Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Let It SNOW!!!!

Hey everybody, Chris here with another blog. After a boring month of November, well at least weather wise, I was beginning to be a little worried. November is on average the second snowiest month of the year and we saw only about 2 inches of snow.... now wheres the fun in that?!?!
After two big snow storms came through Colorado I am a little happier :) In Greeley we saw about 6.5 inches of snow on Saturday and an additional 4 inches on Tuesday. We have also had an experience with extremely cold temperatures. Just yesterday it was -13 degrees at 7:00 am. whether you like snow or not you can't deny the fact that we needed it badly. We were only about 55% of average snow pack about 2 weeks ago, but now we are 110% above average and the ski resorts are loving it. The past two storms dropped several feet of snow in the mountains making it some of the best snow that the ski resorts have seen at this time of year for a long time.
Even though the storms brought enjoyable weather to Colorado it has not been very enjoyable for the people in the Midwest. The same storms are causing hazardous travel conditions as it has dropped nearly an inch of ice in Oklahoma. The ice has left thousands of people without power and many travelers stranded. The storm has also been blamed for the death of at least 15 people.
It is important to note that even though weather may be fun at times but it also can be very dangerous and deadly if not respected properly. So please, remember to drive safe and have a great holiday season.

Happy Winter!

As the snow continues to fall in the mountains and metro area, it warms my heart to think about all the wonderful things that have happened in the past few months. Like Kim and Chris, I like to take some time during the holiday season for reflection. I could not be more thankful to Mike, Scott, Richard, and Lisa for not only the marvelous opportunity they have given me, but also the constant encouragement and knowledge they pass on. Interning at Channel 7 has been better than I could have ever imagined. It has broadened my meteorological skills and introduced me to a whole new world in broadcasting. There is nothing more exciting than standing infront of the camera at the chroma key and seeing yourself on the set. It's such a rush!

It's going to be a pretty crazy week. The end of the semester snuck up on me! Four finals in four days! However, with all of the snow and amazing winter weather, I'd rather be in the 24/7 weather center forecasting and keeping up with the latest snow totals. I'll just have to practice good time management so I can get everything in.

I will also be taking some time off for the holiday break. Next week, I'll be returning to the suburbs of Chicago for some time with my family. I am thrilled to say that I'll be back next semester as well. Look for me on Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday mornings during the 5 and 6 am broadcasts with Scott Mace! Nothing says welcome back like showing up for work at 3:45 am. I love it!

Happy Holidays to everyone! Please, be safe and drive carefully. Especially as the snow piles up throughout the state!

Monday, December 3, 2007

The Start of The Last Week

Hello everyone!

Well, this week is officially my last week before Christmas break. I will be back for the next semester, but only for one day a week. You will now see me in the background on Thursdays for Mike Nelson's forecast! I feel very fortunate that I was able to work my schedule so that I would be able to come in at least once a week. Before my schedule was finalized I was afraid that I was not even going to be able to come back at all!

I have learned so much since I first started in July. Mike is an amazing meteorologist, and you learn so much from just watching him! The chroma key no longer intimidates me! I love getting in front of the green screen and rocking out a forecast! I can now make a forecast confidently and with even more knowledge then when I started. I feel honored to have met Cindy and Mike, and all the other meteorologists. Cindy Nelson is such a sweetheart. She, just like her husband, is such a genuine person with such a big heart. They are wonderful people! Lisa is such an inspiration being a female meteorologist. Dr. Richard Ortner is great! He is great at what he does, and he can also teach you so much having taught students himself! Every meteorologist is willing to teach all of us interns, and give us tips on how to improve TV wise. This is a great place to intern, and if anyone has the chance, DO NOT pass it up. Here at 7News you actually are busy from the minute you walk in the door, to the minute you leave the station. The meteorologists will let you do anything that you feel comfortable doing!

Friday will be my last day here at 7News for a good month. I will be taking Christmas break to take some much needed vacation time, and to work and make some money. Hopefully enough to pay off the traffic ticket I was issued today for "following too close." For the first and for probably the only time, I was pulled over going 5 mph UNDER the speed limit! I hope the officer who gave me the ticket reads this and takes pity. He was looking to pull anyone over! And just my luck to start off my Monday, he chose me, and 5 other cars that were all pulled over at the same time. This is my first ticket ever!!! And was pretty bummed when I walked into the station today. SOOO, now I will have to take time off of work (that should be used to pay for this ticket) drive down here, and go to court some time in the next few weeks. Wish me luck!

I hope that everyone has a fabulous holiday and new years! Thank you for all of those at 7News that have helped me grow throughout this internship, and I will see you next year!!!

Friday, November 23, 2007

What a Wild Semester!!!

Hey everyone, Chris here with another blog. When I first began this internship in late July I would have never imagined what i would be doing. I have been very fortunate to have this internship. I have seen severe thunderstorms and wild winter weather. I am also very happy to say that Mike Nelson has welcomed me back for the spring semester. Yay!!!

I know that I am very lucky! Not many college interns can say they had interned for a wonderful place like channel 7 for almost a year. I have learned so much from working here over the past few months and I will continue to learn for the next 6 months as well.

Thanksgiving has come and gone. I have been very thankful becasue my family has traveled to visit me for the holiday. On Friday I brought them in for a tour of the studio. They have never seen news done live from in the studio and I think they really enjoyed it. We were able to get a family photo up on the news desk and had it air on tv, they were pretty excited.

Our First Snow

Hello everyone,

Well, Greeley actually got snow! I did not think that we ever would. I am quite sure that Greeley lives underneath a bubble, preventing us from getting any precipitation. At least while I am there! With this storm that passed through the state on Wednesday I saw about 2 1/2 inches of snow at my house. Most of the northeastern plains received more snow than Denver! That is also a rarity. Denver saw anywhere between 1-2 inches. The mountains recieved some snow, adding to the much needed snow for the ski resorts. We saw some flurries today, but other then that just frigid cold temperatures. Lows could drop to the single digits if clear skies will allow for it! Take gloves, hats, and coats when heading outside!

