Last week Monday, Brockport was hit by Superstorm Sandy, and while most people were freaking out I was jumping up and down on my bed counting down the hours until Sandy made landfall. Ok, so…not really, but you get the idea! When meteorologists talk about “sucky weather” we’re actually referring to blue skies, puffy clouds type days. We LIVE for storms like these! We’re the type of people that would go outside during a tornado, rather than seek shelter.
Anyways, Monday morning it started to rain and Brockport was experiencing some of the lesser effects of Sandy, but by 7pm Sandy was hitting us with tons of ran and strong winds, and it wasn’t even Sandy at her strongest! I was checking Facebook to see how my family was doing and to keep up to date regarding Sandy, when I came across my friend’s post about how Dr. P (a meteorologist & professor on campus) was running around with other met. majors (who live in the hall right above mine!) in order to release a weather balloon in the middle of the hurricane.
Side note: Dr. P is a faculty-in-residence (meaning he lives in a residence hall) and the majority of the freshmen met. majors
live in the same building in the Math & Science Living Learning Community.
My friend Emily and I are the only girl meteorology majors in the Math & Science LLC and we live right across the hall from each other. I told her that Dr. P grabbed the guys and left without us…so naturally, we put on shoes and ran outside to chase after them. Yes, you read correctly…we ran outside, in the middle of superstorm. The campus was flooded because the intense amounts of rain Brockport got throughout the day, it was POURING, and I’m pretty sure the wind was blowing completely horizontal! So here we are, running from our residence hall (McFarlane) to our science lecture hall (Lennon) through all of the puddles being complete weather nerds screaming, “FOR SCIENCE!”. When we finally made it to Lennon, Dr. P and the other met majors are NO WHERE to be found. After looking for what seemed like forever we decided to head back to our dorms since being out in the middle of a superstorm probably is not the safest thing in the world. We were drenched and we were upset. Launching a weather balloon in the middle of hurricane/superstorm is a huge, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and we thought we missed it! When we get back one of the guys that was MIA with Dr. P was standing in my room waiting for me to get back to tell me that 1. we weren’t launching the weather balloon until 1am and 2. we were launching it from our residence hall.
In other words, we did not miss the balloon launch and ran outside, in a superstorm for nothing.
So, at midnight Emily and I (and a bunch of other meteorology majors) helped put together and release a weather balloon in the middle of a superstorm 😀 Mission accomplished! And it was a TON of fun. You know you have chosen the right major when you love every second of what you’re doing. It was totally worth running outside, getting soaked and staying up super late (3am) for!
So, now you know what it’s like to be a meteorology major! And even though we act like little kids on Christmas morning when severe weather like Superstorm Sandy hit, we do worry about all of the effects that the severe weather will have on other areas because we know what these types of weather phenomenon can do.
Here are some pictures of releasing the weather balloon…!