On Tuesday, October 29, 2019, Mr. Scot Burns’ first period Meteorology class took part in a special opportunity, as they hosted NBC12 First Alert Weather Specialist, Nick Russo. Students gathered in the Closed Commons to listen to Russo describe how he began his career as a meteorologist and explain the different weather patterns. Senior Ryan South shares, “This was a unique learning opportunity that was very beneficial to me and my class.”
A Boston native, Russo explained how “[he] knew [he] wanted to be a meteorologist since the 5th grade” and how earning a major in Journalism and a minor in Meteorology from Lyndon State College prepared him for a successful career. After working as a broadcaster in Flint, Michigan, Oak Hill, West Virginia, and Midland, Texas, Russo moved to Richmond in October of 2018, accepting a position at NBC12.
Next, Russo built upon the students’ knowledge of different types of weather, explaining more in depth about their impact and forecasts. First, Russo explained the different types of clouds, and how each signified different weather patterns approaching, such as the fact that Cirrus Clouds signal rain in upcoming days. Russo explained the different types of severe weather, such as thunderstorms and tornadoes, and illustrated how they form. He also advised different safety precautions to take when these storms arrive. Clarifying many misconceptions about various weather patterns, he advised that, for example, a snowstorm and blizzard are two different weather patterns, explaining, “A storm is classified as a blizzard if winds are above 35 mph”.
“I really wanted my students to know possible career paths in Meteorology ,and luckily, Russo was kind enough to share his own experiences. [He] explained [that] to become a meteorologist, you do not need to major in Meteorology, because he majored in Journalism. Also, I wanted students to see a real weather person leading up to their final project, which is creating their own forecast in front of a green screen,” reflects Mr. Burns.