It was a nice change, even though I am not the biggest fan of cold weather and snow, it was a very nice change. The first snow is always the best, and this was no exception. We may see another round of snow come the middle of next week; Wednesday or so at this point. We are not sure how much we will see, but models right now are telling us we will see just about the same as we did this past Wednesday.

The semester is winding down. The Travel Forecast Line last week was a huge success! We had twice as many calls as we did last year. We are going to hold the same event come Christmas time, so be looking for a date and any other information concerning the Christmas Travel Forecast Line! Once again we will have the aspiring meteorologists from UNC and from Metro manning the phones to give our callers a custom forecast. The UNC Personalized Forecast Service is going strong! We have been receiving 4 times as many emails then we usual do! It is great. We have even been recognized by the UNC Dean of Students, the Dean of National Honor Society, and the Greeley Tribune for our awesome forecast service! We have never been busier.

Feel free to email us with any of your forecast needs. The email address is posted on the thedenverchannel.com and there is a short article giving a great description of what we do! I hope that all was well for everyone's Thanksgiving, and enjoy the rest of your Thanksgiving weekend!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Need a Forecast for Your Holiday Travels?

Hello everyone,

It has been quite a long time since my last blog. Life has gotten so crazy with Thanksgiving break next week, and teachers assigning everything imaginable before we are given 5 days off for the holiday.

For all of those who are planning on traveling over the Thanksgiving holiday, 7News will have you covered! We have arranged for aspiring meteorologists from both Metro and from UNC to be in the call center on Monday the 19th from 4 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. in order to give you a forecast for where ever you are traveling and whenever you are traveling. All you have to do is make a call to the 24/7 call center and give the meteorologist you destination, how long, and when you will be traveling, and you will be given an accurate forecast. Professors from both schools will be present as well!

Also, to help with any forecasting needs, UNC would like to announce our personalized forecasting service. At UNC we have put together an email service where people who wish to receive a forecast can write an email, and our teams will get back to you. The email address is weather@blue.unco.edu. All you have to do is send an email to that address with your name, forecast location, time period, and your email address. We have 3 teams that are ready for your forecast. If you need a extended forecast, we will send you an initial forecast, and then send you an updated forecast a few days later. Please feel free to use our service to help with any holiday travel!

I hope that everyone has a fabulous Thanksgiving holiday!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Wild Western Weather Seminar

Tuesday night's seminar was a huge success! With speakers like State climatologist Nolan Doesken and Nobel Prize winning Dr. Kevin Trenberth, attendees were treated to a wonderful night of weather discussion. It was a great turn out with about 300 people packed into the IMAX theater. Guests came from all over the state to hear the lastest on global climate change, Greg Roth talking about avalanche control, and Tom Schlatter on increasingly mild Colorado winters. Other speakers, like Tim Samaras and John Fielder gave a unique perspective through their pictures and videos. Breathtaking shots of slow motion lightning and the mountain landscapes of Colorado give reason to take action against global climate change.

I was very fortunate to talk to some of the attendees and hear their unique Colorado weather stories. Veterans, former radio personalities, hobbyists young and old all brought their own unique perspective. A few brave souls made their way into the 24/7 weather experience to try their hand at weather forecasting! I learned so much about Colorado's climate and had an all around great time! Thanks to all of the speakers, attendees, and especially Mike Nelson for putting on such a wonderful event.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Success At NCAR Super Science Saturday!

It has been a while for me since my last blog! Well, this past Saturday 7 News was a part of NCAR Super Science Saturday. We were able to set up the 24/7 weather experience. The 24/7 weather experience is pretty darn cool! It is a green screen with a camera set up in front. People are then able to stand in front of the green screen and read Que cards that pertain to the movie clip that is played on the green screen.

The 24/7 weather experience is perfect for kids! They have so much fun trying to be like Mike, and all the other meteorologists at 7 News. NCAR Super Science Saturday is the perfect place to take the weather experience because it is a day filled with nothing but science for little kids. There are many different science stations set up where kids can participate and learn all sorts of new things! The kids had so much fun! We saw a huge turn out, I would say more than last year!

This year, NCAR was nice enough to allow our student chapter of AMS to bring our tornado model. This tornado model was built in order to bring it to schools and show kids how it works. We have also developed a curriculum to teach kids about weather safety. We were able to bring the model to see how kids would respond to it. They loved it! All of them were sticking their hands in their, we even had a few try to climb in it!

For all of those who missed NCAR Super Science Saturday, AMS will be bringing the tornado model to the Wild Weather Seminar on the 13th of November. This will be a great event, full of amazing speakers, and of course Mike Nelson! You will have to the chance to meet Mike and all of the meteorologists at the seminar! The 24/7 weather experience will also be there, so come on down for a great night filled with weather and its phenomena!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

The New Intern

Hello! My name is Karissa Sanford and I am the newest of the 24/7 Weather interns! I've been working for about two weeks and I already love being at ABC 7. I'm currently working towards my Bachelors of Science degree with a major in Meteorology at Metropolitan State College of Denver. With the quickly changing fall weather, Denver has turned out to be the perfect place to study! I'm originally from the suburbs of Chicago, Illinois but I moved out here last January for school. I miss home like crazy but Denver and all of its people have made my experience here nothing but wonderful. Plus, the mountains aren't too bad either!
Like some of the other folks around the station, my love of meteorology stems from storm chasing. While I would love to make that my career, I aspire to be a broadcast meteorologist. Hopefully, someday, I'll be as good as the 24/7 staff! I have learned so much from them already. And, the more I learn about meteorology, the more I love it! I'm currently working with Scott Mace on the 5 and 6 am broadcasts. Be sure to tune in and look for me and all the other 24/7 Weather interns! Also, keep checking theDenverChannel.com as well for more blog updates from Kim, Chris, and I. I look forward to an exciting season of forecasting this winter!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Wildfire Update

Hey there, Chris Here with an update on the fires down in California. My family is safe and have been since the fires started. It looks like my family was very fortunate, word is that our house is safe and was not damaged in any way. Even though they are not allowed back in to Ramona at this time. The image to the right shows what were mandatory evacuation areas(purple), areas that have been burned (peach), and the areas where people have been allowed back in to there homes (green). The red dots indicate areas where the fires are currently burning . A box is drawn around the area that is shown in the image below.

