Valley Central Alumnus Ben Noll talks winter in the Hudson Valley

By Kerry Butrick Dowling
Posted 12/13/22

With nearly 58,000 followers on Twitter and 30,000 on Facebook, Montgomery native Ben Noll is one of the Hudson Valley’s most beloved hometown weather forecasters. Noll attended Montgomery …

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Valley Central Alumnus Ben Noll talks winter in the Hudson Valley


With nearly 58,000 followers on Twitter and 30,000 on Facebook, Montgomery native Ben Noll is one of the Hudson Valley’s most beloved hometown weather forecasters. Noll attended Montgomery Nursery School, Berea Elementary Schools, Valley Central Middle School and later graduated from Valley Central High School in 2009.

Following high school graduation, he went on to SUNY Oswego majoring in meteorology and minoring in mathematics. With SUNY Oswego located on Lake Ontario, Noll was able to observe and study lake effect snow in his daily life. When a job opportunity in New Zealand presented itself, Noll said the decision to leap was “life changing”. Today, Noll is working as a meteorologist for the National Institute of Water and Research in New Zealand.

“I love what I do in New Zealand. It’s definitely a “non-traditional” path for a meteorologist – I don’t work on TV, but I do make appearances on TV when bad weather threatens. Most of the time I’m actually predicting weather out weeks in advance called sub-seasonal forecasting or months in advance called seasonal forecasting. I also code in the computer programming language called Python in order to come up with interesting stats, engaging graphics and automate workflows. I relish in being a meteorological “utility player” and am happy to play any position that my team needs me to,” Noll shared.

Many wonder how a small town boy from Montgomery ended up predicting the weather for the Hudson Valley all the way from New Zealand. Noll even developed an “emoji-language” to code schools in order to meet word length requirements on Twitter. With a love of weather from an early age, a young Noll remembers the moment the weather bug bit him.

“The blizzard of January 1996. I was 5 years old and in kindergarten. This was one of my very first memories. I think we had no school for two or three days. From that point onward, I knew I wanted to become a meteorologist,” he shared.

With a love of winter weather from a young age, Noll became a weather enthusiast and found himself predicting the weather for friends and family for fun. The hobby later turned into so much more.

“I loved snow days when I was in elementary school and I watched the weather channel religiously. Then in middle school, I started doing it myself. At first it was just looking at different websites and bringing them together to create my “own” forecast, but it quickly advanced past that. Ahead of possible snow storms, my classmates started asking if I thought we’d have school the next day. I had a weather station at home and I learned about the weather models that professionals use and upped my game through high school.

Eventually it was my sister who encouraged me to make a Twitter where I put out short messages about the chance for snow days and the rest is history,” he said.

With thousands of followers on social media, Noll’s popularity has only increased in recent years and he has fans of all ages much to his surprise. Noll has fond memories of his time in the Valley Central School District and said he misses his hometown, New York and his family while he’s in New Zealand. His fans consider him somewhat of a “local celebrity” and while he lives an anonymous life in New Zealand the Hudson Valley will always hold a special place in his heart.

“When I come home to New York on vacation I tend to get recognized quite a bit. It’s fun in short doses. I’m most happy that I’ve helped create something that brings people together in a fun and positive way. Ten years ago I could have never imagined it would turn into this, but life keeps you guessing,” he shared.

Noll’s mother works for the Valley Central School District and his father is retired but acts as his Hudson Valley weather photographer when there’s a storm. His sister, a graphic designer, lives in Chicago and designs all of his logos and merchandise. In addition to being far away from family and friends, Noll joked that he misses some of his favorite things being so far away.

“It doesn’t snow in Auckland so I miss snow, New York pizza, subs from Adams, Thanksgiving which isn’t celebrated in New Zealand, and being able to go to New York City to watch a ball game. New Zealand has jaw-dropping natural beauty and offers a really high quality of life. It’s a super comfortable lifestyle and the people are friendly, but it’s far from New York,” Noll explained.

Growing up in the Valley Central School District, Noll said his education was critical in becoming who he is today and thanked his teachers and the school system. Despite math and science being important in forecasting, Noll said another subject was actually his favorite.

“Math or science may seem like obvious choices, but for me it’s actually English. Weather is complicated. If you can’t clearly and effectively communicate a forecast, what good is it? I love writing and took college-level writing classes while in high school,” he shared.

Some of Noll’s youngest fans are students who eagerly await his forecasts before pending storms. Noll’s journey has shown that even at the youngest age you can follow your passion and dreams to create the life you envision for yourself. He encouraged students to make a home weather station if they’re interested in weather, track temperatures and trends, write down observations and if they’re still interested in high school to consider visiting some colleges that offer weather as a course of study to learn more.

When asked to share his wisdom with his youngest fans he stated, “Develop a strong work ethic from a young age. Do your homework and study but have plenty of fun too. It may be tempting to miss school and play video games all day, but I had near-perfect attendance right through my time at Valley Central and that focus helped me get to where I am today. If you ever get a chance to travel and see the world, do it – it may change your perspective on life and make you a more well-rounded person.”

Noll doesn’t take his “local celebrity” status lightly and commits to giving back and helping his community whenever possible. In recent years he has used his status to raise money for causes close to his heart.
“My wife encourages me to have the mind-set that even something small can actually have a really big or positive impact on someone’s day/week back home – if I can help, I will help,” said Noll.

When asked his predictions for this winter in the Hudson Valley, Noll has good news for his snow-loving followers.

“Things are about to get interesting! A cold spell of weather is looking increasingly likely for mid-to-late December.,” Noll says. “The second half of winter may warm up a bit, but I do think we’ll still get our fair share of snow/ice and I’d say probably more than last winter.”


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