Celebrating Pi Day: Female Meteorologists Unite for STEM

Happy Pi Day!!!  A day that is celebrated on March 14th ( 3/14 ) all around the world!

Pi (Greek letter “π”) is the symbol used in mathematics to represent a constant — the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter — which is approximately 3.14159.

Today is also a day to celebrate women in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math), and hundreds of female meteorologists are taking part in this nationwide campaign.  Studies show that although women make up half of the workforce, they only account for about 20 percent of college degrees in STEM related fields.  So we female meteorologists are hoping to change that!

The weather movement all started back in 2015 when you might remember a photo that went viral of more than 100 female meteorologists wearing the same dress.  Now two years later, the weather movement has grown tremendously.  Today female meteorologists from all over the country are wearing “the dress” or simply wearing blue to show their support.

Here at WSAV we have two female meteorologists who represent Storm Team 3…  Chief Meteorologist Kris Allred and Meteorologist Ariella Scalese.  Both became interested in weather at an early age, and both have degrees in meteorology, a field that required a tremendous amount of science and math classes.

Kris Allred says she always loved school and always had a curious mind.  But it wasn’t until middle school when she developed a competitive nature in academics…  a member of the math team…  a member who wore MC Hammer pants to every competition.  Yes…  a true sight to see.

“I didn’t know I wanted to be a meteorologist until I was in high school,” Kris says.  “My grandfather lost his right leg.  He would get terrible phantom pains when the weather changed or when a storm system was approaching.  I wanted to know why it happened, so I did a research paper on the subject.  The more I read the more I wanted to know.  I was hooked.  Next thing I knew, I was attending graduate school at Mississippi State University and earning my Master’s degree in meteorology.”

After graduation, Kris got her first job in Omaha, Nebraska.  After moving a few times and covering different television markets, Kris settled in Savannah back in 2007 where she became the first female chief meteorologist ever of the area.

“Whether we are covering a hurricane or the brutal summer heat, I absolutely love it here, and I don’t see myself anywhere else but here,” Kris says.

As for Ariella Scalese, she combined the science with fashion.

“I won’t lie, I first became interested in the weather because it helped me determine what I was going to wear for school,” Ariella says.  “My parents would make fun of me because I’d always grab the ‘weather section’ from the newspaper and lay out five outfits for the week!”

Well this behavior helped pave the way for Ariella’s transition to television.  She says she tries to make the science of the forecast more approachable.

After working in Texas, Ariella got the Savannah job offer.  In just her first three months, she covered Tropical Storm Hermine and Hurricane Matthew.

“My goal is to help viewers understand how big of an impact the weather has on their day and truly their life,” Ariella says.







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