The most amazing female meteorologist

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Awestruck….I’m still in awe from an opportunity I had last Friday.

Last week, I my radar class visited the radar site for Denver (KFTG). That giant tower you see above…yeah that montrosity is it.

It sits on 12 feet of concrete underground and puts out so much power (750 kW), if you put a hot dog close to the transmitter, it would get nice and krispy.

But that’s not why I am in awe. I mean that thing is awesome but it wasn’t the thing that inspired me.

That would be the woman who led the field trip. Her name is Nezette Rydell, and she’s the Meteorologist in Charge at the Boulder National Weather Service. Yep, I had to Google her name because it’s not a name you come by often.

Nezette looks like a sweet Texan grandmother. She doesn’t give off a standoffish vibes I noticed from other meteorologists and had a real interested to talk to my fellow students and I. But when she opens her mouth, that’s when your jaw drops.

“What we are looking at today,” she said excitingly, “Is a WSR-88D radar. The transmitter puts out 750 kW of power and does a full volume scan in 6 minutes.”

Well, I wasn’t expecting that! Not to say women don’t know their stuff. It is just since I started my meteorological scholastic career I’ve only heard from men. I mean, every single conference I’ve been to or class I’ve had, a man is the one spouting out the technical jargon. And if I can say quite frankly, the way she was able to explain something so technologically advanced, it made me so happy!

As a female budding meteorologist, I feel like I’ve had a little bit to prove within myself. Coming from a journalistic background, it has been a struggle to train my brain to do the math and physics. And, for the most part I’ve been in a lot of male dominated classes, where usually the people who are able to answer things out-loud (even though a lot of my female friends also knew the answers) in class are all…men. And I am not ashamed to say, I’ve also heard sporadically throughout my life that men are better at the sciences then women.

So just to see a woman, who is the big boss at I would say one of the hardest Forecasting Offices to get in to (seriously, you need a PhD or at least a master’s degree to even be considered) be able to spout of all this technical jargon and to just show how smart she is….I can’t even begin to describe how inspired I am.

It makes me realize, as a woman, that I can go and do well in this field to. I can know all this jargon and that either I or any of my female counterparts could be the MIC (Meteorologist in Charge) of their County Warning Area. We can be chief meteorologists. And because we are also learning how to code and work in fields of instrumentation, there is no telling what the future holds.

Needless to say, I have hope for the future. And that, makes it all worth it.

Until then,

-M

 

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Welcome Back to The World!

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Hi guys!

I missed you all so much. Now that I have fully been on vacation and have figured out how I am going to attack this semester. I can happily announce that I am back to blogging.

So let’s start with this weekend. The picture above is from, I kid you not, the view from our porch of our cabin for the weekend. I seriously love Colorado.

Although I can’t tell you exactly where this picture was taken because the place where I was is particular about media coverage I can tell you it is somewhere in between Estes Park and Nederland on Peak to Peak Highway in Colorado.

The nice thing is even though things are starting to cool down here, it is still warm enough to get around and hike a bit. It is also still warm enough for wildlife to be out.

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I was lucky enough to see some deer over the weekend too. I literally just shut the door after taking the dogs out for a hike when a herd of deer swarmed my cabin. There were 4 in total (One buck and 3 does) and they seemed happy enough to graze around while I frantically search for my phone to take a picture. The pic above is of the one straggling doe that stuck around just so I could get her picture.

But my weekend was not just all fun and games.

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I also got in a lot of reading too. If you are geeky about meteorology and want to learn about radar, I highly recommend this book. I am currently reading this because I am taking a course in radar and satellite at school however, the professor who wrote this book sells these on his website for about $40.

Just thought I would write a little update for you. Hope to have more interesting blog posts soon.

Until then,

-M

Here’s to another new beginning

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(The Weather Lab at my school)

Hey guys,

It is the start to a school semester. I could go on and on….blah blah blah…. about starting school again in the fall and how nervous I am and excited to see friends, but this start is a little different for me.

