Recently, a meteorology student that I know, posted on twitter two videos that got him to pursue meteorology as a career…
Since I’m much older, and by coincidence he lives next door to where I grew up. His mother was my next door neighbor.
I didn’t have videos to inspire me back then, but I had events that inspired me. Those event are…
- August 23, 1972 (I told you I was old) – I was 6 y/o and just getting ready to start the second grade. I remember Grandma and Grandad there and the thunderstorm from that night. The next day we heard about and then searched for the storm damage. We were told it was a tornado, but the official report from Storm Data was straight line winds. We saw one trailer upside down and another destroyed. Then we followed the tree damage from M-89 (about 3 miles east of Fennville) to downtown Saugatuck.
- April 3-4, 1974 The Super Outbreak – As an 8 y/o, I was already intrigued by the weather from the previous event, and in the second grade, Mrs. Schra got a chalk mark-able weather map and I asked to take it home and copy the weather onto the map and present it the next day in class. However, we had visited my aunt and uncle in Texas previously. Along the way, we passed Joplin, MO, one of many towns mentioned that day from the tornadoes that struck the country. That stuck with me.
- The storm that sank the Edmund Fitzgerald November 9-10, 1975 – I still remember the storm, and hearing from TV 13 out of Grand Rapids about the wind gusts that were hurricane force. We woke up to our glass doors on our fireplace, with what looked like pictures of ghostly dancers from the ashes in the fireplace being blown around and deposited on the glass.
- The Winter Storm of 1977 – As a kid, we lived for snow days, with lots of wind, for the drifts that it would create. This one dumped a lot of snow and then blew it around for 3 days. We were out of school for a week. We walked about a mile and a half (as a family) into town with a sled, picked up some groceries, then walked back. When the snow plows finally came through 59th Street, the snow banks were over my dad’s head (6′ 4″)!
- The Blizzard of 1978 – This was a bigger storm, and were again out of school for about a week. It also came about the same time as the storm the previous year. I had gotten a Skilcraft Weather Station for my 12th birthday and had to do some major adjusting when the air pressure dropped so low.
And those are the events that shaped me into becoming a meteorologist.