This image highlights just how much of my town was damaged by the fire. the location of my house is shown by the blue dot. The yellow lines show the current road closures in the area. As you can see, most of the roads in and out of Ramona are closed.

Even though my family and I have been very fortunate to have not lost our home, many close friends have lost everything. I know for a fact that the many communities affected by these fires will rebound and rebuild becoming stronger then ever.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

California Wildfires

Weather here in Colorado is beautiful while summer transitions in to fall, the leaves change color, temperatures drop, and snow begins to fall. Weather at this time of year is usually beautiful however, it has a made a turn for the worst.

I am from a small town called Ramona, outside of San Diego. Being from the area currently in danger I know that the strong Santa Ana winds mixing with the extremely dry air and dry brush on the ground means that fires that start are extremely hard to put out.

Southern California does not receive much rain year round. This leaves the brush and plant life dry and easy to burn. Santa Ana winds begin with strong high pressure to the north and a deep low pressure to the south. This creates a strong pressure gradient which forces strong winds to come out of the northeast. The California coast is anything but flat. Mountains extend from Mexico up through central California and extend from the desert to the coast. As winds move in from the northeast the air is forced downward, known as down slope, and is warmed up and dried up. The wind is then pushed through valleys where it is then accelerated at fast rates creating gusty conditions. If a fire were to start it makes it very hard to stop as winds push the flames towards dry brush which only fuels the fires more.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Get Used to the Snow

Hi everyone!

Snow is here to stay! We are all going to have to get used to hearing about and seeing snow! Snow is appearing in our forecasts on a weekly basis now, and we all know what that means....winter is right around the corner. I am not ready for it at all! Since I am commuting from Greeley, I am a little nervous about the roads when the snow does finally come to Denver.

The weekend cold front brought with it lots of snow for the high country. Breckenridge saw 12-18 inches of snow, just this weekend! That is great news for all the skiers and snowboarders. Ski resorts are going to start opening right and left! Loveland opens for the first day tomorrow, and A Basin is already open and seeing plenty of skiers.

With more and more snow, means forecasting gets that much more difficult! Every day that Chris and I are at the station we have to complete "tailoring." This is a program where temperatures are entered manually for 8 different times throughout a 24 hour period. We also have to tailor snow amounts, and that is when it gets difficult! We complete tailoring because it makes our forecasts more accurate and viewers are then able to go onto thedenverchannel.com and view what the temperatures will be at different times during the day. The 7News weather center is the only one that completes tailoring out of all the stations!!!! Mike will have to show me the tricks to forecasting snow amounts because it is one of the toughest elements of weather to forecast!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Rocktober in Colorado!!!

It has been one exciting month here in Colorado. The Rockies are playing well in the playoffs and are currently battling against the Arizona D-Backs in the NLCS for a trip to the World Series. I would like to congratulate the Rockies on getting this far and I wish them the best of luck in the rest of the post season.

As far as weather goes it has been a rocky month, pardon the pun. So far we have seen almost every possible type of weather here in Colorado. We have had temperatures in the upper 80s all the way down in to the low 30s here in Denver. A few big storms the last couple weeks have brought some good snow to the mountains giving the beginning of the ski season a jump start. Even though we have yet to see snow down here in Denver, cold temperatures are definitely making there way in to the state.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Live From Coors Field


Fall is here in full swing. We received 12 inches of snow above 12, 000 feet over the weekend! We had freezing temperatures here in Denver and some windy weather to accompany it! Not to mention baseball, GO ROCKIES! Rockies are doing very well in the playoffs, and to help show the support from 7News Mike went live from Coors Field on Friday.

Friday I had a blast! I had to stay in the weather center and help Mike give the forecast on the air. Because Mike was not in the weather center he was unable to control his graphics from Coors Field. For each of his 4 forecasts I had to change the graphics accordingly. We had 3 forecasts for the 4 PM newscast and 1 for the 5 PM newscast.

I felt official and everything while doing it! They had to give me an earpiece so that I could hear what Mike was saying during his forecast, and I would change the graphics depending on what Mike was discussing at the moment. I was so nervous. I think I was more nervous doing this than practicing in front of Mike on the chroma key! I was so worried that I would change a graphic too fast or slow, and mess up the whole forecast! Every thing went great, and I had a blast while doing it!

With winter just around the corner, I am not sure how many more forecasts Mike will do live from a location. I am hoping at least one more!

Sunday, September 30, 2007

One Awsome September!!!

Hello everybody!!!

It has been a great September. We have seen a little bit of every type of weather in this state. We have had hot temperatures, cold temperatures, severe weather and snow!!! What else could a meteorologist ask for? I have been haveing just a wonderfull time here. Not only do i get to come down and do weather forecasting on Sundays, I get to watch the Broncos football games and Rockies baseball games. Of course I am working hard to make sure my forecast is as accurate as it can be ;)

It has been a really busy month for me. School along with all the difficult homework is in full swing as the semester is flying by quickly. In just a few weeks it would be time for mid-terms...YIKES! As Kim has mentioned, we are involved in a national forecasting challenge which makes the semester even better. I really enjoy this competition becasue it challenges me to try to forecast weather accurately without knowing much about the area we are forecasting for. Fortunatly, I have a tool that nobody has; well except for Kim. Kim and I have the pleasure of working and learning from the best weather team ever, allowing us to learn more techniques in weather forecasting.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Fall Is Here to Stay

Hello everyone!

Well as we all have seen in the past few days, Fall is definitely here! Chilly temperatures to start the week off, and then a nice warm up that will last the whole week. Fall like temperatures expected, what more could you ask of this season?

I love the temperatures this time of year. Not too hot and not too cold, but that will change sooner then we think! We have already seen snow fall in the high country; very exciting for those who love to ski. I have truly enjoyed seeing all the beautiful Fall pictures viewers have been sending in! Some of them have been unbelievable! Almost unreal! Keep sending them in, please!

