On Thursday, May 29, WKTV meteorologist Bill Kardas visited Fisher Elementary’s first grade to share his expertise—the weather.
Mr. Kardas had kept the five classes of students’ full attention as he covered the full spectrum of meteorology. He talked about severe weather such as hurricanes, tornadoes, thunderstorms and ice storms, explaining how they form, the damage they do and what students should do to stay safe. His photos and videos of multiple lightning strikes and a tornado derailing a freight train brought “oohs and ahhs” from the young crowd.
He also discussed interesting weather such as rainbows and sun dots and weather instruments such as thermometers, radar and anemometers.
Students also enjoyed his description of life as a television meteorologist. Mr. Kardas gets up each morning at 3:30 a.m. to get to work in time to check the latest weather information and to put together his daily forecast. On the air, he stands in front of a green screen—a big green wall. Special computer software removes the green and then places the rest of the image (the meteorologist) on any background. Mr. Kardas’ image is placed on pictures and weather maps to create what the viewers sees on the screen. He has two television screens off camera that show him where he is on the screen and where to point when explaining the weather.
After his presentation, he answered several student questions.
What is your favorite part of your job? My favorite part is doing things like this. Other than that, I like it when the days become crazy. That’s not always good for people, but it is exciting.
Is this summer going to be hot? We can predict the weather pretty reliably three days out. The further out, it gets more difficult. We try to look for patterns. But, yes, it looks like a hot summer.
What was the biggest tornado? In 1999, an F-5 tornado hit Oklahoma City with a top speed of 318 mph.
Why do cows lie down when it’s going to rain? I have no idea.
How bright is lightening? It is as bright as the sun, but it doesn’t hurt your eyes because is lasts a very short time. It is also five times hotter than the sun, 50,000°F.
Why is the weatherman always wrong? We can only predict out three days with accuracy.
How does a blizzard form? Like all weather, it is the collision of warm and cold air.
Why is the sun hotter in the summer? In the summer, the sun points almost straight down like a flashlight overhead. In the winter, it’s like the flashlight when you shine it on an angle. The light spreads out and it’s not as intense and hot.
What is graupel? Graupel is like hail.
What causes fog? Fog is just a cloud close to the ground.
How fun is it to tell the weather? It’s a lot of fun, but the downside is you have to get up at 3:30 a.m.
What does is take to become of meteorologist?
Mr. Kardas attended SUNY Albany where he studied atmospheric sciences. After graduation, he worked behind the scenes for WTEN television in Albany, NY. Three years later, he got his job at WKTV. To become an even better meteorologist, he is attending Mississippi State University online to get his Masters degree.