University News

Biggs Wins Second in National Weather Forecasting Challenge

July 2, 2015

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MACOMB, IL – Western Illinois University junior Devin Biggs, of Lincoln, IL, recently won second place in "The Weather Challenge," a national weather forecasting competition at the University of Oklahoma.

Biggs, a meteorology student, competed in category four of the competition, which is designated for students at the freshman or sophomore level.

During the national challenge, Biggs and other students in his age category forecast the weather for a chosen city for a two-week period. The city Biggs predicted for was Phoenix, AZ.

"I was honestly shocked I did so well," said Biggs. "I'm thankful to have earned a trophy and I plan to keep competing and continuing to improve in the challenge. I want to become a great forecaster, and this challenge will help. It also makes it fun to have competition. My ultimate goal is to hopefully finish at the top of the category."

Next year Biggs will compete in category three, for older students.

"Devin was the only person out of our faculty or student pool of forecasters to get a trophy this past year," said WIU Associate Professor of Geography Marcus Büker. "Our school has had four previous winners over the past five years; two faculty and two students. Devin got second place for Phoenix, AZ, out of approximately 500 freshman and sophomores."

Büker added that forecasters used a variety of tools (computer model output, satellite imagery, radar and climatological data), as well as their own experience and knowledge of meteorology, to produce as accurate a forecast as possible.

For more information on WIU's meteorology program, visit

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