Aspiring meteorologist launches Wilton-based weather service
After Hurricane Irene and Superstorm Sandy, rising Wilton High School junior Jackson Dill developed a fascination with weather.
“We deal with the weather outside everyday, and I was always questioning how we get big snowstorms,” said Jackson, who considers the 2011 hurricane and 2012 superstorm two of “the most exciting storms” he’s ever experienced.
In March 2015, Jackson started his own weather service called Jackson’s Weather, which provides daily weather news and forecasts for the Southwestern Connecticut area at jacksonsweather.com, as well as Facebook and Twitter.
“I find it so cool that you can predict what the weather would be in the future,” said Jackson, who started out using information from websites like The Weather Channel, as well as local meteorologists, to create his Jackson’s Weather forecasts.
In August 2015, Jackson subscribed to WeatherBELL Analytics, a website that provides customized weather forecasts, data services and weather intelligence tools.
“WeatherBELL allows me access to all the different models, including the popular US GFS and European models,” he said, “and I have been making my weather predictions based off of all these models ever since.”
Getting the forecast right is the hardest part about meteorology, said Jackson, and snowfall is the hardest to forecast.
“The models are always differing on the amount of snowfall we will have, so I have to determine and pick a number of how much snow we will get,” he said.
“It’s always a surprise waking up in the morning and seeing the changes in how much snow the models are projecting in advance of a major snowstorm.”
In the winter, Jackson’s Weather has a school predictions page, which “students love to check to see what the chances are for a snow day, delay or early dismissal,” said Jackson.
To visually communicate his forecasts, Jackson uses PowerPoint to create graphics, including UV indexes, severe weather radar updates, and daily weather ratings.
Jackson said he loves “all types of weather” — especially when it’s “sunny and hot with temperatures around 90 degrees” — but cloudy days are his least favorite.
“My favorite type of extreme weather is hurricanes. I love tracking those and thunderstorms,” he said.
“I also love tracking what’s going on in the tropics and seeing where a hurricane will go that may impact the United States.”
Jackson said his dream is to study meteorology in college and eventually become a broadcast meteorologist.
“I want to be able to share the weather forecasts and the science behind different types of weather with people,” he said. “Hopefully, you will see me on TV some day.”