• Northern lights

The atmosphere is complex—and fascinating, which is why scientists have studied it for more than a century. Our setting on Lake Superior highlights this complexity, making it even more interesting. Severe storms can move toward the area, only to lose energy as they get close. Small changes in wind direction can create several feet of snowfall here, while thirty miles away it’s blue skies and fifteen degrees warmer.

Understanding the influence of our location on the atmosphere will improve weather forecasts and simulated scenarios of climate change. You will have the opportunity to work one-on-one with faculty, using computer models to simulate and understand the relationship between the land (including Lake Superior, Penokee Mountains, and the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest) and local weather. You will also have the opportunity to observe these storms in action during a storm-chasing course, which is part of the curriculum.

Our students go directly into forecasting careers in television, radio, or the National Weather Service. Others pursue advanced degrees in atmospheric science. In addition to a meteorology major, we also offer a climate science minor.

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Where Meteorology Can Take You