Life lessons told by a Meteorologist

In weather, we associate certain events with certain feelings. Rainy days depict a dark or low point, while sunny skies are when tough times are over. A sunset depicts the end to something great and storms typically come up with turbulent events. All of this to set a mood.

But what if weather could show us more than just a feeling?

I thought it could. So here are the ten life lessons weather has taught me:


1. Always stay to the southwest

Any storm chaser will alway stay to the south of a twister. Tornadoes typically move in a northeastward/eastward direction. That means if you’re located to the east a tornado then it’s heading right for you. Likewise, if you are to the north of a twister then you are probably in the hail core, and your car is being pelted with hailstones.

The same goes in life. Always know what direction you are going in but never take your eyes off the target. You need to map out the roads ahead of you. Make sure you are far enough to be safe, but closest enough to stay on track to your goal. Another lesson here is to get out of your comfort zone. Find that twister in your life and chase it.

2. Great people aren’t formed in calm weather

Nothing great ever came out of blue skies and calm winds. Yes, blue skies are great on summer days, for street fairs, or just going for a long walk. Clear conditions allows you to live life as planned with no interruptions. However, by now we all understand that life never works that way.

Sometimes it takes a strong storm or rainy pattern to make you step up and face life head on. It could be a severe storm has already passed and now you find yourself picking up the pieces. Great men and women have gone through the similar destruction as you and become a better person due to these circumstances.

No matter the scale or severity of the system, it will always end. Then the next time mother natures throws a storm your way it will be easier to handle. Also, know you aren’t the first person to go through this event too. This leads me to my next point.

3. There is always someone who has weathered the same storm

Life will always be full of hurricanes and blizzards but how we deal with them makes us different. During the worst part of the storm we hunker down. However, how bad the storm is also depends on how prepared we are. Every time we have a choice- to heed to the warnings of others or carry on our own.

Trust the people who are willing to help before and during the storm. These are the people in your life who care the most. They know the tricks on how to brace for the storm and how get through the tough times. Finally, when the storm passes and life is going the way you want, always make sure that look back and help the next first timer.

4. Admit when you’re wrong but never apologize for your best

As a meteorologist we will never be right all the time. Weather is fluid and has many moving parts. This means that we will never be perfect every time we forecast. However, you will never see one of us apologize for giving it our best effort. There might be that nasty email or phone call waiting for us, but we show up the next day willing to do our best again.

There could be a person in your life that just won’t accept you for your best. Whether that person is a boss or significant other, find people in your life that you can confide in. Find people who will be able to help you deal with life’s events and bring you to your best. If no one in your life will be that person then maybe it’s time to move on and find better weather.

5. Even the eye of a storm has a purpose

If you haven’t been through a hurricane before the calmest part of the storm is the eye. If the eye passes directly over you then you will feel the affects of the eye wall. The eye wall has strongest winds and creates the most destruction before and after the eye. However, sometimes the eye of the storm you’re going through gives you enough time to catch your breath.

This time could allow you to put another piece of plywood up or fix something that you wouldn’t be able to do while hunkered down. Use this time wisely because hurricane force winds are coming again. Enjoy the breaks that life gives you but don’t get too comfortable until you know the storm has passed.

6. A twister can be a mile wide or a couple hundred yards

Just because the worst of the storm missed you doesn’t mean that it affects everyone the same way. A tornado can be a mile wide and touch everyone’s lives the same way. On the other hand, it can of be small and just bounced through a open area. Depending on the circumstances, be mindful that others could be handling the situation differently.

In some cases, there may be no visual damage to a neighbor’s house but the turmoil of being that close to a tornado still could of traumatized them. After those stormy times in everyone’s lives, keep an eye on those closest to you to. Make sure there is no damage beneath the exterior. You never know how long the cleanup process will be for each person, both externally and internally.

7. Sometimes it’s not the strong winds you have to watch for

One of the ways a storm reaches severe strength is when the winds exceed 58 mph. At this speed winds can start to cause damage. In some storms, there can be strong winds that drop out of the clouds called microbursts. Other times there are other things you need to look out for.

When it comes to a supercell, there are multiple threats that you have to deal with. Always read a situation to find out what problem you need to deal with first. If you see a storm coming with large hail, strong winds, and a tornado, look for the biggest threat is. Next, figure out the best way to approach the situation in order to stay safe.

Also, in a hurricane, storm surge is the deadliest part of the storm. Of course we see on television the driving rain and how the trees snap under the strong winds. However, what you might perceive to be the biggest problem might be something else. Everyone’s perception of danger can be different. So, make sure you read each situation carefully before going into it.

8. Sometimes you just get a cap

It has happened many times. A large severe weather outbreak is expected but in reality nothing happens. There are some storms but they never became severe. This leaves all the meteorologists with busted forecasts. It’s called a Cap. It is when a layer of stable air moves in and blocks a storm from rising, which prevent the storms from becoming strong.

Similar to life, there may be things that we just can’t account for. These are going to be those unexpected life events that don’t go according to plan. In weather terms, life is going to be full of capped days. However, when an event doesn’t go according to plan it doesn’t mean you should stop trying to get it right the next day.

9. The most destructive weather brings out the best in humanity

Moore, Oklahoma. Birmingham and Tuscaloosa, Alabama. New Orleans, Louisiana. Whether it was a mile wide tornado or a massive hurricane, weather can bring out of mother nature’s fury. Swallowing whole cities and leveling entire neighborhoods. We have seen the images of people who have lost it all.

During those same dark times there are always hundreds, if not thousands, of volunteers ready to help. These people who come from all over just to lend a helping hand and be there for those in need. So if you are going through an event that has come through and leveled everything in your life, just know there are always people ready to help you.

10. Don’t post it. Enjoy it.

Probably the best life lesson we can learn from weather is just simply to enjoy it. No matter the time of day, if there is a rainbow in our viewing area then we get inundated with pictures. With rainbows, sunsets, or full moons we always receive the reports in bulk. Sometimes we need to understand that if something great happens you don’t need to post it all the time.

I’m sure people love that you are finding great things in your life, but sometimes people won’t see the same value in a picture on your social media accounts. I feel that, now more than ever, people are wrapped up in social media to the point that we forget to simply enjoy what is in front of us. You can take a picture next time but don’t forget to capture for yourself.


Think I should change one of the lessons or add something else? Let me know!

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