Golden Eagle Forecast Provides Customized Weather Reports for Athletics
Meteorology students have taken it upon themselves to provide accurate and to-the-hour weather reports for Brockport Athletics. The Golden Eagle Forecast provides a group of volunteer students with the opportunity to obtain hands-on meteorology experience while helping their peers. The program has proved to be beneficial for the meteorology students, as well the college’s athletic department.
“It gives us a chance to practice our forecasting, before we have to actually go out and forecast professionally. We are given the tools in the classroom and we can apply those tools to real-world situations,” said Randy Chase, a senior meteorology student who plays a large role in Golden Eagle Forecast.
In addition to real-world experience for meteorology students, the reports give the athletic department the ability to make timely and informed weather-related decisions. For example, outdoor, weather-dependent sports such as tennis, baseball, and softball can be canceled for rain or lighting ahead of time—saving time and expenses related to travel, hiring officials, etc.
Professor Mark Noll says the major advantage these forecasts provide is their specificity.
“When you think about it, if you just go onto The Weather Channel you’re getting weather for major cities, but if you have a game in Oneonta, the forecast for Syracuse or Albany may not be what you need,” said Noll. “So what the students do is they make forecasts for all of the home and away events and the idea is if we can get the coaches that forecast the night or morning before they can prepare their team for the conditions.”
The program started when Noll found Athletic Director Erick Hart in the midst of a rough day sorting through inaccurate weather reports trying to figure out if they were going to be able to play the softball and baseball games that coming weekend. Noll offered to have his students begin forecasting for the teams.
“Having an accurate weather forecast takes the pressure off me. I can focus on other things, I don’t have to spend time tracking the weather because of the partnership with Dr. Noll and his students.” said Hart.