Students Experience Unique Opportunities at National Weather Center


Matt Welsh

Students and researchers are utilizing a unique grouping of public, private and academic institutions to analyze weather patterns and learn from hands-on experiences.
The National Weather Center is located on Jenkins Avenue, housing federal, state, private and student organizations. Classes in the National Weather Center focus on application and encourage students to collaborate with other programs in the building.
“You have what really you can’t find any other place. You have a wide range of people and professionals there that you can talk to,” said Jordan Overton, a junior in the School of Meteorology.
Addison Alford, a doctoral candidate, traveled to landfall locations for Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. The team from the National Weather Center deployed instruments near the eye of the hurricanes, gathering important data to hone the science of meteorology.
The students’ and researchers’ findings will influence learning in the months and years to come.
“(The data) translates to not only better forecasts for the everyday person, but it translates to a better understanding in the classroom,” said Alford.
These learning opportunities and hands-on experiences last long after students graduate, said Overton.
“A lot of people that graduate from OU will end up working there and they’ll end up staying there for their entire career because it’s just that good of a building.”