Finally, something Jack Sillin could not accurately predict.

Sillin, a 13-year-old amateur meteorologist whose age-defying forecasting has won him a couple thousand followers on his blog and Twitter account, received an online message this week that struck him like a bolt of lightning from a clear blue sky.

It was Dave Clark, president of the Weather Channel. Did Jack want to come to Atlanta to tour their headquarters?

“All of a sudden I hear, ‘Dad, Dad come here,’ ” said Peter Sillin, the young prognosticator’s father. “He was like hopping up and down.”

Sillin, a freshman at North Yarmouth Academy who lives in Yarmouth, was featured in a Feb. 22 Maine Sunday Telegram story detailing his early, intense interest in weather, which has earned him nicknames including “Forecaster Jack.” The story found its way to the newsroom at the Atlanta channel’s office, eventually landing on Clark’s desk.

Impressed with Sillin’s passion, Clark followed him on Twitter and then called to introduce himself.


“We have 220 meteorologists on staff, and they were all Jack at some point in their lives,” Clark said in a telephone interview Thursday. “We’re going to roll out the red carpet for him.”

Clark, whose previous experience was in the music industry, where fandom reaches mind-boggling levels, said that when he came to The Weather Channel, he did not expect to see the same kind of passion.

He was quickly proved wrong.

“I’m telling you, weather fans are more rabid and dedicated than pretty much anything else I’ve seen,” he said.

Sillin and his father will travel to Atlanta during Sillin’s spring break, and on March 13, the teenager will get to see the inner workings of a large-scale meteorological forecasting operation.

His visit will be more than a quick whistle-stop through the studios. Sillin will spend the entire day immersed in the weather business. Starting with an early-morning meeting of meteorologists, Sillin will get to see how the channel decides what stories to follow and how to shape them.


He will meet with weather experts, sit in on meetings and see the television production side as well, Clark said.

“This is a very unique kid,” he said. “We read his blog and it’s really good, he’s already garnered a lot of respect.”

Sillin’s interest in weather began about six years ago. During a long flight, Sillin’s mother turned on the Weather Channel for him to watch, and before long, he was hooked.

“I’m looking forward to talking to some really interesting people and getting a tour of the place,” Sillin said.

After the publicity, Sillin said his blog subscriptions and Twitter followers have spiked, and now that he’s got a high-powered audience, he’s working to keep his predictions on track.

“It’s a good motivation to work harder and aspire to do better and put better stuff out there, because more important people are reading it.”

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.