Wednesday, April 15, 2015

A Final Notice To The Viewers

This is quite likely the most difficult post I've had to write in the last five years of running The Weather Centre, and I can assure you it wasn't easy actually sitting down to hammer it out, either. After all, this has been my livelihood for so long, I can't really remember what occupied the majority of my time before this.

That's why it makes me sad to announce that The Weather Centre blog will close permanently on our five-year anniversary: April 26th, 2015.

When I started The Weather Centre on April 26th, 2010, I wasn't much of a forecaster. At the time, I made the blog solely because I had an interest in weather, and because there happened to be a severe weather event on the way on April 30th of that year. My initial posts, if you dive back to look at them (example here, here, and here), were simply maps with some crude MS Paint drawings on them if even that, describing the upcoming pattern for that late April set-up.

As a matter of fact, I wasn't even much of a person yet. I started The Weather Centre blog when I was 12 years old, just rounding out 7th grade. In case you're wondering, yes, you've been receiving the musings of a teenage aspiring meteorologist for the last five years. I'll get to why I never revealed my age a little later in this post, but I'd like to go back even further.

Many of you who have read this blog likely got an interest in weather from a rather traumatic weather event. For some, it may have been seeing a tornado or hurricane on TV, or perhaps being in a tornado or a hurricane. For me, it was having The Weather Channel on the television for hours on end, starting when I was just about 2 years old. My father has always shared my interest in meteorology, but I took it to a different level, to the point of where we are today. I wanted to keep learning; I wanted to know why it stormed in some areas, and why it didn't storm in others. I wanted to know how tornadoes formed, and how they could turn a new house into splinters of wood in under a minute. I wanted to understand the hurricane, how a massive storm system could drop over a foot of rain on coastal locations, with sustained winds in excess of 100 miles per hour. 
So I did keep learning. It just wasn't in 'the conventional way'. You hear teachers in schools these days berating Wikipedia, and using the internet in general to learn. I'm living proof that such an attitude could not be more detrimental to learning. Just about everything I've discussed on this blog, from the Typhoon Rule to the El Nino to the Sudden Stratospheric Warming, I've learned over the internet. As I grew older, yes, I began to buy more meteorological books, print out scholastic journals, etc., but never feel guilty for searching online to find an answer to your math problem or something of the like.

I want to come back to my age. Over the past five years, I've had more than a few people ask me how old I am, or what my credentials are in the forecasting world. To be quite frank, I never answered those questions, because I've grown to learn that it really does not matter. I see degreed meteorologists publicly shaking their heads on Twitter, Facebook, or on other public social media at something a kid just like me may have done. One particular controversy has always been teenagers posting those ECMWF snowfall maps, which has become a pretty real problem for operational forecasters, but I digress. Nothing infuriates me more than when I see those operational forecasters putting down someone online, with no credentials, who just wants to be able to forecast weather like the pros. Why do I get so distraught over that? Take a look at this clip from The Incredibles movie, and you might see what I mean. I should add those forecasters who will publicly shame amateur forecasters are in the minority; the great majority of degreed forecasters show significant respect towards the younger generation that will follow in their footsteps.


"Not every superhero has powers, you know. You can be super without them."


Before I close up shop here, I want to go over the achievements we as a community have accomplished. 

- In five years, The Weather Centre has accumulated over 5,650,000 page views. I can safely say I would never have dreamed that so many people would have wanted to read my weather discussions, and it is such an incredible honor to have run such a successful blog.

- The Weather Centre was featured and/or mentioned on the Toronto Star, the New York Times, the Huffington Post, NPR, Yahoo, and countless other meteorological and news entities. Every one of them made me more proud to do what I do.

- We formed a community of over 3,700 Facebook fans, and close to 1,300 Twitter followers. I have found that you all are the best group of weather enthusiasts I have come across on the Internet, and it is an immense privilege to say that. I am forever grateful to have had the opportunity to converse with all of you.

- Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, we proved that weather can be easy to understand. Over these last five years, I've received dozens of comments from viewers across the world, thanking me for making complicated weather phenomena normally learned in college, easy to understand.

So, for the last time, I want to extend a thank you. I want to thank you, the viewer, reading this right now, for supporting not only this blog, but me for the last five years. Thanks in large part to The Weather Centre, I have grown into a person I never thought I would become, and I'm incredibly excited to see where my life takes me next. I'm leaving not out of selfishness, but because this chapter of my life is naturally coming to a close. In the next several months, I'm going off to college to start my studies to become a degreed meteorologist, my life's dream. In addition, research projects that I began this past winter are quickly showing signs of verification. One of them, forecasting the EF-strength of tornadoes before they form, is looking very promising, and I'll need to devote a significant amount of time to improving my research, my studies, and everything else that makes life worth living. The one thing I ask of you is that you do what I've done. Go out and teach others about the weather; there are so many people that want to understand the weather but find everything too complicated. This blog provides a great resource for you to continue on.