A lot of things have happened in the span of the spring semester to the fall semester. (Yes, I got highlights. Thanks for noticing 😉 ) At the end of the spring semester, I got sick. Like really sick. Like so sick my family and I were questioning whether I would return to school. The good news is I made it through and was able to take one class during the summer. I even passed Calculus 2!!!!!! (That’s a miracle in itself)

But you can’t blame me for being a little nervous to get back in the saddle in the weather lab (pictured above). I love weather with everything in me. I wish I would have studied it sooner. But that lab, there’s just something about it where I feel like I need to attack the tasks in there and prove to myself that my illness didn’t own me.

I didn’t mean to get all deep. Just thought I would share amongst friends.

Wish me luck! And oh, if you are starting school tomorrow too, best wishes and go get ’em!

-M

Making Your Heart Sing

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Hi all,

Happy 4th of July weekend!

I’m taking a break this weekend from forecasts and videos to do something I haven’t done in awhile: write a blog post.

For this post, I want to talk about making your heart sing. What does that mean exactly? Well, let me tell you.

When I was younger, I was very fortunate to have a mom and grandparents who encouraged me to explore what I loved. My mom cheered me on at school and always made me do my best (not in an overbearing way at all, more that she taught me that you should always do the right thing and give it 100%. Sadly, not all people have this skill). My grandparents helped my mom while she had to work and always told me that I could do whatever I wanted. All of them told me to pursue it.

Lately I’ve felt that more often, my age group has come into a world where they’ve found, that that is not necessarily true. I recently came across an article on Snapchat talking about not letting society crush your dreams. It was an article from a person who graduated college at the same time I did, in 2011 in the middle of the recession. He talked about something I experienced: that you got out of school and times were so hard for someone starting their future that many people took jobs they didn’t want just to make ends meet. I didn’t take a job I didn’t want. I was lucky and ended up in the career field I wanted. Just when it came time for me to realize that there was still something else I wanted to do in my life, it was the mentality that you just have to put up with whatever to make ends meet that kept me there. I am always grateful for the employment opportunities my old jobs gave me, I’m just sad that when I left, I kept that mentality going for a very long time. The mentality of, “your an adult now. You have to work. Life isn’t fun most of the time but every once in awhile you get to do something you enjoy.”

I have to say, that is a soul sucking mentality. For me, that mentality radiated into everything. How I handled my finances and how I approached fun even. But I am here to tell was not a healthy way to approach my life. I’m not saying not be responsible by any means. Just to find balance.

I recently started to break out of that shell and to do just as much responsible things as fun things. Because before my ratio was 90% responsible and 10% fun….maybe. Now my husband I try to keep it at 50-50.

One of the things we do now is to get out and hike every weekend. And we typically go to a different place every time. That way I get to be in the trees and dirt and sky and just leave all my stress there and not carry it around with me. I can’t tell you how cleansing it is to be out in the woods and just let your spirit take a deep breath. Plus, I get to spot many clouds and look at how beautiful the atmosphere is. It’s amazing to see the shapes that water vapor and wind make. It’s like a new painting every day.

And just to see how it all co-mingles together with the landscape. It really is like being put smack dab in the middle of an environment so beautiful. And just like a songwriter writes a song to help express how they feel, the outdoors is what makes my heart sing.

So, this holiday weekend. I encourage you to find out whatever it is that makes your heart sing. And then let that song never end.

See you in my next blog post,

-M

It Will Never Be The Same

A long time ago (in  a galaxy not so far away), I had a TV meteorologist who I used to work give me some advice on going back to school. The one thing she said to me that really stuck (besides, well going back to school would be tough. I mean that was pretty important too) was “The way you look at the world will never be the same.” And ya know, she was right.

Little did I know how right she would be. That now instead of just looking up at the skies and seeing clouds or watching it snow or even trying to calm my dogs down during a thunderstorm that I would see it all differently in just a year of meteorology school.

Now I see a entirely different world than the one we are currently living in. I see clouds being formed by evaporation from the Earth and oceans with so many little water droplets being suspended in the air. I see layers of the atmosphere that each have their own characteristics that make them so unique. Like in this Skew-T screenshot I took a few days ago.

