Scott is just days away from entering weather school where he intends to acquire the knowedge required to expertly deliver weather on TV . In his last blog post, he shared an email he sent to butter up his professor. Now find out if it worked. Read the full Weather Dream reality blog series.

Well the results of my last, first pre-class tuschy-kissing correspondence are in, and they’re not all bad. I got my summer reading (score), was told that my lack of on-camera experience is gonna be a problem (womp), but was then put onto a prof who could be my on-camera coach and has a similar last name to…the Caps high-scoring Russian winger:

Welcome, Scott. I hope that Meteo 101 gives you a good foundation on which to build your weather pursuits. All of the course material that you need is included online, however, if you are anxious to do some “summer reading”, may I suggest A World of Weather, 5th ed. Yes, I know that I am biased because it was written by my colleagues Jon Nese and Lee Grenci, but I feel it is one of the best introductory texts out there. While Meteo 101 focuses primarily on general weather concepts and forecasting in the mid-latitudes, the book also contains chapters on tropical weather, severe weather, and climate change (I see that you already have experience with that…).

In terms of your career path, you need to think about how you are going to gain on-camera experience. Certainly smaller-market stations hire weathercasters without BS degrees, but, being on-camera takes a lot of practice feedback from folks who are “in the know”. I don’t have any such experience, but Mr Seman, who teaches the mid-level classes in the Certificate, is regularly on-camera. I gather from him that it takes a lot of experience to not only prepare a weather forecast, but to deliver it in exactly the time allotted to you (usually 3 minutes or so). You’ll have to see out some opportunities to be in front of a camera as you progress.

Let me know if you have any other questions… otherwise, I will “see” you online in the fall.

Sounds like a great guy, no? Just like the person I’d want to be the Knight to my Krzyzewski. Well as you know, no good response goes unresponded on this blog. So here’s what I slipped into the good doctor’s inbox over the weekend. [One other note, as you’ll read, I did locate the summer reading he mentioned on Amazon for a very reasonable $47.47 (used). Teach did fail to mention that he’s a co-author of the publication as well (what a humble man). I’m happy to order two copies if someone else wants to follow along from home.]

Dr. Babb,

Really appreciate the feedback and guidance. Per your advice, I’m going to try and score “A World of Weather” on the cheap from Amazon (I have Prime, so it shouldn’t burn to much of a hole in my wallet). I’ll make sure to take it to the beach and other fun trips over the next month – seems like even browsing it will be helpful leading up to class.

In terms of broadcast meteorology, my plan (as you know from the blog) is to do this course and then do many online auditions. The hope is someone gives me a shot. That said, I’d love to reach out to your colleague Mr. Seman – seems like he might have some good advice for me as I begin the journey. Maybe he can give me some tips on how to work on my 3-minute shpiel while I’m at home (sounds like something I could work on in the shower). Hopefully he’ll have some connections for me here in NYC as well – I’d love to get into a studio to practice. Would you like to introduce us or can I drop your name in an email?

Lastly, I wanted to get your advice on my pursuit vis-a-vis going the Penn State route. Seems to me there is a large weather fraternity out there that are Mississippi State Bulldogs. They actually have a 3-year correspondence program in Broadcast Meteorology that seems more serious than PSU’s program and apparently it can be a qualifier for taking the AMS cerfitication course (which I don’t think PSU’s program can be).The MSU route might take longer and be more expensive, but if I can have them on my weather resume and have a chance to take my AMS seal test right after the degree, it seems like it might be a better option.

Let me know what you think,


Scott Zakheim website

Scott Zakheim on Twitter (@weatherdream)