Meet Our Meteorologists: Alexa Maines
- Oct 17, 2018
Alexa Maines has been a meteorologist for two years and the Earth Networks Team is lucky to have her!
When you meet our meteorologists here at Earth Networks, you’re meeting a group of very diverse weather experts. While some of our professional meteorological staff have been in the business for decades, others (like Alexa) are just getting started. And that’s a great thing!
While there is nothing quite like having seasoned weather experts in your corner, young professionals are just as great to have on your team. Fresh perspectives and lively energy are just a few things these up-and-coming industry leaders bring to the table.
See what we mean by continuing to read this awesome profile on our Alexa.
From Fear to Career
When you ask our meteorologists how they made the weather their careers, you’ll get a lot of different answers. While some are heart-warming, that isn’t the case with Alexa Maines!
“I was terrified of tornadoes as a kid,” admits Alexa. Because of this fear, a young Alexa spent a lot of her free time watching the radar and weather on television.
As she continued with her education, Alexa thought she wanted a career in Psychology. However, all of that changed when she took a meteorology class her freshman year of college. What she thought would be an interesting topic to fill her electives turned out to be the spark she needed to pursue her dreams. After really enjoying that class, Alexa decided that meteorology was what she wanted to do!
While Alexa is still in the “honeymoon” phase with forecasting, her favorite events to forecast right now are anything with severe weather.
Interning At Earth Networks
What many people might not know about Earth Networks is that there are tons of interning opportunities. Alexa Maines took advantage of a meteorology interning opportunity and has been with the company ever since. Altogether, Alexa has spent 2.5 years here.
Alexa was a meteorologist intern here while she was a senior at the University of Maryland. “Starting off as an intern was an amazing experience for me,” says Alexa. She especially loved working and learning among some of the brightest in the business.
After she graduated, she continued interning with the Earth Networks crew and was brought on full-time in March 2018. “It’s my first job out of a college and a lot of work, but I’m loving it!”
As an intern, Alexa got plenty of hands-on experience updating forecasts for clients, writing stories, and checking data quality. If you’re a prospective meteorologist or in a meteorology program, Alexa has some advice for you: “Join professional organizations like AMS and get involved. Take any networking opportunity you can and get an internship for some hands-on experience!”
Alexa, What’s the Weather?
Now that she’s a full-time meteorologist, Alexa still has her hands full. Depending on the shift, you can find Alexa doing things like:
- Writing editorial content
- Offering support to clients by phone or email
- Performing data quality on our weather and lightning sensors
- Providing forecasts for clients across the globe
- Fending off Amazon Alexa jokes from coworkers and clients (“Alexa, what’s the weather like today?”)
All of our staff on the Meteorological Services Team wear a lot of different hats. Most of them, including Alexa, love this part of the job. “I love how our duties change every single day and you never really know what you’re going to do when you come into work each day!”
There are some constants. For example, every shift starts by handing off clients. Both the meteorologists leaving work and the meteorologists coming in go up to our whiteboard and discuss the weather threats and specific tasks that need to be done that day. This is also the perfect chance to discuss any challenging forecasts and for our meteorologists to collaborate on any other projects.
Our meteorologists do most of their forecasts during overnight shifts. “Each of us will take a few clients and analyze the latest data to decide what the weather threats will be that day.” Our meteorologists, understandably, have to be as specific as possible with timing. This can be a challenge with events like thunderstorms, but the challenge is part of the fun.
Alexa also has afternoon shifts. These shifts look a little different from overnight shifts because they are faster-paced. This is due to the weather mainly because thunderstorms happen during the day and that’s when some of our biggest clients operate. Sometimes, we can get as many as 20 calls a day from clients. That’s when our meteorologists’ multi-tasking skills really shine!
A Meteorologist Making A Difference
While Alexa is still pretty new to being a meteorologist, she still makes a big difference here at Earth Networks. This is apparent in the way she deals with clients. For example, Alexa remembers a time when a client was having an outdoor concert but thunderstorms were moving into the area. She answered the call and advised the client on timing, how bad the storms would be, and when they would be over. This type of expert advice helped the client make the right weather-related decision. They safely delayed the concert, moved the concertgoers to safety, and began the concert once the storms exited the area.
Weather impacts absolutely everything when it comes to business operations. That’s why it’s imperative for all sorts of industries – not just outdoor entertainment venues – to use trusted weather experts. Off the top of her head, Alexa can think of clients she services in the following industries:
- Amusement Parks
- Utility Companies
Since each type of organization is different, there is no “one-stop” tool that works for all of them. Meteorologists help because they understand the different weather sensitivities various businesses have. “Our forecasts provide important information that our clients can use to protect their business and the people that go their business. It’s all about being prepared when dangerous weather is in the forecast!”
Many clients that use our meteorologists also use weather visualization tools, like Sferic Maps. “This tool is great for alerting them of dangerous weather and then they’ll usually call us based on the radar or lightning,” says Alexa. You can learn more about our weather visualization tool by clicking the link below.
Her Favorite Part
When asked what her favorite part about being a meteorologist is, Alexa replied:
I go home every day feeling like I learned something and that I have helped people. I’ve learned a lot about what goes on behind the scenes with decision-making on sporting events, staffing for utility companies and banks, and how amusement parks handle inclement weather. I love how fast-paced everything is. I love an intellectual challenge and since the weather is always challenging, the work I do is always changing!
More On Alexa Maines
Besides being a meteorologist, Alexa is an avid traveler. Since most of her friends live in other states and countries, she gets an excuse to travel and see them whenever she can! Last November she traveled to Ireland by herself and it was, “The best experience of my life!”
If she had to pick a favorite place to travel to, however, it would be the Caribbean since she loves snorkeling so much. She likes swimming with nurse sharks and manatees, as well, but we’re not sure if the rest of the Earth Networks Team would join her for a swim in those waters!
When she’s not forecasting the weather or traveling the world, Alexa has plenty of hobbies that help her unwind. She has a long list of favorite shows, which includes:
- The Office
- Arrested Development
- That 70s Show
- Stranger Things
- Vanderpump Rules
- Anything with Gordon Ramsay in it!
She’s also a podcast lover who would love to give you a recommendation if you ask for one in the comments below. Her favorite genre is True Crime.
On her days off, you can find Alexa catching up on sleep. However, she has plenty of other things she likes to do! For example, she’s an avid photographer and especially loves taking Polaroid pictures. She is also somewhat of a food connoisseur and enjoys trying different restaurants.
Even though she has such a scientific and data sensitive job, Alexa is just like you and me. She loves getting lost in Target, hanging out with her friends, and enjoying all the free museums that the DC area offers!
If you have any stories about Alexa that you’d like to share, please drop them in the comments below!