Once again, thank you for these last five years. They've been the best five years I've ever experienced, and I'm incredibly proud to say we've accomplished the goal that's been in place since I first started The Weather Centre: to show others that weather can be easy to understand, to learn, and to share with others.

The last couple of weeks before April 26th will be mainly cleaning up some things, probably issuing some sort of winter prediction for 2015-2016 (it's only fitting, given our preliminary winter forecasts used to be issued in early June), and enjoying the ride. You'll still find me tweeting about the weather even after we close, and perhaps an occasional post on the Facebook page as well; you can follow the Twitter account at https://twitter.com/TheWxCentre, and our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/TheWeatherCentre

Sincerely,

Andrew Racki

57 comments:

Anonymous said...

Best of luck in your studies. I will miss your tweets, I know you will do great. Your passion will take you far!

Shawn said...

While it is sad to see the blog close soon. I am glad you will still be around on Facebook and Twitter so we can continue to talk to you about the weather.

Anonymous said...

dontr leave

Nancy Priebe said...

Sorry to see you go. I know you have great things in store for you in the future. Stay motivated and positive.

Nancy Priebe said...

Sorry to see you go. I know you have a great future ahead. Stay motivated and positive!

Kim said...

Congratulations on all you have already accomplished and best of luck!

Anonymous said...

Real sorry to see you go as I have enjoyed your writings and forecast for the past 2 and a half years. I looked forward to the Winter long rang forecast a lot. Again--thank you--Maineman

Anonymous said...

Lost without you.Give us a recommendation of another site that you respect

Frederick Moyer said...

This was my go to weather blog. I constantly shared this with my co-workers. Good luck, you have a VERY bright future.

Anonymous said...

You will be missed. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

I've enjoyed reading your posts and predictions. I wish you the best.

Don Luckinbill said...

See you on the other side ..........

Anonymous said...

Great job Andrew! You have a lot to contribute to weather forecasting. Hope to see you on some national news one day. Be proud of what you have accomplished at your young age.... and get ready for the next phase. Hope to follow you again one day!!

Anonymous said...

Andrew, your story is simply fascinating! :)
Between your gifts and sheer dint of hard work you have already earned pretty much the equivalent of a solid Bachelors degree in Meteorology if not beyond.
You truly do have the rare ability to take complex matters and present them so that we laymen can understand. I am speaking of Salman Khan level teaching skills.
I so hope that whatever school you selected puts you with the best of advisors and mentors and keeps you challenged.
May your future be wonderfully bright and challenging, and may good health and fortune and happiness always be yours.
WB

Michael Schubert said...

Thank you! Good luck!

Wally Gullang Huntley, Illinois said...

Andrew, Thank You. And good luck in your studies. I too am a weather nut but where you are a teenager, I am 73 years old and just yesterday I put my new weather station up on the roof. So if I can be on the roof at 73, I know as a teenager you will be great in weather. I'll look forward to seeing you on the weather channel.

Anonymous said...

Andrew, you are an amazing young man. You were my main source of dependable weather prediction. I have learned so much about meteorology from you. Best of luck to you. I'll be checking your tweets and Facebook.

Anonymous said...

Best of luck luck with your future endeavors. I hope you never lose your passion for science. I've been working in industry for over 15 years and I still feel like a kid at heart.

Anonymous said...

Best of luck luck with your future endeavors. I hope you never lose your passion for science. I've been working in industry for over 15 years and I still feel like a kid at heart.

Frankie said...

I personally am amazed by the fact you are a teen and know all this stuff. For your age, that IS a lot to understand, but I see your point. You're still young and have a lot of life ahead of you. I'm only 23 years old and it seems like you know more than I do! I've enjoyed your outlooks and updates as long as I've been here. In some cases, you've been more accurate than my local weather stations and even NOAA/NWS. I'm finished with 2 years of MET school and have two more, then I'll be able to get into my full meteorology career. Please don't let anything or anyone prevent you from doing the same. You'll always have people complaining and putting you down, these are the folks that don't understand forecasting and probably never will, and you just have to push them to the side. You site always saved me a trip from having to look at the models and details. Best of luck buddy, if you ever have questions, comments or concerns, feel free to email me - skywarn1991@gmail.com

stephen Ansell said...

