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Student Profile: Jessica Storm

Storm J Photo


Could you give a little bit of background about yourself? 


I’m a senior, originally from New Jersey and I’m studying meteorology and climatology. I’m mostly interested in the meteorology side of it and I’m minoring in Spanish. 


What got you interested in meteorology and climatology? 


For me, I just always watched the Weather Channel and weather on TV when I was younger and was always drawn to it. I always liked thunderstorms and I would go outside to watch them when I was younger, especially intense summer thunderstorms that come plowing through. I get excited when I hear thunder. I feel like a powerful villain.


Also, my last name is Storm so I guess that’s helpful.


What made you decide to major in meteorology and climatology?


I was undecided when I came to UD. I came to the Decision Day event and my mom and I saw that there was meteorology and my mom said, ‘You like meteorology, let’s go to that one.’ So we went and learned about meteorology and I met one of my professors. I didn’t want to box myself in, but that was kind of what I always wanted to do. 


Has the major lived up to your expectations since you’ve been in it?


Yeah. It’s been great. I love that the major is so small because it’s new and starting out. I basically walked into Dan Leathers’ [professor in the Department of Geography and Spatial Sciences and Delaware State Climatologist] office one day and said ‘I was thinking about doing some research’ and he said ‘Ok, I have this project I’m working on with hurricanes in the mid-Atlantic, want to help me?’ When I tell people that who go to other bigger meteorology schools, they’re surprised about how easy it was to get the research opportunity. At their schools, they have to compete with other people for a research position because there’s so many of them in their respective American Meteorological Society (AMS) clubs, but for me, I walked in and asked. 


Do you have any favorite classes or professors?


Dr. Leathers is awesome and Dr. Veron [associate professor and director of the environmental science and environmental studies programs] is great. She goes to Antarctica to study clouds and the climate and she’s super cool and smart. She went with us to the Austin, Texas AMS conference and she hosted a barbecue at her house at the end of the year for our RSO. 


Could you talk about the club? How many people are in it? What all do you do?


It depends. It’s a small club partly because the major is small and new. But we meet every other week. We’re trying to launch a weather balloon. Sometimes, we watch informational talks about tornadoes that spin backwards, things like that. We have speakers come from emergency management groups that talk to us about future careers in meteorology and we also do social trips. We go to Ocean City every semester and hang out and look at clouds but mostly just bond. It’s a chill time. It’s like a little family and now I’m the president of the club and we’re all just here trying to help each other out. 


What do you want to do after graduation? 


I don’t think I’m interested in graduate school right now just because I feel like I’ve been going to school for 16 years. I would consider going back and even just an on-line school thing. I did an internship with AccuWeather this past summer so that was really cool. I got to see what it was like to forecast in a corporate setting and I think it would be really great if I could get a job after college where I could forecast, do something close to weather. 


Could you talk more about your internship experience?


It was the end of May through the middle of August. There was three weeks of training which was cool because it was kind of like school, just extended. But then we got out and did a lot of forecasting and two of the graphics I made in my internship ended up in the New York Times. That was exciting. My parents bought them and I’m going to hang them on my wall. 


We do lots of graphics at AccuWeather for TVs and for websites with the articles but the New York Times has a specific format and they like things a specific way. I think they get the Jet Stream shown where the fronts are, the high pressure and cold pressure and where the precipitation will be and both times I made a weekend forecast map. It’s very collaborative there so it’s everyone’s forecast. We’re working together to make the best, most accurate forecast we can. They’re very proud of their internship that it’s not just interns going and getting coffee. You’re really learning something and getting involved and I was doing things similar to the new hires that came just out of college. So that was cool. 


What advice do you have for prospective students out there who want to get into this field?


I think it’s important to know that you’re not going to get to learn everything in the classroom. There’s stuff that you have to look up on your own and spend time practicing it. I got a book that’s really a text book but I’m reading it casually just to learn more about forecasting. There are things outside of classes that you can do to set yourself apart.


For more information on majors at the College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment, click here.


CEOE School & Departments

School of Marine Science & Policy

Advancing the understanding, stewardship, and conservation of estuarine, coastal, and ocean environments.

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Department of Earth Sciences

Discovering how geological processes have operated over various time scales to create and influence the planet’s surface environments.

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Department of Geography and Spatial Sciences

Providing a unique spatial perspective that seeks to explain patterns of differences and commonality across the human and natural environment.

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College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment • 111 Robinson Hall • Newark, DE 19716 • USA • Phone: 302-831-2841
Geography and Spatial Sciences: 302-831-2294 • Earth Sciences: 302-831-2569 • Marine Science and Policy: 302-645-4212 • E-mail: ceoe-info@udel.edu

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