By Indiana Nash
NISKAYUNA- Evan Belkin, an eighth grader at Iroquois middle school, is usually referred to as “mini-meteorologist” by fellow students and teachers alike.
“His reputation precedes him,” said Victoria Wyld, principal of Iroquois, “When he first came to the school in sixth grade, he told us that weather was his thing, and he’s definitely proven that he’s good at it.”
Evan still remembers the incident which brought him to love meteorology: “I was five years old and there was a huge rainstorm. We were under a tornado watch and I asked so many questions about it and really started to wonder how we could track storms.”
Since then, Evan has been learning all he can about the subject. “It’s gotten to the point where I have weather models all over my room,” said Evan.
He speaks confidently about which weather models and which weather stations he prefers too. “I tend to agree with the American rather than the European models. They’re usually more accurate. I also like the National Weather Service better than the Weather Channel, they predict things that just don’t make sense sometimes,” he said.
WIRO, a broadcast program at Iroquois is usually reserved for eighth grade students, but Evan was asked to join in seventh grade to report on the weather. He reports two mornings a week at the station.
“I usually don’t write a script, I just know it. I make my own predictions based on my weather models and then I’ll check the National Weather Service to make sure I’m right,” said Evan.
With all of the backlash that weathermen and women typically have to put up with, Evan tries to make his predictions cautiously. “One time, I predicted that there was a possibility that we might have a delay because of this snow storm that was headed towards us. But it ended up missing us and we weren’t delayed at all. Some kids were mad at me because they had planned on having a delay. But I asked them, ‘What does the word possibility mean?’” Said Evan.
His ideal career would be a meteorologist for the National Weather Service out of Albany. “First, I’d have to be an intern, then I’d move up to be a general forecaster, then a lead forecaster. But I would most want to be the warning coordination meteorologist,” said Evan.
Beyond forecasting for the school, Evan runs his own forecasting website. “I made the website about five months ago because a few kids asked me to. I also have a text alert system so I can let everyone everyone if there is probably going to be a delay or not,” said Evan.
Not bad for an eighth grader.
When it comes time to move onto the high school next year, Evan plans on joining the high school’s equivalent of WIRO. With the broadcasting start that WIRO has given him, Evan feels confident that he’ll be ready to jump right into the new program.
“I love winter weather because it’s always changing and hard to track. Sometimes, you really can’t predict what the storms will do until a little while beforehand,” said Evan.
Evan, along with his twin brother, David, his mother Deborah, father Randy, and the family cats and dog look forward to next winter, when their ‘mini meteorologist’ will hopefully be busier making predictions than he was this year.