Hello Andrew--i am amazed, shocked really. I am so awesomely proud of you. I think the best thing that happened is you started this fascination with the weather at a relatively young age and didn't have the pressure of having to be an adult and the time constraints that imposes.(more time to learn).I am sad for me, but so thrilled for you. I just wish with all my heart, that you explore the gifts that been given to you. You really have something there with this tornado strength plotting--and the amazing way you teach. Keep that going as i believe you will save a lot of lives in the process. My resentment, is of my age, in that i will never be able to attend college where you will be teaching one day. Those graduates that will be entering the field, will have been taught by one of the brightest minds and teachers in meteorology. My father--who was my best friend, loved the weather--we had a weather station set up and we made our own crude forecasts. Outside using a swing hygrometer and everyone thinking we were nuts. But it was fun, and i would never trade that time for anything and i will never trade the time that i have enjoyed learning with you, with anything--ever. Climb on that rocket --the sky is waiting. All the best Andrew. Regards-- Stephen Ansell -- PS i will be watching for you on twitter and facebook.

Anonymous said...

Godspeed, Andrew. I've enjoyed reading your forecasts. The only meteorologists out there who put it on the line like you do are our military weathermen.

Keep your faith and your vision and don't let the turkeys steal your dreams.

Blessings,

Duke said...

Thanks for your dedication over the past years in bringing us invaluable weather information.

This was my first stop when it came to finding out what was going on with the weather in my area.

Good luck in the future.

Christopher Ebie said...

I discovered your blog about a year or two ago. I have it bookmarked and have so enjoyed your reports. I will really miss your posts - the best around as far as I am concerned. I wish you all the best as you move along in your life. I am sad to see you go.

Nick said...

Andrew, follow the dream and enjoy the ride. We can use some "kids" who care passionately about the world they live in and are committed to doing whatever they can to make it better. Godspeed.

Nick said...

Follow your dream Andrew and enjoy the ride! We need more "kids" who care passionately about the world they live in and are committed to doing whatever they can to leave it better than they found it. Godspeed.

Anonymous said...

Andrew, I wish the very best life has to offer! I know you will go far & I also know I will see you on TV in the not to far off future! To do what you have done with this blog is simply amazing! You know your stuff!

I will miss you much!

How does this saying go.....
Beginnings are usually scary, endings are usually sad, its the middle you need to enjoy! (Author unknown)
This ending is sad for me anyway, but your next beginning has promises of great success!
your friend
bree


Dixon Baxter said...

Good FOR YOU!!
Best of LUCK to you, and thanks..Sad to see you go, not sure where I'll get my weather from now.. :) You will be missed.

Anonymous said...

Andrew, complete your dream I personally regret I never did. Good luck in the future, I will miss your posts, they were informative beyond your years.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, I've learned alot and will miss the weather models. Studying them was fun. Good luck to you.

Anonymous said...

Andrew, you are an extremely intelligent young man. My hat is off to you and wish you all the best in your future endeavors. Godspeed!

Anna said...

This is the most marvelous post I have read anywhere in a long while. Your insights will be missed, of course - but this meditation on believing in your passion is spot-on. Thank you so much.

Anonymous said...

Imo you are bordering on genius! You have been able to give more accurate forecasts then our local
weathermen & weather ladies.

Thank you for your hard work & dedication !

I have no doubt you'll be extremely successful at whatever you do.

Urbana, Il.

Anonymous said...

Good luck with your future research projects and the next phase on your journey!

Anonymous said...

Andrew,

Awesome job!

I knew at the age of 8 that I wanted to be a meteorologist, and I read books, studied and talked to many people. I just loved the weather! That passion saw me through college and I now have over 30 years experience as a meteorologist. I'm as passionate about the weather today, as I was when I was 8! Let your passion grow, you've done an incredible job and you have a lot to offer!

Good luck and blessings,

Joe Nicholls

Anonymous said...

andrew, go commercial with a website... we hate the advertising but if it pays tuition, rent, and books maybe you finish college without any loans to pay off!
appreciate your efforts!

Anonymous said...

Good Luck...college will be the best years of your life. Study hard and hope to see you post down the road:)

Anonymous said...

Andrew,

Thanks for the the musings the past few years. You do good things.

Cheers

Anonymous said...

I wish I had known our age. You are amazing and know as much as anyone about the weather.

Mike Mirtica said...

