COD Places First in State in National Weather Challenge

Weather Challenge image

By Jennifer Duda

The only two-year school among approximately 60 schools nationwide, College of DuPage finished first in Illinois and 13th nationwide in this year's Weather Challenge, sponsored by the Weather Channel.

Open to all undergraduate, graduate and PhD students, as well as higher education faculty, staff and alumni, WxChallenge requires participants to forecast the maximum and minimum temperatures, precipitation and maximum wind speeds for select U.S. cities over a ten-week period.

"We had a total of 46 participants and this was the first year COD participated," said Associate Meteorology Professor Vittorio Gensini. "Our students were really excited and it was a real commitment on their part because they had to do daily forecasts over several weeks."

Student overall city forecast winners include: Mike Zuranski (Woodridge), Burbank, Calif. forecast winner; Phil Gravel (Lisle), Austin, Texas forecast winner; and Jeff Linstrom (Glen Ellyn), Newark, NJ forecast winner.

In addition to the individual city winners, six COD participants finished in the top 64 cumulatively among the more than 1,500 WxChallenge participants. Those include: COD Meteorology Lab Assistant Evan Anderson; Gensini; and students Nathan Halm, Matt Piechota, Sam Augustyn and Zuranksi.

Over the ten-week competition, participants were scored on their forecasts, gaining or losing points based on accuracy, he said.

"It was a great experience because students get a little humility because they're dealing with Mother Nature," Gensini said. "They also get the daily experience. It's team building. You're not only working as individuals, but as a group."

Pictured: Meteorology students Phil Gravel, Mike Zuranski and Jeff Linstrom were the overall forecast winners in the WxChallenge.