With the onset of Fall, comes the beginning of the WxChallenge! The WxChallenge is a forecasting contest UNC meteorologist students participate in. It is a lot of fun and UNC does very well in the contest. The University of Oklahoma hosts the contest. Chris and I are both participating. Good luck Chris! For the rest of the school year we will be forecasting for a given location for a two week period. Our first location for the first two weeks is Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. I am praying that there are no hurricanes! We are required to forecast 4 days a week. We have to forecast the high, low, the greatest wind speed reached, and the total amount of liquid precipitation. When snow fall comes, forecasting liquid precip. gets pretty tricky!

With Mike teaching me more and more about forecasting, I am feeling pretty good about this years round of WxChallenge! I have learned so much from Mike so far, and I am not even half way through the semester!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Practice Makes Perfect

Hello everyone!!! Chris here with another blog. So far the best part of this school semester has been this wonderful internship. I have come so far and learned so much in such a short time, and I have the staff here at channel 7 to thank for it.

While I have been here i have been allowed to practice on the chromakey everyday. Recently, Richard Ortner let me record the 24/7 weather hotline. That was a fun and interesting experience. Who ever thought that talking to a voicemail would be so difficult? However, it was a great experience because i was able to work on making a forecast on the fly and speaking clearly.I have also had the pleasure of making maps that go on the weather segment during the show.

On weather, it's been wonderfull here in beautiful Colorado. As fall temperatures slowly make their way into Colorado, snow can sometimes be seen on the tops of the Rocky Mountains in the morning. Although its only September, that snow on those distant peaks reminds me that fall and winter ( my favorite Season) are well on there way!

Monday, September 10, 2007

The Lovely Lisa Hidalgo

Hello everyone!

Last week Mike was on vacation, so I was working with Richard all of last week. He is so funny and such a blast to work with! Today, the beautiful and lovely Lisa Hidalgo was the meteorologist. It was the first time I have ever worked with Lisa. She is fabulous! She is so nice! I have officially met all the meteorologists now.

I was able to practice in front of the chroma key today while Lisa watched. She gave me some great pointers! It is nice getting advice and pointers from a woman meteorologist. Today she really helped me with my movement while I was on screen. She gave me good advice on how to casually point out certain aspects on the graphics. I was really happy that she stayed and helped me! Thanks Lisa, you helped a lot.

It was also the one of the first times I was able to watch Lisa do a forecast. She is great! She is so relaxed and knowledgeable. Every meteorologist does things differently at 7 News and it is very interesting to see just how different they do things. It does not seem that way when they are on the air. I can not wait to work with Lisa again!

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Mornings at Channel 7

Goooooooooooooood Morning everyone!!! Chris here with yet another blog. This week has been quite the experience. I began working with Scott Mace in the 24/7 Weather Center on Tuesdays and Thursday. I've found that the morning crew down at the station is just as fun to be around as the evening crew. I know that since I am working with the best group of people I am getting the best knowledge an intern can have.

Mornings at the station are really different. Their is usually not much weather to talk about, well at least not now, but come winter i am sure it will be really exciting. Scott has begun to show me how to build maps for the show witch will allow me to learn even more. My practice on the chromakey is getting better and better everytime I practice. I still stumble here and there but practice makes perfect.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Funnel Cloud in Denver Area

Today was another busy day in the weather center. On the drive down to Denver I could see from the clouds it was going to be a very active day in terms of the weather. The entire way down from Greeley, I was observing low lying clouds that were slowly building. When I arrived at the station, there was a huge building cumulous cloud directly over the station. Of course, I whipped out my camera phone and took several pictures!

When I went inside to the weather center, I could see from the radar that thunderstorms were already developing just south of Denver and west of I-25. A few warnings were issued 10 minutes after I arrived.

With the month of August and September, comes less and less chances for thunderstorms and tornadoes. Today was an exception to that general weather pattern. We received a call that a funnel cloud had been spotted in the Denver metro area. Mike sent out air tracker to see if we could get any pictures our selves, but had no luck. Luckily we had a few viewers who were able to snap a few pictures of the funnel before it dissipated.

The funnel cloud was spotted around 3:30 PM at 104th Avenue and Federal in Westminster. The funnel cloud dissipated soon after, but the pictures taken were awesome. I was so excited when I got that call that there was a funnel cloud sighting.

To top the day off, I was able to get some help from the beautiful and lovely Anne Trujillo, with my practice session in front of the chroma key. It was so helpful getting advice from a woman in the business who has been an anchor for years. She gave me awesome suggestions on how to improve. Another great day here at 7 News!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Not More School!!!!!!!!!!!!

Hey everyone, Chris here with another blog. It is that time of year. My final year at UNC will begin on Monday. I am excited and yet not... so... excit...ed. I am excited that i will be increasing my knowledge of meteorology but not so excited about the homework that is sure to come. My biggest challenge of all is coming this semester. I will have to juggle level 400 classes with work and this awsome internship, but I know I will be able to manage everything ok.

I am also saddened because when school starts my days of working with Mike Nelson will be limited. However, i do have the honor of working with Richard Ortner and Scott Mace. I know I will continue to be in good hands throughout the semester while working with theses two fine Meteorologist.

So far my experience here at channel 7 has been the best experience ever! I still make a few mistakes here and there, but hey, i'm only an intern. I am gradually getting better on "the wall" where i practice my on-air skills. I have found out that whether their is nobody watching or 20 people watching, it always makes me nervous. However, I continue to find myself constantly improving. This proves that practice makes perfect and there is no where else I would rather do it.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Hello Everyone

My name is Chris Yates and I, like Kim, am a new 24/7 weather intern from the University of Northern Colorado. I am majoring in meteorology and am hoping to have a carreer as a broadcast meteorologist. My picture is not up yet but i'm sure will be up soon. I was very fortunate, i was able to start this internship early giving me more time to work with the best group of people i have ever known. My experience here so far has been remarkable. I've made accurate and not-so accurate forecast with Mike Nelson guiding me in the right direction. I have also been able to practice with the green screen, wich has been both very entertaining and very educational. So far my experience has been great and i know that it will only get better over the next couple months.