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It may look like squiggly lines and numbers to the untrained eye but this tells weather folk about different levels of the atmosphere, it’s temperature, the winds in each layer and even where the possibility for precipitation will occur or even how spinny (yes, spinny. Don’t shake your head at me.) a storm could become (i.e. tornado).

Instead of it being breezy or so windy it could knock you and your loved one over, I not only think, we should really get inside, I wonder where did the wind come from and where is it going? Is it just winds traveling from high to low pressure or is part of a front too?

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Pic from a website that not only shows you where the winds are blowing on a map but also how fast they are going. You can see all the current winds in the world and where they are headed.

And even while I lay here in bed, writing this to you, and wondering if the symptoms from my migraine will ever end, I feel joy from looking outside my window at the clear blue sky and knowing that we are currently in a high pressure system.

No matter what happens with people or your day or even what will happen in the future, there is an entire world going on around you that is so complex and beautiful. And I am really lucky I get to study it.

So yes, she was right. It isn’t the same. And I don’t ever want to go back. So thanks for the advice!

Until then,

-M

 

 

Great Meteorology Videos To Watch

Hey there everyone!

Welcome to the start of another week. If you are on the east coast, I really hope you are safe and warm! This snowstorm is pretty much everything it should be and I am really thankful to all of those in the meteorological community who warned about it because it could have been a lot worse.

I was thinking about what I like to do when I am shut in due to inclement weather. What I like to do is watch lots and lots of Youtube videos all about weather! So, I decided to make a playlist of all the good weather-related videos I have seen out there by other science nerds on the internet (because let’s face it, I like to share cool stuff from other people too!). Click here and it will take you to my Youtube page. Scroll to the bottom and it will take you to the meteorology video playlist.

Here’s a taste of some of the videos that I have on my playlist:

  • What Causes Stripey Clouds?
  • How Rainbows Form
  • How to Make a Cloud in Your Mouth
  • What’s the Difference Between a Solar and Lunar Eclipse?
  • And many more!

I hope you all enjoy this playlist. I will update it as I see more and more. And please don’t forget to SUBSCRIBE to my YouTube channel to keep up to date on all weather videos.

Until then,

-M

How Snowflakes Get Their Shape

You’ve heard no two snowflakes are the same but did you know the reason is it all depends on the weather outside?

I researched what goes into the shape of each snowflake and why. And it has to do on several factors. But, did you know that there are actually FOUR different types of shapes to each snowflakes?

Watch my new video above to find out. Click here to go directly to my channel for more videos.

Until then,

-M

 

 

 

What a Year!

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Hi everyone!

I hope you had a wonderful Christmas/Hannukah/Kwanza/Festivus! My Christmas was very fun and so full of family and friends. I am very grateful for them all.

Now that the end of the year is upon us, I started thinking about what happened in 2015. And everything that happened was awesome! I would like to thank all my readers! You have really made blogging fun and I love talking to you all.

Here’s a recap of what happened to me this year. Some are weather related and some are not. But I am happy to share it all with you!

I started school and started pursuing a career in meteorology! 

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Never ever did I think I would head back to school and do something new with my life. For years, I had a career in TV and journalism but I was looking for something more. I always knew I was good at earth sciences and geography so who knew I would find a new love of meteorology!

I started my term as the student member of the AMS Broadcast Board. 

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When I started school, I really really wanted to be a part of the board who issues the Certified Broadcast Meteorologist designation. Now I am working with them and I am having a great time! Can’t wait to share more AMS things with you!

I traveled to two different cities. 

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I went to Raleigh, North Carolina for the AMS Broadcasting Conference

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and I visited my hometown. Las Vegas, Nevada

Explored the outdoors 

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This picture just says it all. I love you, Colorado! I go to go camping a lot this year and I also hiked my first 14er! I became one with the outdoors and I am not sorry about it.

Conquered my fear of math. 

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When I started going to school, there was one fear I had to get over quickly. And that was math! Now, Calculus ain’t so bad! And numbers aren’t so scary.

Started my blog and Youtube Channel! 

