Featured Meteorologist Dakota Smith

Dakota is a research scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research

Dakota Smith

Q and A with Colorado Meteorologist Dakota Smith

Dakota is a research scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research. His research focuses on public perception of weather risk communication. He also creates weather animations and videos that he shares on his Twitter and YouTube channel. Dakota previously worked at WeatherNation where he created a variety of content for television and digital platforms.

1. What was your most memorable weather event?

It’s gotta be the back-to-back snowstorms of February 2010. It was my senior year of high school and we got two huge snowstorms within a five day period. I measured 20+ inches for both storms and over 50 inches in spots throughout my yard when it was all said and done.

The kicker was getting so, so many days off of school. Since I was senior we didn’t end up having to make up the days. The cherry on top of the giant mounds of snow.

2. What is your favourite and least favourite type of weather?

My favorite weather has got to be snowstorms. The anticipation of a big snowstorm is the best. And then being out and about in it once it’s snowing, I love it.

My least favorite weather is repetitive weather. When you have long stretches of just sunny skies or day after day of cloudiness. It gets boring!

3. If you weren’t a meteorologist what would you most like to be?

If I wasn’t a meteorologist, I’d like to think I would have pursued entomology. I’m fascinating with insects and was always interested in them as a kid. I was fascinated with insects as a kid and still am today.

4. From a purely meteorological point of view, where would you most like to live?

I’m pretty easy to please weather-wise but from all the places I’ve lived, Colorado has provided the best weather. It’s sunny most of the time but you can still get weather extremes. Big snow storms, severe weather, bitter cold, sweltering heat – Colorado has it all. The access to the mountains also provides a completely different weather regime which is fun to experience.

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