S60 Oklahoma Weather Lab: An opportunity for operational meteorology for students at the University of Oklahoma

Sunday, 23 January 2011
Anthony Lamont Bain, Oklahoma Weather Lab, Norman, OK; and K. D. Sherburn, N. R. Ramsey, and W. G. Blumberg

The School of Meteorology (SoM) at the University of Oklahoma is renowned for its prestigious faculty, state of the art facilities, and revolutionary research. Through various partnerships with the National Severe Storms Laboratory, the Cooperative Institute for Mesoscale Meteorological Studies, and other entities, SoM has always offered opportunities for undergraduate research. With research being a large component of SoM, the Oklahoma Weather Lab (OWL) was designed to provide students at all levels with forecasting experience. OWL is a student led organization that gives students the opportunity to work within a team and analyze real-time weather data. The idea of OWL was formed by three senior meteorology students in 1998, and forecasting shifts commenced in the fall of 1999. Since then, OWL has grown from a handful of members to an active roster of over 40 students. OWL now produces forecast packages for the entire state of Oklahoma three times a day throughout the work week and once a day over the weekend. Additionally, OWL produces forecasts for Island 107 FM in Key West, Florida, along with podcasts which are played on air every hour, Monday through Friday. Furthermore, the HOOT Development Lab provides web page development and maintenance while producing maps displaying current analysis and model fields for OWL forecasters. With a new Dean of the College of Atmospheric and Geographic Sciences and a new Director of SoM, OWL's role in the program should continue to grow through the increased presence of forecasting in the undergraduate curriculum.
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