Dr. Lou McNally is an Assistant Professor for the Applied Aviation Sciences department within the College of Aviation at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University – Daytona Beach. He teaches a variety of classes including Intro to TV Weathercasting, Climatology and Survey of Meteorology.
Please tell us about your background and what motivated you to come to Embry-Riddle.
40 years as a broadcaster/forecaster/private meteorologist. I came to ERAU for the opportunity to teach.
How did you decide on a career in meteorology and what has been the highlight of your career?
I entered meteorology to be a better forecaster. My work had been outdoors up until then, and I wanted to be able to plan my crews better..but the forecasting stuck with me! There’s a highlight in my career every semester when I can teach a student how to beat the competition in weather forecasting.
What skills/strengths make our graduates stand out in the work force?
Our students are better prepared than those at other schools. They can go directly into jobs that require 1-3 years’ experience and bypass the entry-level entirely.
What is Private Meteorology and how does it differ from Operational or Applied Meteorology?
Private meteorology is unique in that every client is different. As a private meteorologist, you could be broadcasting on the radio or TV, consulting with air operations regarding deicing a runway, routing a yacht to Monaco, or telling a contractor when they’ll have dry weather to paint, or a farmer when they can cut and dry their hay. We also reconstruct the scenes of accidents and crimes, and testify for courts and government agencies.
What advice do you give to students about getting undergraduate work experience in the profession?
All my students are encouraged to (and do) take internships. Many times, it has developed into a full-time position for them.