Sunday, August 5, 2012

Welcome new MWN team members!

As many of our followers and friends know, (MWN) excels in providing precise and vital storm information via social media when inclement weather threatens or is ongoing. Called "nowcasting," MWN was (and still is) one of the only organizations in the nation to provide this service consistently on social media, namely Twitter and Facebook.  We let you know where storms are, what threats they pose, when they will affect an area, and (sometimes most importantly to our followers) when they will be done.  We relay all watches and warnings for the 8-county metro area and describe the exact threats storms pose in a way the general public (not fellow meteorologists) can understand.

Nowcasting for the 4,000+ square mile metro area and it's 1.3 million residents would not be possible without the assistance of our nowcasters, social media student interns who volunteer their time to gain rich experience in Mid-South weather patterns, meteorological data interpretation, and social media communication - the new frontier in information dissemination.

Over the past year, MWN nowcasting has risen to a new level with the assistance of nowcaster Kevin Terry (/KT on our social media posts).   Kevin's diligence, quick grasp of new challenges, and weather knowledge obtained through independent study as well as a stint as an intern with the National Weather Service, have resulted in an exceptional, consistent, and thorough product on MWN's social media channels.  Kevin has also enhanced MWN's new #mSpotter Twitter-based storm spotting program, providing the National Weather Service with crucial ground-based information that has helped to verify severe weather warnings.  Kevin will be departing MWN in mid-August to begin graduate studies in Meteorology at Mississippi State University. His shoes will be big ones to fill and we are grateful for his service over the past year!

Heading into the fall, MWN is pleased to introduce you to two individuals who will take Kevin's place and serve as nowcasters on our team.  Patrick Luckett (/PL) is an Earth Sciences major and senior at the University of Memphis and also holds an Associate Degree in Business Administration from Southwest TN Community College. Patrick has also served as an intern with the National Weather Service and brings experience in radar and forecast model interpretation and collecting storm damage reports at the NWS. He has "always loved weather" and has been a Weather Channel fan since a young age.  It took until his junior year of college though to decide that his love would also be his career! Patrick will attend graduate school in Meteorology at Mississippi State beginning in fall 2013.  Welcome to MWN, Patrick!

Our other addition for this fall is Hunter Smith, also a senior Earth Sciences major at the University of Memphis.  Hunter (/HS) has also had a fascination with weather from a young age, perhaps encouraged by a grandmother who takes detailed daily weather observations at her home in Brownsville, TN.  Hunter also hails from Brownsville and, in addition to taking classes at U of M, works in the Sparks Bureau of Business and Economic Research on campus.  Hunter, like Patrick, will attend Mississippi State University beginning in fall 2013, working towards a Master's in Meteorology. We also welcome Hunter to the MWN team!  You will see plenty of posts by Patrick and Hunter on our social media streams over the coming months.

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