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This has to have been one of the most fun things I have done all year! I started this blog and I started my Youtube channel, Weather Wanderings! If you haven’t subscribed yet to my channel, do it now! I post all kinds of fun videos up there all the time all about weather, science, meteorology and coming soon: travel vlogs! Click here to go to my channel right now.

 

Picked up a hobby or two

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Oh you know, just having fun with my bow 😉 Pretty cool to learn something new this year.

Adopted a puppy. 

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Because she’s cute! And our other doggie needed a playmate badly. She is such a good addition to our family and I am glad I am a rescue mommy.

Celebrated one year of marriage. 

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And I am really really happy to have found the one person who really gets me and is my best friend. I’ve never been more happy until I found him.

And made so many friends! 

Happy New Year from Weather Wanderings and here is to the best year yet: 2016! I hope you had a great year and that this year brought you much happiness and joy.

See you next year!

-M

 

Nature is Calling

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Hi everyone!

I’m done with my semester! Yay! There is so much to do now that I have free time! I am hoping to upload as many blogs as I can. I want to say there will be something on this site two times a week while I am on break. So I hope you enjoy what I am cooking up for you!

**Also, before I forget, I started a Youtube channel! It is called Weather Wanderings (after my blog of course). I talk about weather, my adventures and travels and a little dash of my personality comes out in there too. It is my way of sharing my life with you visually. So check it out today and don’t forget to give it a like or subscribe! Click here to go directly to the page.

So, now that I have all this free time….what is a girl TO DO?! Well besides working on my blog, I am returning back to one of my loves (besides seeing my husband more which is a plus!): I am heading back outside!

It started a few mornings ago when I woke up. As my eyelids just started to open, I thought I needed two things: Mountains and fresh air! I live in the perfect place for this. For heaven sakes, I live in an area where we are at one of the highest elevations in the country and every once in a while, I can see the Rockies. It is time to go out and play!!!

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I never thought much of the outdoors when I was a kid. It wasn’t until I moved up to the Pacific Northwest for a bit to pursue a degree in Broadcasting that I found out I love the forest. I have talked about how much I love the outside in a previous post but I can say it again, I can’t get enough of the stuff. And now, I’m hooked! What was once a luxury loving and stay-indoors-type of girl from Las Vegas has turned into a mountain girl in the Rockies! Never say never to finding new loves right?

A few days ago, my husband fed my need by taking me on an outdoors photoshoot. So, all these photos are what the Denver-metro area was like last weekend. Even though most of this area is now buildings, I can still find bits and pieces of beauty here.

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Now I need your help. I need ideas of what I should do in this winter weather well I am a free woman. Tell me what you like to do outdoors! And leave me a message so I can talk back to you. Looking forward to hearing your comments!

Until then,

-M

P.S. Let’s keep in touch! You can find me on all sorts of social media these days!

YOUTUBE: Weather Wanderings

INSTAGRAM: megmontgo

TWITTER:  @Megan_Montgo

SNAPCHAT: megmontgo

FACEBOOK: Weather Wanderings

Blogs I follow

Hi everyone!

Hope you are having a lovely start to your week. Mine’s a little busy because I have finals this week!!!! Ugh I can’t wait to finish the semester.

Since I will not be able to film a vlog until the end of the week (I have so many planned! I can’t wait to show you!), I would like to leave you with two weather blogs I like to read so you can check them out for yourself!

  1. The Vane: This blog is hosted by Gawker but is written by a person who has a lot of meteorological insight. Plus I like the sarcastic tone! It is meant for those who want to read about weather nationwide and some times about topics in space!
  2. Weather 5280:  I was turned on to this blog but a female TV meteorologist at a sportsman convention (of all places!). This blog talks about only weather in the Denver-Metro area. I’ve met the guys who write the entries personally (one of them is currently teaching one of my weather classes) and I trust their judgement about weather. Very good read if your are curious about Colorado Weather!
  3. AMS News you can Use: I don’t have a link to this one because you have to be an AMS member to get it. The folks at the American Meteorological Society compile a list of weather articles that show up in the main stream media and email it to you. You can find some good stuff in there from time to time.

 

I wish you all a wonderful rest of your week. It is now time for me to hit the books. Talk soon!

Until then,

-M