A TV meteorologist’s job does not begin and end with the 5 o’clock newscast, students in Steve Miller’s meteorology class learned this week at Lincoln-Way East High School.
Research and preparation must take place beforehand – long before the television cameras switch on.
“I have to make my own forecasts and build my own graphics,” said Tammie Souza, a meteorologist with WFLD-FOX Chicago. “Nobody makes them for me.”
The certified meteorologist was at Lincoln-Way East High School on Wednesday (Nov. 7), talking to a group of meteorology students about her job, schooling and passion for weather.
“I really enjoy it,” she said.
Sousa’s love of weather and science began at a young age when her grandfather would take her flying in a small plane.
“The excitement of soaring through the sky led to questions about why clouds form what causes storms and where wind comes from,” she said.
That fascination for weather continued into adulthood when Souza decided to pursue a Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology and Environmental Science from San Diego State University.
She completed her undergraduate studies through Mississippi State University, her graduate studies at University of California, San Diego and her Broadcast Meteorology Certification through Mississippi State University.
The certified meteorologist is currently working toward her master’s degree and plans to pursue a doctorate.
“I am pretty passionate about weather and science,” she told students, comparing weather forecasting to solving a puzzle.
When asked about what type of weather to expect this winter, Souza told students to plan on seeing a warmer than normal winter – but not one as warm as last year when Chicago saw 70-degree days in February and 80-degree days in March.
“I don’t think we’ll see (that type of winter) again in our lifetime,” she said.
As far as this weekend: “Bring your rain slicker (to the Bears game),” Souza told students. “We have a potential for rain.”