The best way to develop forecasting skills - be it for operational meteorology, broadcasting, or just recreation - is to practice, and to aid students there are a myriad of forecasting opportunities available to undergraduates at Cornell.
The CCAMS Weatherphone is an opportunity for students to practice forecasting for the public. Each weekday during the school year, groups of two to three students develop five-day forecasts using GFS, GFSx, and NAM model outputs, graphical model forecasts, weather-map analysis, and of course time-honored intuition. Forecasts are posted on the CCAMS website and also as messages on the namesake phone, which can be reached at 607-255-6567. In addition, forecasts are distributed to all students on an e-mail listserv to generate collaboration and feedback
The following week, students verify their forecasts using Northeast Regional Climate Center data from the Game Farm Rd. weather station, with the aim of becoming more accurate as the semester progresses. One member of each group is a TA who other students can rely on for forecasting advice. Weatherphone can be taken as either a 1/2-credit S/U course (EAS 4940) or just for fun.
Daily Sun Forecasting
One of the most popular student forecasting activity, meteorology students write forecasts for the Daily Sun - the Cornell student newspaper, which is read by 20,000 Cornellians. Forecasts are developed in much the same way as the Weatherphone ones. To brighten the gray Ithaca days, forecasters strive to infuse their forecasts with humor, or at least. Who could pass up the opportunity to have their beautiful forecasting face presented to the entire Cornell community every day?
Through a partnership with the athletics department, CCAMS students provide individualized, exclusive forecasts for many Cornell athletic teams. Students prepare forecasts at least 24 hours in advance for both home and away events, providing a unique forecasting challenge - if you enjoy forecasting for the Northeast, then the diversity of the Ivy League schools' hometowns provides some variety to normal Ithaca forecasting.