Weather Friends travel to NWA Annual Meeting

Weather Friends travel to NWA Annual Meeting

The Weather Friends, students who dress up as weather “superheroes”, teaching kids and parents alike how to be safe when hazardous weather occurs, attended the WeatherReady Fest at the National Weather Association Annual Meeting late last month in St Louis, MO. This was made possible in part due to funding from the National Weather Association, the School of Meteorology, the OU Student Chapter of the AMS/NWA, and the College of Atmospheric and Geographic Sciences, which the Weather friends greatly appreciate for their support.

The students representing the weather Friends at NWA were Leah Hill, Jordan Van Auken, Kaitlyn DeShazo, and McKinsey Whitaker. They attended as Tropical Cyclone, Tempest, Deluge, and Derecho, respectively.

We caught up with each of them once they got back and asked them what they got back. Here’s what they had to say:

“NWA and the WeatherReady Fest was amazing! I had to opportunity to meet all my meteorology role models, and share my passion with children as I handed out trading cards and gave them severe weather safety tips!” -Leah Hill

“At the NWA WeatherReady Fest, I had a blast getting to share my weather safety tips and cool weather facts to children and adults alike. Getting to see my role models and the people who make the difficult decisions (ie. emergency managers) gives me more passion for the meteorology field.” -Jordan Van Auken

“I enjoyed the chance to go to NWA and WeatherReady Fest. It was so much fun to see all the kids and the how interested they were in learning about meteorology. I definitely will remember this trip for a very long time. Thank you to those involved for the opportunity to represent the University of Oklahoma and the School of Meteorology.” -Katilyn DeShazo

“Being able to go to the NWA conference and WeatherReady Fest was a huge learning experience. Seeing the passion in children and other professional meteorologists reminded me why I’m so driven about this field.” -McKinsey Whitaker

Pictured from left to right: McKinsey Whitaker, Jordan Van Auken, ABC New’s Ginger Zee, Kaitlyn DeShazo, and Leah Hill


The Weather Friends attend local weather awareness events such as National Weather Festival in the fall and the Penn Square Mall Severe Weather Awareness Expo in the spring. In total, there are 13 different Weather Friends and each one represents a different type of severe weather. If learning about weather wasn’t fun to begin with, there are trading cards involve with one for each Weather Friend. At these events, the Weather Friends ask visitors questions about their type of severe weather. Correct answers (or the patience to listen to the correct answer!) result in a signed trading card from that Weather Friend with a goal of collecting the entire set of trading cards!