The Extremes are What Got Me Here…01/14/2023

It’s been an interesting ride, this life of mine. I’ve been obsessed with the weather since about the 2nd grade. I may have thought about other possible paths along the way, but weather has been my main thing. So much so, that I became a meteorologist.

However, I think back on what drove me here. What events that occurred that, kind of, determined my destiny, or purpose? I can think of a few events that started me down this path:

  • A straight line wind event in 1972 that damaged a path from Saugatuck to west of Fennville. My first introduction to weather, and the extremes.
  • The Blizzard of January, 1978, large drifts. If I remember we were out of school for a week, until the roads were cleared.
  • The blizzard of January, 1979. While it was know more for Chicago, it was another big one that put us out of school for a few days , at least.
  • The El Niño of 1982-83. We got to 62°F on Christmas Day.

While these events got me going, I have run into others, since I became a meteorologist:

  • I remember chasing a thunderstorm that produced a funnel, near Otsego, MI
  • The March, 1993 “Superstorm”. I was in State College, PA, working for Accu-Weather at the time. Everything about it reminded me of the blizzards in the late 70s. Large drifts, closed roads. I skied into work that time, since they wanted us off the roads.
  • Tropical Storm/Hurricane Isaias, July/August, 2020. It was a hurricane, but passed by us as a tropical storm, while we were at Cape Canaveral.

Then as I get ready to enter the last few years of my NWS career, I got two more to add to my list. They both were within roughly 8 months of each other.

  • The Gaylord EF-3 tornado. Mary and I were living on the east end of town, and the tornado past within 1/2 mile north of the houses. It damaged a good portion of town.
  • The blizzard of Christmas, 2023. I prepared to have to stay at the office. Mary and the dog (Niner) stayed with our daughter in case the power went out. Roads closed.

As I write this, I’ve had very enjoyable year with the weather. I’m starting to wonder if it’s about time for me to move onto a new phase in my life…

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