By Marguerite Cleveland
Temira Amelia Lital is the architect behind “Temira’s Awesome Travel Advisory Service”. The service is a public Facebook page with almost 5000 followers that track her daily weather forecasts. They are dished up each day with a dose of humor and a photo which just seems to fit the mood of the day.
“I became interested in weather forecasting because I love windsurfing more than anything else. Finding the best wind requires having a good forecast. I started forecasting so a few friends and I would have a better sense of how to organize our lives. After others started using my forecast, I realized what a positive impact I was having on people,” said Lital.
She learned the basics of weather forecasting from her friend Bart of Bart’s Best Bet and continued to refine her skills by reading, studying, and hindcasting. “I’ve always been able to focus intensely on anything that captured my attention. Weather forecasting improves my life and also the lives of others, so I’m pretty motivated to keep learning and growing. I’m not professionally trained, by any means. I don’t have any instruments, but I do look at wind speeds on iWindsurf, gradients on the NWS website, telemetry from NWAC, and the weather models put out by the University of Washington (mostly the GFS) and the Euro (ECMWF) models. I can’t do the mathematics required of atmospheric science majors, but I’ve got 10 years of experience, local knowledge, and gut instinct.”
In addition to her Facebook page, Lital also has a website, which has wind forecasts for the Gorge and snow forecasts for Mt. Hood. “There are very few people who can forecast Gorge weather accurately. I’d bet there are less than 10 who can forecast the Gorge in winter. I feel a sense of responsibility to my community; the Gorge has been so kind and supportive of me, and publishing an accurate winter forecast is a way I can help keep my community safe,” said Lital.
In addition to her weather forecasting, Lital is currently a graduate student at Portland State studying marital, couples and family therapy. She plans to eventually have a private practice focusing on relationship issues, trauma and loss.