Well I have to say that you are very advanced for your age. I thought somewhere along the lines that a 30 year old metrologist or simply a person with a strong weather hobby of some sort was writing this. I am very impressed and i'm sure you will go off to do exceptional things.

Anonymous said...

Best of luck in your future endeavors Andrew and thank you for everything you did for the blog. It's been a pleasure to experience this part of your journey. A job well done!

Anonymous said...

Good luck to you. Over the past few years I have read your posts and come to rely on them for accurate weather forecasting. Only Tom Skilling in Chicago is above you in accuracy.

Best wishes.

Anonymous said...

Oh Andrew what will we do without you! Have you got a younger brother maybe? :)
You will do amazing in school and will some day excel in your field. I hope someday you can start feeding your amazing knowledge to the weather folks on our local news channels. At least we'd finally get some accuracy.
Good luck young sir!

Anonymous said...

Oh gosh Andrew. I shall miss your blog and technical discussions. I hope you leave them up so I can revisit and lookup/read the info. There is so much educational info in your write-ups. Also the links to the models which I have found very useful. I wish you well in your next adventure.

Anonymous said...

Andrew: Thankyou for sharing your insights into weather as it affects us in North America. I found your approach easily understood and insiteful. Too bad you've decided to move on. Be well and continue to question the mundane things that many would take for granted. Rick M.

jack gondela said...

We are expecting great things out of you, but it is all your fault for giving us great weather insights for all these years. It was a good move hiding your age, it is irrelevant as you demonstrated.

Thanks, best of luck in the future.
Stay in touch.

Anonymous said...

Hate to see you go Andrew. YI enjoyed your site. No politics, no agenda, just some really good 30 day forecast. I wish you all the best in your studies and have one final question for you. Do you recommend another site or blog?

Anne said...

Great job Andrew. Your analysis has always been interesting. Although I am thirty plus years older then you, I was also very interested in the weather since I was very young. This began with the severe thunderstorm and tornado outbreak of April 4, 1974 which included the suburban Detroit area where I lived. After that, I watched AM Weather on PBS every morning. The weather maps were on a chalk board but other than local news in the evening, that was all I had. Best of luck and go for the dream or become a lawyer like me (just kidding).

Peter

Anonymous said...

I am a natural gas investor and have found your site to be a great resource. As good, or better, than services that can cost thousands of dollars or more. You did a great job and will be sorely missed. Good luck at University.

Anonymous said...

Well Andrew, you blew me away! I had no idea you were so young. I wish only the best of luck to someone who seems to have born to do what he already does so well. Please check back
in once in a while and give us a heads up of bad weather on the way when you get the chance because you were the only one that was really spot on. Good luck in all you do.

MA Holderfield said...

Good luck Andrew. My weather passion started Palm Sunday 1965. I lived in Indiana. Your passion showed with every post. Will miss reading you detailed forecasts.

Anonymous said...

I had no idea you were so young, but it doesn't matter. I enjoyed your posts and forecasts. Will check in on Facebook and Twitter. Glad to hear that you will study meteorology and continue to forecast weather.

Elizabeth said...

Good Luck Andrew! Your blog was always great and usually more accurate than the pros! And most important-you never displayed the "good" weather bias which afflicts most meteorologists-(and yes I consider you a meteorologist even though you are just now entering college!) You know -when they either apologize for a rainy/snowy forecast or slightly tweak the forecast to make it seen warmer or sunnier than it is just to please the audience.You always just reported the FACTS as you saw them...which is very rare in the weather world! I have learned alot & will continue to read your other posts. Much luck and success!

Anonymous said...

Andrew. I've so enjoyed your blog. I am intrigued by recurrent patterns in the climate system and you have given me so many insights. I will so much miss your postings. Any recommendations on other sites you respect?

Anonymous said...

Best of Luck, friend. It's sad to see you go, but thank you for all the accurate predictions and wild storms you've seen us through. I wish you the absolute best.

Sincerely,
An anonymous friend

Anonymous said...

Thank you for all of the time and effort you've given this blog. What an amazing young man you are! You will be missed here, but the world will benefit from your continued education and your passion for the weather. Good luck to you, Andrew!

Tony said...

I would just like to say that you have a rare gift. Not only do you have a true passion for something, but you also have a talent for expressing that passion in a way others can understand. I have no doubt you will be successful in whatever lies ahead. Thank you for 5 years of great insight.

(I've only seen one other meteorologist display as much passion, skill, and enthusiasm for his work in my lifetime, and that would be Tom Skilling. Being on that two person list should not be taken lightly. Excellent work.)