Meteorologist mentorship: Helping a local student pursue his passion

Meteorologist mentorship: Helping a local student pursue his passion

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - Most of us have had help throughout our career from people we look up to in the field we want to pursue.

I got to help one Blythewood High School teen with his dream of one day becoming a meteorologist.

Back around 18 years ago, I really loved meteorology and got to intern at WIS. I had several meteorologists here and all across the state of South Carolina help me so I could figure out what I was going to be when I grew up.

Will Rowe is a 9th grader from Blythewood High School and has loved meteorology ever since he was a kid.

“I’ve always been into meteorology, ever since I was 3,” he said. “I remember looking at the radar and watching the TV meteorologist when I got out of preschool with my Nana. Just sitting there and watching Joe Pinner and Ben Tanner... it just kinda sparked my interest.”

Active weather is Rowe’s forte.

“I really like hurricanes and tornadoes and severe weather and all that,” he said. “I just like watching the velocity radar, and just the winds patterns, hook echos, bow echos, all that.”

He’s used WIS’s online tools for weather tracking throughout his childhood.

“I just pull up the WIS radar on the website at the time, and I’d watch the storms, take an expo pen and draw on the screen and just act like I was really drawing on the camera,” he said.

Rowe has a Facebook page called “Will’s Weather.”

“Will’s Weather is a daily weather forecast...Monday through Friday,” he explained. “And this weather page is also for watches.”

He says he updates it regularly.

Rowe says he has always wanted to work for the Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Oklahoma.

“I just always loved storms and it just fits right in my alley. I want to go to Oklahoma, and the SPC is on the campus of Oklahoma,” he said.

I will help out and mentor him in any way, but I had a better idea of how he can get an in at the Storm Prediction Center. I was able to set Rowe up with Dr. Patrick Marsh, who is the Chief of Science Support and on the supervision team at the SPC.

“I was this kid when I was his age,” Marsh said. “In fact, I told my local chief meteorologist that I wanted to be the SPC Director, and that was included in their almanac they produced.”

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