As a summer intern with the National Weather Service’s Forecast Office in Binghamton, N.Y., Macy Howarth ’16 is using state-of-the-art technology to predict weather events and social media platforms to bring that information directly to the public.
The National Weather Service (NWS) is the organization within the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) that is responsible for producing daily forecasts, as well as for issuing watches and warnings for severe weather patterns. This summer at the Binghamton office, which is responsible for central New York and northern Pennsylvania, Howarth fielded storm reports during severe weather, monitored storms growth and, when necessary, observed as the head forecaster issued warnings.
“It has been a unique and valuable experience to be involved in a forecast office,” says Howarth, who also assisted with Storm Spotter Training classes, which educate volunteers to keep their local communities safe by providing timely and accurate reports of severe weather to the National Weather Service.
A geoscience major with a concentration in atmospheric sciences as well as minors in math and environmental studies, Howarth is completing the NWS internship this summer while also working in the Atmospheric Science Research Group at HWS under the supervision of Professor Neil Laird in the Geoscience Department. Howarth is editing two articles for publication based on her Honors research, which focused on average and extreme wind chills in North America and how they have changed across previous decades.
During her sophomore year at HWS, Howarth received a NOAA Ernest F. Hollings Undergraduate Scholarship — a highly competitive program which seeks to increase undergraduate training in oceanic and atmospheric science, research, technology, outreach and education — as well as the Goldwater Scholarship, the premier undergraduate award of its type in the field of mathematics, the natural sciences and engineering. As part of her NOAA Hollings Scholarship, Howarth completed a 2015 summer internship with the NWS Office of Communications in Washington, D.C.
This fall, she will continue the path of scientific inquiry in atmospheric sciences by pursuing a Ph.D. in the Department of Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences at the University at Albany/SUNY which is one of the top programs in the country to study atmospheric sciences.