Penn State meteorology students win fourth straight national forecasting contest

May 19, 2015

For the fourth straight year, a team of Penn State meteorology students took the top honors at WxChallenge, a North American collegiate weather forecasting competition. The team won first place, competing against nearly 2,000 participants from more than 50 institutions in the U.S. and Canada.

For the competition, students were challenged to predict the high and low temperature, maximum sustained wind speed, and total precipitation for 10 locations across the United States. The competition ran for 10 weeks in the fall semester and 10 weeks in the spring semester. Scoring was done by assessing the accuracy of the student’s predicted forecasts compared to verified meteorological measurements.

The team of Penn State forecasters consisted of undergraduate students Matthew Brown, Max Gawryla, Sean Romeo, Christopher Stickney and doctoral candidate Michael Goss. Penn State won its third and fourth national championships under Goss' tutelage.

"I think this level of consistent performance reflects the high quality of our students and our meteorology program at Penn State,” said Jon Nese, associate head for the undergraduate program in meteorology and host of Penn State’s "Weather World."

Others contributing to the win were student forecasters Joseph Carolan, Gregory Deboe, Nathan Flinchbaugh, Maura Kelly, Michael Priante, Bryant Sell and Matthew Strauser, and faculty member Steve Seman, lecturer in meteorology.

The names of this year’s team will be engraved on The WxChallenge trophy, joining the names of the previous Penn State team winners. The trophy will reside at Penn State during the 2015-16 academic year.

For more information about the WxChallenge, visit

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated May 21, 2015