Weather is beautiful. To gaze at the Northern Lights, to stand inside the eyewall of a hurricane, to smell a storm, to see a wildfire create its own thunderstorm. . . . I wish people spent more time looking up instead of down at their cell phones.
High schoolSturgis Charter School, Hyannis, MA, 2015
Storm chaser. Lecturer. Washington Post writer. No wonder Matthew Cappucci has logged 100,000+ miles in the past year alone. One might assume from his achievements that Cappucci’s life has been mapped out since day one. And there is a certain truth in this. He has loved the weather since he was a toddler, and discovered his gift for public speaking in 3rd grade, when he would read the weather over his school’s PA system. By the time he graduated high school, he was writing a monthly weather column for his local newspaper and and had given a speech at Governor Patrick’s 2010 inaugural festivities. Yet his achievements belie a life that Cappucci acknowledges has been marked by unlooked-for blessings.
“I always knew I wanted to pursue atmospheric sciences,” he relates. “I enrolled at Harvard at the persuasion of others, even though Harvard didn’t offer this major. I was really unhappy my first year.” A chance encounter with physics professor Eric Heller, who years ago had praised Cappucci’s monthly weather column in a letter to the editor, led to a mentoring relationship through which he developed his own major. “In a few weeks, I will be the only person in the history of Harvard to graduate with an atmospheric sciences degree. And I wouldn’t be here without the kindness of others.”
Cappucci’s aspiration to become a meteorologist has him working daily with data and atmospheric models, but to him meteorology is also an art form. “It’s improvisational, it never repeats. No matter how good you get, you will never be perfect, so there’s constant motivation to improve. Weather is beautiful. To gaze at the Northern Lights, to stand inside the eyewall of a hurricane, to smell a storm, to see a wildfire create its own thunderstorm. . . .” He pauses. “I wish people spent more time looking up instead of down at their cell phones.”
And therein lies Cappucci’s ultimate goal: to help others experience the joy and fascination with weather that he himself experiences. Once you spend a few minutes with him, it’s hard to imagine him not succeeding.
View Cappucci's Muckrack website.
Here is Cappucci's demo reel:
Matthew revels in the beauty of the Sahara near the Morocco/Algeria border.
Matthew displays softball-size hail he encountered near Elk City, OK while storm chasing. The casualties included one pickup truck windshield.
Matthew films a video for the Washington Post on an amazing "fogbow" that had formed near his Arctic research vessel while assisting a team from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute with research on harmful algal blooms.