By Nicholas Russell and Caleb Martin, Drew Charter School Student Ambassadors
Thursday morning out at East Lake Golf Club we arrived to a gloomy sky and some unwanted rain showers, wondering if we are going to have a stormy start to our Tour Championship. As our time gets closer to the opening tee shots, there is still no sun in sight. We went on a hunt to figure out who has the power to tell us whether are not golf will start on time today. After we found the Meteorologist trailer, we learned that senior meteorologist Wade Stettner, who consults for the PGA TOUR and is at every tournament, was our helping hand on whether the championship tee times would be affected.
After meeting Mr. Stettner we learned quite a few things about the weather this week and how it may affect the start of the first day of our TOUR Championship. To give us a taste of the world of a meteorologist, he started by telling us how he looks west of Georgia to give us a heads up on what weather and storms we may need to look out for. There is radar giving us signs of storms traveling east from Alabama on course to interrupt our first day of play. He informs us that the storm is still a ways out however it is something that his team would have to watch out for as the day goes along. Following his statements telling us about the incoming weather, he takes us on a journey to space to give us a taste of what the weather looks like on a bigger scale. He introduces us to something his team likes to call “chunky clouds.” He explains that “chunky clouds are the clouds that you see start to begin to get thicker. “He also states that “Our chunky clouds will begin to look like cauliflower and will usually have spotty areas adjacent to them” which is something he pays close attention to in the meteorology world. As we descend back to earth, we learn about one more way that he uses to give us an overview on what may be heading our way. He introduces us to a map of all lightning strikes, showing us the severity and direction of each and every storm. We learned that his team worked with Rolling Loud New York held at Citi Field along with many other big corporations and events. We came to the conclusion that Zeus , god of lightning doesn’t stand a chance when Mr. Stettner is around.
This job seems so simple however the process to get where he is today, is a great challenge. With a degree in astrophysical science from the University of North Dakota, Mr. Stettner was able to get a job at DTN, a meteorology consulting company. In 2005 DTN weather company received a contract with the PGA. Since 2005 Mr. Stettner’s team has been the main decision makers to determine if the weather has the final say so on play. This fine tuning of technology is not only just used for the PGA. However, your average outdoor concerts that you may have attended has a team just like him looking out for the weather. Sadly, this warning system was instituted because out in Indiana at their state fair, the stage collapse and fell which killed nearly eight people, because the wind was so powerful that day. This day showed why this job is so important and can prevent mother nature from making such great danger at events. When hear the tittle meteorologist, you will now have a different perspective on how significant their job is.
Although no weather forecast is perfect and no one will be able to tame Zeus, we at least know that someone is in place to keep us safe with a nice heads up on what may to come. Mr. Stenttner and his team are here bright and early determining the forecast for the day, as well as the steps and precaution we should take so that we keep this golf week safe and fun. Now that we have the weather down and under control, let’s begin to enjoy some golf.