WILTON, Conn. — Wilton High School’s Jackson Dill didn’t wake up one day thinking he’d start his own weather forecasting website: It was a natural progression of his interest in meteorology.
“Two of my friends would always ask me, ‘What’s the weather for the day?' And so after awhile ... one of them suggested I create a website,” Jackson said. So he did.
Jackson, who launched his site in March 2015, said he got his website live within hours. But he spent a year further developing the site.
In the beginning, Jackson based his forecasts off websites such as weather.com. A few months after starting his own website, he began using a more advanced weather forecasting site called Weather Bell.
Weather Bell offers links to information on precipitation, winds, temperatures, wind chills — and more technical details that are not available on other sites, he said.
Jackson consults several models to make his forecasts, but he favors on model. “I like the European model the best,” he said. “I find that one the most accurate.”
There’s also a U.S. model. They’re in sync most of the time, but sometimes they differ in important ways, Jackson said.
“I find that probably 80 to 90 percent of the time all the models agree with each other,” he said. “But then sometimes they could be all over the place. In the winter, the European model may say 2 feet of now, whereas the U.S. model will be only 2 inches.”
When the models don't agree, Jackson will look at other forecasts and update his forecasts.
Jackson balances his forecasts with his schoolwork as a rising high school junior. “Sometimes I’ll be up later than usual before I get all my school work done,” he said.
But if he runs out of the time, he’ll be up bright and early at 5 a.m. to update the site.
For now, Jackson offers forecasts for Fairfield County. But he said he might expand to Westchester County, N.Y., in the future.
Jackson said he plans to run the site at least through high school — and possibly college.
Jackson said he plans to study meteorology. For more information on Jackson’s site, visit Jackson’s Weather here.
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