Being a meteorologist in the great Pacific Northwest is a thrill and a challenge.  Of course, one must tolerate the jokes, "How hard can it be to forecast weather in Seattle? -- chance of rain, chance of rain, chance of rain..."  Ha!  Then there's, "Yeah, being a meteorologist isn't so tough.  In what other job can you be wrong 90% of the time and still get paid?!"  Oh, hardy har har.

Truth be told, forecasts are getting better and better in the Pacific Northwest thanks to the hard work of meteorologists in academia -- like the amazing Atmospheric Sciences Department at the University of Washington, as well as the hard-working forecasters at the National Weather Service.  In fact, weather and climate research in our area is respected around the world.  Check out the work of the Climate Impacts Group and the Joint Institute for the Study of the Atmosphere and Ocean.

I have a degree in Atmospheric Sciences from the University of Washington, so I am a "real meteorologist."  And I really do understand the science of weather and can geek out on computer models and forecast discussions.  However, my job as a broadcast meteorologist is to translate the scientific information into a form that is easily understood by the general public.  So my job is largely communications.  My first responsibility is to make sure that viewers are prepared for dangerous weather and know how to protect themselves and their property from storms, then I want to make sure that viewers are comfortable with our "inconvenient" weather.  Some people say I'm like their mom because I tell people to wear a jacket with a hood as they head out of the house.

You can see me on air from 6 to 10 a.m. every weekday morning on Q13 FOX, which is channel 13 in Western Washington.  We also stream our shows live on our website, so you can watch us wherever you are.  Check it out at the Q13 FOX website.  On the website, I also write a daily weather blog.  You can check out my Facebook page for weather information and the opportunity to tell me about YOUR weather. 

M.J. McDermott on Facebook

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