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U Students Win Weather Contest Meteorologists Defeat 38 Other Schools in Forecasting Marathon

June 18, 2004 — The University of Utah Department of Meteorology’s 12-student forecast team has finished in first place for overall team score, beating 38 other schools in the 2003-2004 National Collegiate Weather Forecast Contest.

The Utah team beat second-place Massachusetts Institute of Technology and third-place San Jose State University, according to team member and graduate student Jason Shafer.

The contest involved submitting online forecasts for daily high and low temperatures and precipitation for as many as 13 U.S. cities, each for a two-week period. About 1,000 students participated in the contest, which began last September and ended in April. Winners were just announced this week, Shafer says.

The 12 members of the U’s team are Shafer and graduate students Kristin Dowd, Ken Hart, Greg West, Erik Crosman, Mario Majcen and Ryan Riveland, and undergraduate students Todd Foisy, Aaron Sutula, Scott Sellars, Kyle Paddleford and James Monroe.

Foisy won second place for individual forecasting – the second time in three years he has done so. He now is beginning a career as a forecaster for the National Weather Service in Billings, Mont.