Friday, August 10, 2007

A Day of Many Firsts

Today I had the pleasure of working with Meteorologist Richard Ortner. For the first time today I was able to record the forecast on the 24/7 weather forecast phone line. After a few mess ups (actually it was more like 6 of them) I finally got it down. I was finally satisfied with my recording, and I was able to give the forecast over the phone.

This is not as easy as it may sound. When you are verbally giving the forecast you have to remember to give the forecast in a way that everyone is going to be able to understand. You also have to make sure that you are giving a "general" forecast because viewers are calling in from all over the state! It is difficult to generalize the weather in Colorado. It could be sunny yet raining cats and dogs all at the same time. Only in the beautiful state of Colorado can you see such weather.

Another first for me today, I was able to practice in front of the green screen. I have never done an ENTIRE forecast in front of the green screen before. I was so nervous! The hardest things about it were trying to remember to smile, look directly in the camera, move out of the way so you are not standing in front of the graphics, and talking in a calm tone. With a little help from Richard I was able to practice the forecast several times. It gets easier the more you do it. I can not wait to do it again!

I am having so much fun at this internship. It is awesome to finally get to use all the things I have learned in forecasting the weather! I can not even imagine how much more I will learn just from watching Mike. He is incredibly at what he does. I remember when he came to my school in the 5th grade, and I was able to see his famous "tornado dance" for the first time! I still have the old weather map he autographed for me! Ever since that day, I knew I wanted to do nothing but forecast the weather.

Friday, August 3, 2007

My First Week


Even though my picture is not up yet I thought I would send a shout out anyways! My name is Kim Insana and I am currently the new weather intern for the fall. I am about to start my Junior year at the University of Northern Colorado working on a degree in meteorology. The other fall intern, Chris Yates, is also from the University of Northern Colorado. We are both very excited that UNC is represented so well!

A little bit about myself-I LOVE the weather! It is all I talk about. Being able to work with Mike Nelson is going to be such a good experience and I can not wait for him to teach me some of his forecasting secrets! I am rather excited for this school year to start because I am going to be taking all major classes this semester. I will be taking Dynamic Meteorology, Computer Science, and Oceanography.

At UNC I am the Vice President of the student chapter of the American Meteorlogical Society, and I can not wait to see what this year holds for the chapter! We are currently working on several community service projects. One of these projects is a tornado machince that we have put together that we will be taking to the middle and elemetary schools in Greeley.

I am already having a blast here at 7 news, and I have only been here for 1 week! The people that work here are so nice and very welcoming. They have made me feel at home from the very first day I walked in. This internship is going to be a blast! I'm still working on convincing Mike to let me ride in the Air Tracker, you will be the first to find out if it actually happens!

Monday, July 30, 2007

The Wrap-up!

All good things must come to an end. Today is my last day as a 7News weather intern. This summer has reassured me that it is possible to reach my dream of becoming a meteorologist. I have learned so much and met so many great people here at the station. Never in my life have I felt so close to my dream.

I am getting ready to head back to school and continue plunging ahead with my classes. I know that the struggle and hard work of school will be worth it in the end. I hope to take these great experiences from the summer and use them to help me in the future.

Like Lisa said in a previous post, the people that work here are like a family and have welcomed and helped me without hesitation. I can't even dream of a better summer and would like to thank everyone that made it so great! The only way to make it big in this industry is to keep learning and keep a positive attitude because lets face it this job is awesome!

Friday, July 27, 2007

Out with a bang!

Today was my last day at the station, and boy did it go out with a bang! Right around the start of the 4 o'clock show, we started to see the radar screen light up. Storms began to develop just south of the Metro Area and though they were slow moving, they promised to head north into Denver. At last, after all the forecasts for heavy rain only to end in a weather no-show, our forecasts were right on and Denver was going to get hit by some much needed rain. Between updating the ticker and the website with the Flash Flood Warnings, I snuck outside the studio to get a first hand look at the rain. Though I love being in the weather center during severe weather, it's a bummer that they're aren't any windows. I was glad to sneak away for just a bit to see the lightning and rain from a window outside the studio.

I'm sad that my internship with 7News is over and as cliche as it sounds, I can't believe how fast it went. But I am glad to have ended on such an exciting note! It's days like these where I am reminded exactly why I am studying so hard at school. I cannot think of another field better suited for me than meteorology. With the tremendous amount of experience I have gained here at the station, and the many more things I will learn in my last two years of school, I am well on my way to a career as a meteorologist.

Thank you to everyone at the station who contributed to my wonderful experience and I wish the best of luck to the new fall interns. I'll keep in touch on the blog to let you know how the road through school is going.

And hooray for the original 24/7 Weather Intern bloggers, also known as "Mike's Angels"!

Things Coming to an End

As things are coming to an end, I am sad to go. This internship is the first job that I really have been sad to leave. I have learned so much about forecasting, TV, News, and like Hallie said, the geography of Colorado. I was able this summer to travel to a lot of the cities 7News forecasts for and have a much better idea of what the landscapes look like. This was a huge help in understanding the weather in those regions. I've decided that in the future I will make it a priority to travel through most of whatever state I forecast for to get a real life view of the region’s landforms. I've also developed some great friendships here as well. Life in the News station in the mornings is so much like being part of a family. Everyone is good friends and they are prone to joke quite a bit during commercial breaks or even on the news in-between stories. They all get a long so well, and I am going to miss the great chemistry that is here at Channel 7. I'm sure their close relationships are not like most, and the community here can't be the norm for all stations.
This internship has given me a goal to strive for as well as allowed me to see what it would be like to work at a News station. Overall I would say this is one of the best, if not the best, internship in the west. I strongly encourage students to apply here and possibly take the morning shift. I was lucky enough to be the first morning intern, and I have to say, the morning is the way to go. Being up before even Starbucks is open is a bonding experience that allows everyone to know each other really well. I am under the impression as well, that because Scott Mace has no weather producer, the morning intern is able to help out with quite a bit more than those later in the day.

