Ariella Scalese ’14: Being a Meteorologist

An energetic, but informative morning talking about the water cycle and weather at Windsor Forest Elementary School, Savannah GA. We read a great book called “Water is Water”, played weather Jeopardy, and did an interactive radar activity. Oh the things I’d do to go back to first grade.

Ask anyone who knows me, and they will tell you that being a meteorologist has been my dream job since 5th grade. I graduated from Lehigh with a bachelor’s in Earth and Environmental Science, and I am currently earning a certificate in Broadcast Meteorology through Mississippi State University.

Recently, I accepted my second Broadcast Meteorology position at the NBC affiliate in Savannah, GA. While I am still 11 hours from home (Bucks County, PA), I am slowly climbing my way back to the Northeast.

Hey, at least I am in the same time zone again — my first job in TV took me to a NBC station in South Texas.

Part of the reason I was excited to work in the southeast was for the variety of weather. Boy did I get my fair share in just the first few months.

The Georgia coast curves inward, so direct impact from tropical systems is not as likely as some other east coast states. It must have been my lucky year because in the beginning of September 2016, Tropical Storm Hermine passed through our viewing area, and just a month later, Hurricane Matthew tore through with even more damage. Wow, what an experience that was. I learned so much from just those two storms and truly bonded with my entire news and weather team. It is an experience I will never forget.

Studio tours are also part of my job during the week. Local schools can schedule a tour with our team and learn what we do as meteorologists. While walking one of the groups through the newsroom, our Sports Director complimented my tour technique. I responded with, “Could you tell I was a Tour Guide at Lehigh?”

I have always had a passion for weather, but my desire for community service may be just as strong. While at Lehigh I was a captain on the cheerleading team, Vice President of Membership for Pi Beta Phi, a tour guide, and on the Executive Board of the Society of Environmental Scientists.  All of these extracurricular activities broadened my horizon and opened the door to many community service opportunities.

I am the Weekend Morning Meteorologist, which gives me a lot of opportunity for community outreach during the week. I have made some school visits, provided students with studio tours, and even got a chance to judge a dog show! My favorite events to attend and speak at are school Career Days since a meteorologist who spoke to my class inspired me to choose this career path. It is an amazing experience to motivate the students to work hard to achieve their dreams.

Our weather team also has a program called Weather Wise Kids, where students can submit their weather questions for one of our meteorologists to answer. It is just another way of reaching out to the community and making science approachable.

It’s sometimes hard to believe how much I have learned and experienced in just a few short years. While my job description includes forecasting the future, I have no idea where I will be next. Keep your eye out, in just a few years I might pop-up on your TV screen. My dream would be to land a job closer to home and lucky for me, my hometown and college town are less than an hour apart.

I really just want to live close so I can watch Lehigh beat Lafayette every year. GO HAWKS!

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2 thoughts on “Ariella Scalese ’14: Being a Meteorologist

    1. wow–what a terrific write up and so accurate, just like your weather forecasts are! Your entire family is extremely proud of you and you are doing a fabulous job and I see that you are loving it too. Never doubted that! Mom

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