OF STUDENT LIFE
by Calef Brown
Marina Dundjerski '94
the thickness this morning? What about cloud coverage? That's what
it's predicting for this afternoon?
Those are some of the questions posed by 14 UCLA atmospheric-sciences
students matching wits with 900 participants across the country
and Canada in a 26-week national weather forecasting competition.
team of 13 graduates, one undergraduate and staff meteorologist
James Murakami '82 has thus far forecasted for Calumet, Mich.; Los
Angeles; Chicago; and Billings, Mont. — four of the eight
locations for which they must predict high and low temperatures
and precipitation for two-week periods.
thrilling," says undergraduate Brian Tang. "You look at
the computer models and what they're forecasting each day and then
use the knowledge that we gained in class and our instinct to make
a forecast for the next day."
who grew up in Denver, says he was piqued by the Rocky Mountain
State's weather phenomena as a child. "It's in the curiosity
of the young mind to ask why," Tang says. "Why do you
have lightning, hail, thunderstorms and all that? I developed a
greater interest, so I came to UCLA to study it."
is the only university in Southern California, and one of three
in the state, to offer a degree in atmospheric sciences/meteorology,
according to Murakami.
team thought because it was predicting on its home turf that it
would surely carry the Los Angeles category, but October's raging
brush fires threw it a curve. The dense smoke that blanketed much
of the region kept temperatures lower than expected. Still, the
team placed second.
the team is in fifth place. But graduate student Greg Masi holds
the No. 2 spot for individual forecasters. For more information,
or to see the final results, go to: www.ems.psu.edu/NFC.