In honor of National Weatherperson’s Day today, we sat down with our favorite, on-staff meteorologist Kari Strenfel to learn more about her important work, and how she got started in the field.
How did you discover your love for meteorology?
Growing up in Minneapolis, I loved watching thunderstorms develop during the summer. In fourth grade, I did a class project on thunderstorm clouds, and that really sparked my interest and early understanding of how weather actually works.
As a meteorologist, how does your expertise influence AcuRite’s products?
Being a weather geek, I understand what kinds of data our users want, how they can use it, and how to improve our products’ functionality and capabilities. Starting my career at Weather Underground, I have a lot of experience working across a variety of weather station platforms. That in-depth knowledge helps our team as we strive to develop the most accurate, affordable weather stations available today.
But you don’t have to be a weather geek like me to use a weather station or indoor monitoring device. As a mom of two kids, I’m also able to think outside the box about how families might use this information in their day-to-day lives.
How do you use AcuRite products in your daily life? Do you have a favorite product?
I love the new Atlas, which I use for all of my outdoor monitoring, and I also have several indoor sensors scattered throughout my home. Every day, I compare and use that information to efficiently control my home heating and cooling, plan my day, and keep my family comfortable.
What’s the most frequently asked question you get about the weather?
Living in California, I get a lot of questions about when it’s going to rain or whether we’re in a drought. Back in the Midwest, I have family always asking about how cold it’s going to get. People really want to know about extremes in weather and what they can expect.
What’s one piece of advice you’d give to someone interested in becoming a meteorologist?
Be prepared for a lot of math! Meteorology involves a lot more math than people expect. If this is a career path you’re considering, start strengthening your math skills.
Describe your perfect weather day.
I love to go back to the Midwest during thunderstorm season. When the sky turns that green hue, as it typically does before a storm, my family and I get excited and check the radar to watch the storm roll in.
Kari Strenfel is AcuRite’s first on-staff meteorologist, joining the team in 2017. She earned her bachelor’s degree in atmospheric science with a minor in mathematics at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and a graduate degree in meteorology at San Jose State University. Previously, Kari worked at Weather Underground, where she helped manage its personal weather station network. Kari lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and two children. Keep up with Kari on her blog, Kari’s Korner.