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.