I enjoyed my experience immensely, I strongly recommend it for any student. I am going to miss my mornings here at Channel Seven.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

The Big Kahuna

Today, we had the priviledge of meeting the big fish of KMGH, Terry McGraw, the CEO of McGraw-Hill, which happens to be the company that owns our station. I never knew how we got the letters for our station ID "KMGH" but now it makes a lot more sense. Our storm chaser, Tony, explained to me that the "K" is used to represent any station west of the Mississipi and "W" is used for stations east of it. And apparently, the "MGH" stands for McGraw-Hill.

Everybody was both nervous and excited for his visit to the station. I've never seen the control room so tidy and even the engineers were dressed in suits and ties. We, interns, were able to sneak into the studio room for a bit, while Terry spoke about his visions for the company and the new technology soon to be introduced. He even came into the news studio for a bit to meet the weather staff personally.

It's not everyday that you get to shake the hand of the man who's in charge of your entire company, let alone the CEO of such a well known company as McGraw-Hill.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Onward to KU

As my summer comes to an end, I've started thinking about my classes for next semester. I'm a bit nervous, because "word on the street" is that the two meteorology classes I'm enrolled in for the fall, are the two hardest meteorology classes I'll take at KU. The classes are Dynamic Meteorology and Physical Meteorology, though I couldn't even tell you what they are about. I guess I'll find out soon enough. They're supposedly so difficult because of how many calculations and equations are involved. Hopefully my 6 previous calculus classes will be of some help.

Though these two classes will definitely be a challenge, I am excited to finally be focusing completely on my major. My other classes include Environmental Studies and Multimedia Reporting. I'm really looking forward to Environmental Studies because I love learning about the impacts humans have on the environment. My journalism reporting class will also improve my storywriting and speaking skills.

That's the best part of becomming an upperclassman in college. You finally get to focus on your major and take classes that you're interested in. Bye bye awful gen. eds. (general requirements) The classes will be tough next semester but atleast they will all be subjects I am interested in.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Almost Done!

As this internship comes to a close, Ava and I were discussing everything that we had learned this summer. Everything from forecasting to checking out the helicopter to climbing up on the roof, I have learned so much that I will be able to take away from this internship.

I never realized how important it is to know the geography of the state that you are forecasting in. It seems obvious that the mountains would be cooler than the plains, but what about wind directions and how fronts stall over the mountains for long periods of time. These are all things that I have learned are very important to forecasting in Colorado. Accurate forecasts are hard sometimes because the weather is so unpredictable especially in Colorado. It just makes me realize how important it is to understand the geographic aspects of the state that you are working in. One of the negative aspects of the broadcast industry is that most people have to start in a smaller market and work up to the size market that you want to work in. This means moving around and being very flexible. Moving is hard in itself but the fact that you have to learn the geography of the state to be a successful meteorologist makes it even more difficult.

I can't believe that the internship is almost over. Just a couple more days until this great experience comes to an end.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Where did the rain go?

Yesterday, we were all gearing up for an "active" weather day in the weather center. These are my favorite days at work because there is so much to do. Our futurecast model was showing very high chances for storms in the afternoon in the Denver Metro area. By noon, the National Weather Service even put out a Flash Flood Watch for most of central Colorado. No matter which model you looked at, the conditions looked as though they were setting up a soaker of a storm. The newsroom called us to ask if they should send a camera crew out later to catch some footage of the rain.

So we waited, and waited, and waited for it to rain in Denver, and it never did. After all those warnings about heavy rain and flooding - nothing. I personally felt bad because many people had called into the station wondering about the rain. Many were concerned about flooding in their area and asked how much it was going to rain. I told them exactly what we all thought was going to happen - "good chance for rain, with the possibility of heavy rain at times".

I felt bad for telling those people something that didn't end up actually happening. I'm not used to people asking me what the forecast will be and I felt like I let them down. But I think it's good for me to get used to being wrong once in awhile. Weather forecasting has improved tremendously over the years, but it will never be perfect. Rather than focus on the negative, I think it's good to focus on the fact that we get so many forecasts right. Every so often, you're going to get those forecasts that just bomb. To survive as a meteorologist, you have to learn how to brush it off and know that you will do better next time.

Monday, July 16, 2007

The Dream Job

Since I have been interning in the Weather Center, several questions have come into the station regarding what it takes to be a meteorologist. Some of the questions that were asked were related to the schooling required and what types of classes are necessary to land this dream job. Currently pursuing this type of career, I feel that I can accurately answer some of the questions.

To become a meteorologist takes a large amount of math and science courses. The further you can get ahead in high school math and science the better. I wish I would have known that when I was in high school! The general requirements for most undergraduate meteorology programs are two semesters of chemistry, two semesters of upper level physics, three semesters of calculus, and lastly one semester of differential equations. After the general requirements are fulfilled you can then take some real meteorology classes! This classes range from synoptic and dynamic meteorology to instrumentation and tropical meteorology. Some univeristies even offer broadcast meteorology classes.

Several universities and colleges all over the country offer meteorology programs. Currently I attend the University of Missouri in Columbia, Ava attends Kansas University, and Lisa attends Penn State. If you are wanting to stay in Colorado for college the only two colleges that offer an undergraduate meteorology program are Metro State and University of Northern Colorado. Colorado State and University of Colorado do offer graduate programs though. With climate change being such a hot topic in the news today, becoming a meteorologist is not a dead end career, at least in my opinion. My motto is if you have a dream, nothing should stand in your way (not even hard classes!)

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Airtracker 7!!

Today I had the opportunity to spend time with Airtracker 7. I had the chance to not only see the chopper, but also sit in it. It's really neat that the helicopter can actually land on Channel 7. Most of the time the helicopter doesn't come to the station. It takes off from, and is stored at Centennial Airport. They had to drop by the station today because of some technical difficulties in the chopper. I got to meet Jayson Luber who does traffic from Airtracker 7 for the newscasts. He was sharing with me the perks and downfalls of his job. I can't get over the fact that his office is not inside the station or at home but actually inside a helicopter. I've always wanted a job that varies on a daily basis, and I'm pretty sure this takes the cake on that job requirement! Luckily, Tony Laubach was here today to capture this moment on film for me!

