By: Luciano Shea/Junior Writer
Blue Ridge teacher Alec Mazikewich juggles two jobs, teaching science and forecasting the weather. Although he teaches full-time, he is also a part time weatherman at WBNG, Binghamton, New York.
At times, Mazikewich is also the personal weatherman for Blue Ridge students and faculty alike. When chatter stirs up at the school about a potential snow day, Mazikewich is known as the person to call.
In a recent survey conducted by the Raider Reader, 75% of students say they routinely ask Mazikewich for the weather report, with 96% of those same respondents say Mazikewich’s weather predictions are accurate.
Blue Ridge senior Emily Marvin says of Mazikewich, “In all of my years in the high school he has never been wrong. He is also my favorite teacher.”
Exclusive Interview with Alec Mazikewich
Luciano Shea: Many people complain about the weather forecast and its inaccuracy. What would you say to this? Also, do you believe there is accuracy in weather predictions today?
Mazikewich: I don’t think that’s true. We continue to update computers and satellites to analyze the weather on a consistent basis. Each time this happens, accuracy continues to increase. We will never achieve 100% accuracy but will continue to strive to get as close as possible.
Luciano Shea: I know how hard it can be to predict weather patterns and things of that nature. Speak on this difficulty and how you are able to have such success in your weather predictions.
Mazikewich: It’s very difficult to predict the future. It takes a lot of analysis of multiple models, numeric data, and time to try to be as accurate as possible.
Luciano Shea: I personally use you as my weatherman. I tend to trust you the most. How many other students and faculty members besides myself come up to you on a daily basis inquiring about the upcoming weather? Does it get overwhelming? Or do you enjoy being Blue Ridge’s weather expert?
Mazikewich: There are too many to count that ask for a forecast. Between people stopping in my classroom, calling, or friends and family texting my personal phone, it can be a lot sometimes and become overwhelming. It’s hard to come up with an accurate forecast and continue with my regular teaching duties on days prior to a significant storm. I do enjoy it though.
Luciano Shea: I was told by others that you use your “senses” to determine the upcoming weather? Would this report be accurate? In other words, please explain a bit about how you determine your weather predictions.
Mazikewich: I’m not sure if it’s so much using senses as it is using past observations of similar weather conditions and/or storms. Studying weather as long as I have, you accumulate a lot of past weather events.
Luciano Shea: How long have you been viewed as Blue Ridge’s weatherman? Is it a role that found you?
Mazikewich: Being an earth scientist, people have asked me about the weather throughout my entire career. Recently, the role has become more since I finished taking classes to become a broadcast meteorologist.
Luciano Shea: What is the story behind your origins with our weather forecasting?
Mazikewich: I started becoming interested in weather when I was in late elementary school. If memory serves me correctly, somewhere around fifth grade. But, it was when I was in eighth grade when I took an earth science class. I really liked the weather topic. During high school, I watched the weather and was interested in weather patterns I was observing during those years, but that was about it. It was in college where I really started to take a great interest in weather.
Luciano Shea: Is there anything else I should have asked? Am I missing anything of importance that you would like to share about this that would add to our story?
Mazikewich: I can’t think of anything else. Those were all good questions. I enjoyed answering them.
Mazikewich says his interest in the weather started when he was in grade school. You can watch Mazikewich forecast the weather for WBNG 12 NEWS here: https://www.wbng.com/authors/Alec.Mazikevich/