Although Wilton’s Jackson Dill is still just in high school, he fulfilled one of his dreams early on, creating a forum to provide weather forecasts to his community. His website, Jackson’s Weather, has become a go-to source for local forecasts and school closure predictions, and GOOD Morning Wilton was lucky enough to have him share his forecasts with our readers. But now, on the eve of his graduation from Wilton High School, Jackson has made the difficult decision to shutter his namesake website in July.
In a message to his followers he gave us a shout out of thanks for helping him establish and grow a strong audience for his website. Not only do we offer a “You’re welcome!” back but also extend our thanks to Jackson for knowing we had a well-crafted, solid weather forecast to provide to our readers.
Jackson released a statement yesterday with a message to his followers.
In the March of 2015, I was given the idea by two of my best friends, Brooke and Kesslyn, that I should create a website to showcase my weather forecasts. This followed the same question I was addressed everyday about what the weather will be like for the day. Spending just a couple hours, I built a website and Jackson’s Weather became existent.
I never thought I would have my own platform where I can feature my own forecasts and my meteorological skills, but having Jackson’s Weather changed my life in the coming years. Making my own forecast and updating my website with new content and graphics became a daily routine. I even turned into an early-riser, waking up at 5 a.m.–even on the weekends–to make sure you had the most accurate forecast for free. It would be even earlier than that on the morning of a snowstorm due to my mixture of excitement about the snow and wanting to check the latest model guidance to see if the snowfall totals changed. I truly turned into a weather-weenie because of my increasing interest in weather as well as my growing followers who rely on me to plan their days. It was you who made me a better forecaster and gave me a reason to continue to improve Jackson’s Weather to where it is today.
During at least the first year since launching Jackson’s Weather, it was a slow process. Averaging up to 5 website views per day and only having up to 50 followers on my social media accounts was less than desirable, but I learned not only how to forecast more accurately but how to make the weather more appealing. Over the years, I added new features, including forecast graphics, the ClothingCast, and school predictions–the main viewership driver. Winter was always an exciting time, being able to write about each snowstorm and to teach you why a storm will act the way I expect it to, even when I was sometimes wrong. It was an especially interesting time just this past March when we dealt with not one, not two, but three nor’easters in only a three week-long time frame. Despite losing power for a week in total during the month, Jackson’s Weather remained up and running because Mother Nature couldn’t stop me from forecasting.
One of the most rewarding things during my years of Jackson’s Weather was the increasing number of followers on a day-by-day basis. It especially grew this winter. On some days, I approached 10,000 website views, and I now have nearly 3,000 followers on my social media accounts. The amount of trust I gained from my loyal followers despite not being a meteorologist–yet–was fulfilling to say the least. Without you, there would be no Jackson’s Weather, and I likely wouldn’t have been as successful as I am today. Besides my life-changing moment of creating my own company, I probably would not have been accepted into my dream school, the University of Miami, without Jackson’s Weather.
Amazing opportunities have arisen in the past couple years as I learned how to better my forecasting skills in weather and be a better communicator. In the summer of 2016, I was given the opportunity to be the meteorologist for GOOD Morning Wilton. I would like to thank Heather Borden Herve for giving me the ability to write a weekly forecast for the past two years and eventually be able to produce video forecasts for your website. You have helped me increase my number of followers. In the midst of the 2017 hurricane season, I was then discovered by the creator of the very popular “Hurricane Tracker” app on Twitter, an app that has over 700-thousand downloads and is often the number one weather app during hurricane season. I became the Director of Social Media for the application, sharing crucial storm information to its total of nearly 300-thousand social media followers. I likely wouldn’t have been given this opportunity if I didn’t improve my writing and communication skills through jacksonsweather.com. Then a couple of months later, one of the most significant opportunities arose. A few months after being asked to create a new website for the Westport-based company, WeatherOptics, I got promoted to COO as the company changed its vision to being driven by the younger-generation. This company contains about 20 members, most of whom are college students. This young team is full of ideas and we have the goal to change the weather industry by providing new products that has never been developed before.
On a final note, I would like to thank my parents for supporting me in my weather journey and for paying to keep jacksonsweather.com up and running and for my subscription to access the weather models to be able to forecast. Without you, Jackson’s Weather would have been inexistent.
This has been an extremely tough decision for me but Jackson’s Weather will become inactive effective July 27. Beyond then, you will notice some weather updates on social media every once in a while, however. My focus will shift to enjoying college and to engage in my dreams of studying meteorology and broadcast journalism at the University of Miami. I will continue to provide national forecasts for the company, WeatherOptics, so I urge you to follow along.
This is the next stage in life and my dream one day is to be able to share my forecasts with you on your television.”
Hey Jackson, Thank you for your weekly updates they were always very much appreciated and best of luck as you begin the next phase of your young life – go for it!
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