Denton County residents certainly have experienced some crazy weather over the past year, with the record-breaking snowstorm, then a chilly, rainy spring. The old adage, “If you don’t like Texas weather, wait a minute” hasn’t held true lately. This year, folks likely follow weather reports more closely than usual, turning to their favorite forecasters to advise them how their weekend is going to look or when to expect even more rain.
Some of us might watch the Weather Channel. Some prefer our local television meteorologists or perhaps a weather app. And many of you – 14,500 of you, to be exact – are followers of Denton County Weather (www.facebook.com/DentonCountyWeather). This popular Facebook weather platform is brimming with colorful area temperature maps, radar graphs, up-to-the-minute forecasts, 7-day predictions, and commentary.
Former Argyle resident Max Schuster is the young man behind this active site. Many viewers consider him to be the most accurate weather guy in Denton County – and he’s only 18 years old. Within the walls of his bedroom in the family home, Max literally runs the show, including frequently creating pre-recorded weather forecasts rivaling those made by meteorologists from every network channel.
Most young people don’t have a clear, undistorted vision of what their future career will be until, perhaps, their teen years.
“I became interested in weather and weather forecasting at the age of three,” Max revealed while laughing. “My mom would print out maps of the states, and I would color in the different weather patterns – warm fronts, cold fronts, and storm fronts. For me, the Weather Channel was what cartoons meant to other kids my age.”
Originally from New Hampshire, Max’s parents nurtured what seemed to be his burgeoning talent for all things weather-related and discovered a weather program in the Boston, Massachusetts area. The six-day course was designed for high school seniors and college newbies planning to major in meteorology.
“At age 10, I was accepted and was the youngest to graduate from the program,” Max confessed proudly, yet humbly.
Fast-forward a few years to 2014, with the family still living in New Hampshire. Now in sixth grade, Max was the unofficial meteorologist for the school, pinning his forecasts onto the bulletin board. As a seventh-grader, Max launched his first online weather page. And throughout seventh and eighth grade, he performed video forecasts on a green screen that were broadcast in the school’s lunchroom.
“I’ve always felt comfortable giving my forecasts, but it was pretty different seeing myself on the monitor in school,” Max recollected.
The family moved to Denton County in 2017, making Argyle their home. Argyle High School became Max’s next opportunity to showcase his talents. He maintained the weather page, this time forecasting for Denton County.
“I was the school meteorologist at Argyle,” Max explained. “My forecasts were up on TV monitors, and students would stop and watch. Our principal, Mr. [John] King, was happy to have it. And I think the students liked it, too.”
Max added, “I was very shy, but not when doing the weather.”
In early March of 2020, Max had 300 followers. He graduated in December 2020 with his Facebook following maintaining around 8,000! His following has consistently grown. When Hurricane Laura threatened the Texas Gulf Coast that prior August of 2020, Max’s predictions and coverage of this Category 4 storm were more accurate than those of seasoned meteorologists! The number of followers rose dramatically. Additionally, with COVID-19 added to the mix, it spurred a jump to around 4,000 followers. And February’s snow storm brought Max’s audience to 11,000, as he worked up to 10 hours a day on the site. It bears mentioning that the current number of followers has risen to 14,500!
In January, Max and his family moved to south Florida, where he will be attending Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in the fall. His major? Meteorology, of course!
“My goal is to be a broadcast meteorologist for a local weather station,” Max affirmed. “If you’re interested in weather, I firmly believe meteorology is the path to take. There are lots of opportunities within the field that don’t include television, like behind the scenes at the National Weather Station. Storm chasing is another option.”
Max’s Facebook audience will be happy to learn that the geographical move has not interrupted his forecasting for Denton County, solely due to his loyal followers.
“I haven’t forecasted Florida, and I don’t intend to in the near future,” he attested. “I’m staying with Denton County.”
Until college begins, Max is working on his site full-time with the backing of two sponsors.
This young man clearly has his head in the clouds, and the forecast calls for a bright and sunny future.
photo courtesy of Denton Record Chronicle