How a scholar helped modernize forecasting software used in NOAA offices across the U.S.

National Weather Service meteorologists rely on an enormous amount of data and software to keep the public informed about our weather. This summer, Connor Cozad, a 2021 Hollings scholar and data science student at the College of Charleston, helped modernize a portion of this software from the National Weather Service forecast office in Charleston, South Carolina.

Connor poses in front of a building that has a NOAA logo and the words "National Weather Service" above the door.

Connor Cozad, a 2021 Hollings scholar, in front of the National Weather Service Forecast Office in Charleston, South Carolina, where his internship took place. (Image credit: Courtesy of Connor Cozad)

Connor collaborated with meteorologists and hydrologists to create a new tool to retrieve and process current weather and hydrology data from an existing database for use in the Advanced Weather Interactive Processing System (AWIPS). AWIPS allows forecasters to integrate weather and hydrological data with satellite and radar imagery to create more accurate and timely forecasts.

Connor’s new tool will replace a portion of the AWIPS software that was originally written in the 1990s. Meteorologists and hydrologists at forecast offices across the country will be able to use Connor’s modernized tool to generate text summaries containing weather observations and forecasts, such as the Daily Hydrometeorological Product or the Daily River and Lake Summary. After completing his degree, Connor hopes to continue solving similar problems, writing software that helps people access and work with Earth science data.

My experience with the National Weather Service in Charleston, South Carolina has been more than I could have asked for! It was amazing to meet the meteorologists that make our forecasts, but even more exciting to work with them and create a tool that makes their job easier.

Connor Cozad, Hollings scholar, class of 2021
A screenshot of Connor preparing to give a virtual presentation from a home office on July 28, 2022. Next to a tile with his video, his title slide is being shared. It reads: Modernizing Internal National Weather Service Observation and Forecast Data Retrieval. Connor Cozad, NOAA Hollings intern, WFO Charleson, SC. Blair Holloway, Lead Meteorologist, WFO Charleston, SC. Mark Armstrong, Physical Scientist, NWS Headquarters. Jonathan Lamb, Meteorologist, WFO Charleston, SC.
Connor gave a virtual presentation about his software modernization project following his summer internship. (Courtesy of Connor Cozad)
A headshot of Connor
Connor Cozad, 2021 Hollings scholar

Connor Cozad is data science major at the College of Charleston.