Talk About Live TV

Technology can be the most useful thing when it actually works. Yesterday at the station, we were not so lucky. It was about 3:56 pm when our camera operator realized that he didn't have control over any of the camera's. They had 4 minutes to figure out what the problem was before the live newscast began. Engineers began to flood the studio and try to get the camera's working. Talk about working under pressure! After a couple minutes they realized that they would not be able to get the camera's working in time for the first shot at 4. They decided that they had to move to to their backup plan, start the newscast in the newsroom. Usually the 4:00 news is split in half, one half is done in the studio and the other half is done in the newsroom. But the question in my mind was, with none of the camera's working in the studio, how were they going to do weather? There is only one green screen at 7News and that is in the studio. Luckily the camera in front of the green screen was still working since it isn't controlled by an operator. Richard Ortner's advice after the whole thing was done was to stay calm when things like this happen. This was something that was out of our control and therefore we couldn't change it. Luckily, they figured everything out by the time the 5:00 newscast was over in time for a normal 10:00 newscast. It's interesting to see what happens when technology doesn't work in the professional world. Overall, I can say that everyone handled the situation very well and stayed calm the whole time, I was very impressed.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Today I got to experience a different side to weather on TV. I came in a little later and got a chance to talk to Lisa Hidalgo about make up and camera presentation. She had me put on my make up normally and then told me what she'd do differently. It was very helpful. I never would have put that much make up on my self. She was so nice and even let me use some of her fancy MAC make up. I thought it looked like a lot, but i trusted her and she was completely right. On camera I looked much better. I am so excited because I get a chance to practice today in front of the green screen. Scott has told me to focus on being comfortable, making eye-contact, and feeling a little more conversational. He's told me to work on talking to the camera and not worrying so much about explaining the graphics. After his advice I watched a lot of other on camera meteorologists and noticed they spend no more then a 30 seconds talking about their graphics. I'd say after getting to do a lot here at channel 7, this part has been my favorite. It's especially fun to tape yourself doing the weather. Sometimes it's hard to watch yourself, but friends and family are always fans.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

24/7 Weather Experience

Today I had a chance to stop by the Cherry Creek Arts Festival and I made sure to stop by the 24/7 Weather Experience, which is a booth set up by 7NEWS which gives children the opportunity to stand in front of a green screen and see what it's like to be a meteorologist on TV.

It was really neat to see the kids up there, in front of the green screen. I was amazed by how confident they were -- all of them with a little twinkle in their eyes at the sight of seeing themselves on a TV screen.

I'm trying to imagine what I would have been like up there at their age. Since I was a little girl, I've always wanted to be on TV. From dreams of being a movie star to a TV anchor, and finally a meteorologist, a career in front of the camera has always intrigued me.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

I saw my first tornado (sort of)!

It was about 3:45 p.m. and I was working in the weather center, when I happened to look up at one of the TV monitors and noticed something unusual. This particular monitor was showing live video from our Thornton cam, looking south toward the Denver Metro Area. North of the downtown area, I saw what appeared to be a brown column of air.

At first, I thought that it might be a column of smoke from a fire. I quickly called Mike over to ask him what he thought it was. Ironically, at the same time, the monitor right next to the thornton video was showing footage sent in to the station of a landspout seen earlier this week. We looked at the two, side by side, and noticed how similar they looked. As we continued to watch the monitor, we could see that the column was indeed rotating.

Our storm chaser, Tony Laubach, was in the weather center as well, and recognized that it was, indeed, a landspout. A landspout, is a weak tornado, that spins upward from the ground rather than down from the cloud.

We quickly hit record and were able to capture a few seconds of footage of the landspout before it vanished. Not only did I get to see my first tornado from the live camera, but I am proud to say that I was the first to spot it on the monitor. Mike even mentioned my name on the news when talking about the landspout!

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Note to Self...

Last Saturday, I decided to wear a new shirt to work. It wasn't until I went to practice the weather forecast, and stepped in front of the green screen, that I realized it wasn't the best shirt for TV. You see, the shirt I wore was definitely the color green. Not just any green, the exact same kelly green as the green screen. As I stepped in front of the camera, I no longer had on a green shirt but was wearing the national radar instead. --Now you see me, now you don't.

Mike Nelson calls it a little a bit of TV magic. Everywhere the camera sees green, it replaces the color with the weather graphic instead. In this case, that meant my entire green shirt.

The technical name for the green screen is "chromakey", and it can come in different colors, like red, blue or green. Red is not a good choice because skin tones have a lot of red in them. Also, women tend to wear lipstick in shades of red. Blue is not the best choice either because it's a common color for clothing. That makes green the best color to use for the screen. I remember Mike telling me once that they chose that color because nobody would wear that shade of green. Oops, I guess I did. Don't call the fashion police on me. :)

The moral of the story is that I should not wear green to work!

Tuesday, July 3, 2007


Today we got hit with some severe weather over the eastern plains. Not only were there thunderstorm warnings, (which we seem to get every day) there were also tornado warnings for several different areas! Since it is severe weather season, this type of weather can only be expected. Making tickers and crawls and keeping Mike informed on everything that was going on kept me busy for most of the afternoon. Luckily, the tornadoes that did touch down (9 of them!) were around rural areas so nobody got hurt to my knowledge. I think the extent of the damage was vegetation and live stock. We received some awesome viewer pictures of the tornadoes that Mike used on air. Looking at the pictures makes me realize how destructive these funnel clouds can be. Luckily in this case, not much was damaged. I give credit to the storm chasers out there, I just don't know how close I would want to come to one of those giant funnel clouds!

With the 4th of July fast approaching, cooler weather is in store for the Denver area. It's a little bit disappointing that the cooler weather happens to fall on a holiday but the break from the heat will be much appreciated. Hopefully enough precipitation will fall to help out with some of the fires still burning in Colorado.

Monday, July 2, 2007

The Art of Forecasting

I have learned that the most important part of being a Broadcast Meteorologist is to make an accurate and news-friendly forecast. Mike actually lets us make our own forecasts to practice. He says that the best forecasting skills come from experience and knowing your Colorado terrain. Most people think that Meteorologists and Weathercasters take their forecasts directly from the National Weather Service and I can tell you firsthand, that this is absolutely not true.

