Conners Emerson School student Cal Bryer measures snow in his backyard in Bar Harbor. ISLANDER PHOTO BY NOAH ROSENBERG

Budding meteorologist loves weather

By Noah Rosenberg, special to the Mount Desert Islander

BAR HARBOR — Mount Desert Island has been pounded in February by several major winter storms – even a blizzard.

Among the many residents who have been out shoveling is seventh grader Callahan Bryer of the Conners Emerson School, one of MDI’s youngest and most passionate weather reporters.

Cal has made a name for himself at Conners Emerson by forecasting the weather with great dedication and enthusiasm. He intently followed winter storm Niko as it swept through and kept peers, teachers and staff up to date on its arrival and predicted accumulation.

Last year, Cal became the first sixth grader in the school’s history to give the daily weather announcements, a privilege usually reserved for older students. Reflecting on the first year Cal said, “That was a special privilege I think, and I never really realized that back then.”

But Cal’s passion for sharing his love of meteorology began two years before that, in the fourth grade, where he saw an opportunity to utilize some of the school’s video equipment. “I wanted to do some sort of announcement, so I said ‘Hey, they have a new green screen. Why don’t we do a green screen weather report?’ and there we go. In fact, I think I still have one of the oldest weather reports I ever did on my laptop.”

Immediately following his morning announcements, Cal watches as students exit their homerooms and walk to class. “I feel good that I’m telling the weather to everyone, especially when there’s upcoming storms, … so people can be safe and aware,” he said.

Cal shares one of his favorite forecasting memories. “There was a big blizzard back in 2015, and no one had really heard about it. The alert came up around 8 o’clock, so I got it when I was about to do my announcement,” he remembers.

“When I forecasted it, everyone doubted me, but then when they went home that day, it was on the national news. There was going to be three feet of snow, and we ended up having school off for two days because of it.”

Although Cal is proud of his reporting, he finds true joy in studying meteorology. “I’d rather research. I don’t really see myself reporting, because everyone has a flashy grin on the screen, and I don’t really think I could express that.

“It would take a lot of hard work, but I do see myself pulling through to become a meteorologist.” Cal’s passion for meteorology is well known among his teachers and is occasionally incorporated into class assignments.

Cal has even done a forecast for his church. As teacher Kimberley Gray put it, “passion is what we want all of our students to find. So, to see him, he’s got it, and it makes us all so happy.”

But weather isn’t Cal’s only interest. “I like astronomy, and I also like programming, and I just like being with my family. I like a lot of things. Some are more alike than other’s, but I consider weather to be on top.” He’s also a local history buff.

Although Cal may love tracking storms, it doesn’t keep him from going outside on snow adventures as his mother reports.

“I like giving the weather because it’s interesting,” Cal said. “It can change at any second.”

Callahan is the son of Katy and Jeremy Bryer of Bar Harbor.

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