Time for a Change
July 1, 2022 will mark 15 years of running Local Yokel Weather and although there have been ups and downs, I am extremely proud of what LYW has morphed into and absolutely love the connections I have made across our community.
As is the case for most of us as we get older, life has become rather busy and the focus of importance has shifted away from conquering the world to ensuring I am able to be present with family and friends and enjoy the precious time we have with those we love.
I mention these seemingly obvious points because they were lost on me for so long, but no longer. Although LYW does not take up much time in its current form, perhaps 1 - 2 hours a day (before or after work), it does hinder me from exploring new features and areas of growth. I thoroughly enjoy maintaining weather stations, managing datasets, communicating to the public before, during, and after major events and I would like to spend more time doing the fun side of weather.
I also am keenly aware of how poor my forecasts can be, especially during the non winter months. I am not a meteorologist. Although I have taken numerous Atmospheric Sciences courses at UNCA, I do not pretend to be someone I am not. There are a handful of trustworthy and respected meteorologists in our immediate area that should be leading the weather message, especially during times of severe and life threatening events. I still believe that SW NC is woefully unrepresented, not so much on the forecast front, but on the data collection side of the coin. We have some of the nation's most unique and inspiring weather and at the same time have the smallest station/gauge/sensor network in the entire Southeast; collectively, not just LYW. I am not alone in the desire to "fill in the gaps" and its my hope that LYW can assist whomever would like to see a more robust and representative data network across the entire SW NC region.
So what's next?
No major shifts in content right now but over the spring months I will slowly transition away from forecasting and explore a weather focused newsletter/blog focused solely on SW NC. I'll also try out some new website layouts. Not entirely sure what the main topics will be at this point, but I am exploring post storm breakdowns, the science behind our weather phenomenon, and whatever looks interesting as long as it has a SW NC component; we'll even have the community create stories to explore. In addition to the blog, I would also like to spend more time maintaining and expanding the current network of stations, with a focus on public land uses similar to our project with the Pinnacle Park Foundation.
With this in mind, I would love to hear what you would like to see on the website as I transition LYW into the next 15 years and beyond. Spend a few minutes filling out the below survey and don't hold back, I have thick skin.