To start the process of forecasting, we take a look at the different models that are produced from a computer in Washington D.C. These models show up as a picture of the United States, 500 Millibars above the surface with equal lines of pressure (isobars) all over them. The computer in Washington D.C. makes these models by calculating over 7 trillion calculations per second. Trust me, I'm taking a Calculus class right now and it is not easy. Without that computer, Meteorologists would have to do all of those calculations by hand. You can imagine how important this computer is to Meteorologists. The models that are printed show how the fronts move in and out by how close the isobars are to each other. These maps help Meteorologists make an extended forecast. After that, we take a look at at the MOS models. They give us an idea of what temperatures are estimated to be at, and what the precipitation chances are for the next couple of days. They are posted in Zulu time, so it can be a little bit difficult to figure out what the actual time is, but I think I've finally got it figured out! After that, we look at all the models and maps and make the forecast. Mike overlooks the forecast, changes what he wants, and then we enter the information into the computer for the show.

It is obvious to me, that with experience comes accuracy. With the amount of experience Meteorologists in this television market have, they usually have a pretty good idea of what's in store, at least as far as weather goes!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

How much school does it take?

We had a question come into the station about whether or not a master's degree was needed to become a meteorologist. Depending on who you ask, you may get very different answers. Professors will tend to push you toward a master's because of their passion for higher education. The decision to work on a higher degree is really a personal one. When it comes to research meteorology, a master's degree is almost essential. As for the National Weather Service, they are starting to prefer master's degrees as well. So many meteorology students get out of college with the same exact background: a B.S. degree with a minor in math or physics. A master's degree can help to set you apart from the rest. As for broadcast meteorology, a bachelor's degree in meteorology is adequate. Keep in mind, though, that no matter how much schooling you have, landing a broadcasting job comes down to how well you do on your audition tape. I, myself, am dealing with the same dilema of going for a master's or not -- and it's a decision I'll have to make pretty soon!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Severe What?

We had the promise of severe weather today in Denver. It was cool enough outside and with just enough instability in the atmosphere, I thought for sure we would have a very fun afternoon here at the station. Not to mention, the clouds were beginning to look crazy outside. With the strange colored sky and the way the afternoons have looked the past few days, I was thinking today we might be in luck.

When severe weather occurs, the 7News Weather Center can become slightly chaotic. It begins with the warning being issued from the National Weather Service. It alerts us with a little siren coming from the computer. At that point we can either write a Ticker or a Crawl. A Ticker is what flips up on the bottom of the screen using two lines. A Crawl is a one line sentence that travels across the bottom of the screen. The pressure is on to spell everything correctly and have the correct grammar because it is sent straight to our control room to be put on air as soon as possible without going through a spell check. After the Ticker or Crawl shows up on air we continue to watch the computer and make sure that we update the information as needed. On top of that, we have the website to keep up to date. As stressful as this whole process sounds, it really a huge adrenaline rush. The most important thing when severe weather occurs is to keep the viewers as informed as possible. During the newscast, if an update comes up, we print off the warning and slide it to Mike with hopefully no viewers noticing. It's really nice when Chris Spears is here since he has so much experience he keeps the whole situation under control and helps keep Mike informed with the most up to date information when he is on air.

Today was not so lucky, most of the exciting weather ended up staying south and not hitting Denver as hard as we forecast...oh well, maybe next time!

Welcome to the Morning Shift!

I was very excited to get a chance to work with Scott Mace at channel 7 in the mornings. I am a student at Penn State, so coming to Colorado has been quite an adventure. The morning shift allows me to have another job later in the day so this was the best fit for me. I haven't always known I wanted to work in TV, but i knew Meteorology was right for me. I decided to have a news internship this summer in order to explore my options with a career in Meteorology. So far it has been a very positive experience. I normally get up around 2:30 am and make the commute from Boulder to Denver. It is very nice to be up that early because it limits the traffic. I also get a chance to start on the graphics and some forecasting before Scott gets here around 3:40 am. I start forecasting for our "master cities" list. We have quite a few cities and its nice to get that going early. I then talk with him some about the forecast, update the website, print things for him to use, and make some surface maps on our graphics program. It is nice to watch someone as experienced as him forecast everyday. Over all I've learned a lot. I will try to be frequent with updates on more of the day to day experiences, as they everyday can be very different.

Monday, June 25, 2007

The Best Summer Ever!

Ever since I was little, I remember watching Mike Nelson on TV and thinking what a cool job he has. He gets to be on TV and gets to travel around to different schools and talk to kids. What more could you ask for in a job? I decided that is exactly what I want to do when I grow up. I have had the best summer interning with him and have already learned so much. I know that this is a dream come true to be able to work next to the legend himself. I have had the opportunity to learn about this industry from someone that has worked their way from the bottom to the top. Everyday that I come in I get to help forecast and put the show together. I have had the opportunity to "play" with the green screen and practice in front of it as much as I want. All I can say is that it is way harder then it looks. There is no teleprompter, no scripts, and no help from anyone else. I can only imagine the pressure of actually doing this live. Everyday is different from the next, and it is so exciting to see what I am learning at school put to use in real life. I have also had the chance earlier in the summer to travel with Mike to my own elementary school that I attended back in the day to do a school talk. It was so neat to see how excited the kids were to see this celebrity in their own elementary school and it was extra special for me to see how the school has changed from several years ago. This is a great way to share the experiences that I have encountered as I blog my way through what's left of this very exciting summer. I can only imagine what else is in store!


Hello and welcome to our 24/7 Weather Center Intern Blog! We thought this blog would be a great way to give you an inside look on what it's like to be an intern at 7News. From getting up at 3 a.m. to climbing the roof ladder in high heels, this internship is full of surprises and fun. Currently, there are three weather interns: myself, Hallie and Lisa -- all of us working toward a meteorology degree. We have no problem staying busy behind the scenes, helping to produce the shows and getting some practice of our own in front of the green screen. With the summer halfway over, we sure have some stories to tell.

Stay tuned for more exciting stories and details about the weather internship.