LSC Students Finish First in National Competition —Twice!

Atmospheric Sciences Students Complete Year-long Forecasting Challenge

May 14, 2014

Two Lyndon State College Atmospheric Sciences students finished in first and third place in the year-long WxChallenge weather forecasting competition and another LSC student took gold the contest’s “postseason” tournament. LSC senior Edward Vallee finished in first place of the WxChallenge while junior A.J. Waterman landed in third; sophomore Scott Myerson won the postseason tournament.

The WxChallenge is a “collegiate focused” meteorological forecast competition where forecasters from across the United States and Canada predict the high and low temperature, maximum sustained wind speed, and total precipitation from 10 selected locations. The competition runs for 20 weeks – – 10 in the fall and 10 weeks in the spring semester. Each forecast period is set in a different city; nine of the 10 cities are announced before the contest begins.

To allow for fair competition, forecasters are separated into five categories: professional; faculty, staff, and post-doctorate; graduate students; junior and senior level students; and freshman and sophomore level students. Schools may not limit the participants on their team by holding tryouts, allowing only certain experienced forecasters, or imposing any other conditions outside of the WxChallenge requirements.

An additional three week tournament following the end of the spring semester pits the top 64 overall best forecasters against each other. Three LSC forecasters made it to the “elite eight” in this postseason tournament – – the most of any college in the U.S. and Canada.

LSC Atmospheric Sciences Associate Professor Jason Shafer said, “Lyndon had more people advance further in the tournament than any other school. As a team, Lyndon finished in 7th place  out of 47 ranked teams, nearly all from much larger schools. This is one of the best results in recent years.” Shafer serves as the local WxChallenge chairperson.

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