Dylan Major Keeps Friends High and Dry

By Joseph Kratz, Editor-in-Chief

While he may shine brightest on the track, Dylan Major (11) is more than a state-caliber track athlete; he is also an amateur meteorologist who commands a cult following among his pupils.

He first began his meteorology show on his Snapchat story when he was bored one day during the summer before sophomore year. The next time there was a weather event, however,  he did not post anything about it.

“One of my friends jokingly gave me grief about not keeping them updated,” he said. From here on out, he then felt obligated to post the weather and update his friends.

Dylan says that he receives around 80 viewers to each of his Snapchat story posts. Each post is made up of a map of doppler radar, information about wind, graphs of precipitation changes throughout the day, or a photo of the weather conditions outside his house — or his cat. Laid over the maps, photos, and graphs are Dylan’s personal thoughts and evaluations of the percentages, storm paths, and precipitation types. His story may contain a dozen or more posts.

Dylan’s speciality is that he can sift through multiple professional sources, weighing the strengths and weaknesses of each source; this includes using and evaluating various models as well. “A general weakness of all of them is they rely on historical data,” Dylan said, “but the climate has changed.” Although he admits that the European weather model is generally more reliable and accurate than the American model, that model tends to underpredict, and it is best for forecasting summer weather. Dylan weighs those imperfections in his own forecasting.

For his followers, Dylan also includes the reasoning to his predictions so they can make their own decisions and predictions. In one January 8, 2019 post, Dylan elaborated on his belief that snow will fall the following day saying, “If the National Weather Service is right about the temps. . . it’ll be cold enough to stick (22 °F -33 °F). We just need the moisture to form.”

He will also answer any questions submitted to him about his weather predictions. For example, when he was asked about what an eyewall replacement cycle is, he quickly elaborated on it: “It’s where the hurricane essentially spent its resources too fast and spun out a little, so it will have to redevelop the second most and strongest band of precipitation.” These questions and answers are posted on his story as well to create a collage of analysis and clarification.

Although few may be privy to his temperature analysis nor his track prowess, one thing can be assured: you won’t see him as your local weatherman anytime soon. “No,” he says, “I don't plan on becoming a professional meteorologist.”