my passion for weather
Since I was 5 years old I have had a passion for weather, and today I am certified through the National Weather Service as a SKYWARN severe storm chaser/spotter.
When I was 5 years old I was standing in my bedroom near the window and a loud crack hit my window cill and the lightning bolt went down the chimney and out the how water heater in the basement.
I was fascinated, and ever since that day, I have always turned my eyes to the sky! When I say I have a passion for weather, I have a crazy passion for weather; to the point of becoming excited when I hear “severe weather” is heading near.
I have radar programs and have a whole set up at home to help the National Weather Service during severe weather. I help communities stay safe and bring knowledge to counties in danger.
I track weather alongside some great meteorologist like “Mike Francis” and “Dr Greg Forbes”. I am a sponge to all the wisdom and knowledge around weather.
This photo of me to the left is a shirt I received from the Spotter Network community “SKYWARN”, but you wont see me wearing it much, and I say that sadly.
I don’t talk about this much with anyone, in fact there are very few who know about my certifications and passion for weather because I have been made “fun” of in the past – to the point of being hurt and in tears.
I would have “grown adult friends” mind you – call me up saying “Hey Karen, look on your radar, its raining” to “Call Dorothy and see if a tornado is coming”. Many people don’t understand, and actually if people really knew much about weather, they would know that getting a degree in meteorology is one of the hardest degree’s to get. You pretty much have to be a genius in Mathematics, physics and many other variables to even get close to a degree.
I have struggled with talking about this out in the open because of the very reason that people just don’t understand, and to be made fun of because someone doesn’t understand it hurts more.
No I don’t have a degree in business, or Nursing. I don’t have a PhD or have some high-end degree from some big named college to get credibility for what I do, but I do have certifications that were pretty hard to pass, and I feel sad that I have to hide that from the world to save me from being laughed at; a very familiar childhood feeling of being made fun of for being who I was.
A huge part of my childhood was being made fun of for who I was. I was quiet and reserved. I didn’t pass many grades in school, but Science I ACED and I quietly kept that a secret from everyone.
I entered a Science Fair and won 2nd place for creating a color wheel and how the colors of a rainbow are created. Again something I didn’t talk about once I picked up my ribbon and threw it in a box when I got home to hide – no one cares, so why should I?
So I became a photographer and did that for 15 years because I was proficient at it, and you don’t see many photographer’s getting laughed at or made fun of. I hid behind something I was great at and settled for to save face.
I have a whole room in my house dedicated to my photography! years and years of portraits that are displayed for all to see who come to my home – but my love for weather hides and I am sad about that because I am good at it, and it’s a passion of mine.
I get embarrassed even talking about it unless I am around other weather geeks and then I feel right at home! but I hide behind it most of the time and it makes me sad.
My dream is to go with a group of meteorologist and storm chase in the midwest during severe storm season (tornado weather) and capture beautiful portraits and get to know more about this fascinating thing I fell in love with at age 5 – maybe someday.
I have struggled a lot this week with the many things I feel worthy of. Actually I have been quite hard on myself. I have been down on my blog, down on myself and all the things that make me (Me), and I don’t know why yet. I imagine it’s a part of the past bleeding through to the surface and I need to pay attention to it and where it comes from.
Writing this blog is a risk in itself. Posting it will give me some anxiety, maybe a little embarrassed and wondering how pathetic it may sound, but you know what? It’s who I am, and I have to start seeing all the things that make ME who I am besides all the things I am just “good at”.
Writing, photography, art and design are all things I lean on because those are all things important and looked up upon, weather – no one understands it and maybe that is why I love it so much, it’s learning about the unknown and something so fascinating that I happen to be good at and love!
Once I hit the button “publish” everyone will know .. and maybe that is a part of my healing – to be vulnerable about something that is hard to talk about.
July 11, 2013 at 9:53 PM
Karen. I am filled with tears of sadness, and filled with tears of joy!
I am sad because of all the things you went through as a child, this is one more thing that was effected by your childhood.
I am joyful with tears because you hit the send button on this blog writing and opened up a vulnerability that says “this is how I feel, and it hurts, and I want to know why it hurts”.
You continue to amaze me.
Karen, know this. Those who put people down are the ones who feel bad about themselves. But I also know how much that taps into your feelings as a child.
I think this is the most courageous writing you have ever done. I know I must say that all the time, but this is it.
Weather? I think it’s amazing. I have a PhD and I don’t even know the depths of what you know.
July 11, 2013 at 10:24 PM
Such a beautiful post of vulnerability. I talk about the importance of vulnerability and taking risks as a necessary part of healing with my clients all the time. It’s time to stop hiding that part of yourself 🙂
July 11, 2013 at 10:26 PM
awww Thank you, that means a lot to me! 🙂 really does.
July 11, 2013 at 10:30 PM
Oh, and Congratulations! You’re very welcome.
July 11, 2013 at 10:26 PM
Congratulations, Karen, on sharing your passion for weather. I envy you your knowledge and willingness to pursue your passion. I have always envied the meteorologists for their vast knowledge. Not only do they have to know math and physics but they have to know some geography too to be able to talk about the areas and counties they are covering. I think your passion is admirable. And, like you say, once you hit that “Publish” button, it’s out there for all of us to see. You know what? Anyone who would criticize someone else for something that person loves has their own hangups. I’d love to see some of your photography as well. I was a reporter/photographer for several newspapers in my career. I love to view good photography. Several bloggers I follow post their pictures and paintings on their blogs and I love to just browse through their pictures at times. My daughter is a great photographer and master of Photoshop. She’s done some wonderful photography. She even had her own studio during one phase of her varied career.
Have a great, relaxing vacation and I look forward to getting with you when you return. I’m excited to learn what you can show me about WordPress and begin work on your book together. Take care. God bless.
July 11, 2013 at 11:25 PM
Just a quick note to say I LOVE that you LOVE weather!!!!! I don’t know much about weather myself but I’m really keyed into the weather for how it affects my chickens and for gardening.
July 14, 2013 at 4:08 AM
Thank you Gel 🙂 I appreciate your comments always 🙂
October 27, 2016 at 8:17 PM
Karen! This made me smile because ever since 5th grade in science class, I fell in love weather! I am the same way. I am crazy in love with the weather! When I saw storm clouds, I would get so excited and still do even though I am 21 years old! So never be embarrassed about geeking out about the weather. My dream and goal in life is to be a broadcast meteorologist and I am almost there. So keep being you! Thank you for this article 🙂