.
In Winter, you get all kinds of frozen precipitation which is very difficult to forecast. You may make the best forecast of your life when predicting snow, but when the storm rolls, what falls is freezing rain or plain rain. It can be very frustrating. The precipitation in winter storms can change over short distances. One house may accumulate several inches of snow, while another a mile down the road only sees flurries. There are a lot of small-scale factors influencing the precipitation type. For example, local temperatures, ground temperatures, moisture, wet bulb temperature, and evaporation.
However, spring is complicated because of severe weather. Small scale factors can again determine who sees a severe storm and who doesn’t. Trying to nail down where one particular storm will set up is very tricky. They both pose their challenges.
Personally, I would rather forecast severe weather than winter weather.
Question - When will we see 90+ temps?
Hopefully not for a long time! July and August are typically our hottest months, and when we tend to see temperatures in the 90s. I can tell you this, I don’t have any 90 degree days forecasted through at least the first few weeks of June.