Norman, OK — Today was the calm between the storms. After chasing a super cell across Oklahoma, rescuing newborn puppies from a ditch, and braving 91 mile per hour winds, we had a bit of breather today.
So Terry was able to fulfill a personal dream. He visited the National Weather Center in Norman, Oklahoma. The center houses the National Weather Service and the Storm Prediction Center. This is the brain child where forecasters predict extreme weather for across the United States. Inside the center, I think Terry felt just one...teensy...tiny ..step bit closer to heaven. He was thrilled.
The place is gorgeous with an exposed elevator that looks more like a piece of modern art.
Terry and our band of merry weather chasers were able to sit down and talk extreme weather with two of the center's lead forecasters. They were top notch dudes. In fact one young man, Jaret Rogers is a Cedar Rapids, Iowa native. He sends a shout-out to CR!
Terry and these guys launched into a weather discussion that left me way behind but some of the interesting items I did collect were: Both men are dedicated storm chasers and they believe their time in the field has helped them immensely in being better forecasters and better meteorologists. As Rich Thompson explained, "Getting out into the field and experiencing the storms first hand is like getting on the ball field and practicing your pitch. The more you do it. The better you will be."
Rogers could see including a storm chasing element in the education of a meteorologist.
Both forecasters also strongly believe that when putting their name on a forecast, it has to be the gold standard. That's why they are careful not to overstate a weather event so that when extreme weather hits, people will take their word and their reputation seriously.
Looking ahead, tomorrow is expected to be another solid chase day. So we will probably decamp early from Oklahoma City where we're currently staying and head south. I will keep you posted.