E-Journal of Severe Storms Meteorology

E-Journal of Severe Storms Meteorology, Vol 2, No 7 (2007)

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A Forecaster's Story: Robert H. Johns

John M Lewis

Abstract


The stages in the life of a severe storms forecaster, Robert H. Johns, are reconstructed from information in a series of interviews. The traditional interview format, question-and-answer mode, has been converted to a first-person narrative that leads to a more-continuous train of thought.

The storyline begins by describing Johns' entrainment into meteorology as a youngster. By virtue of his contact and conversations with farmers in rural Indiana, he became interested in weather's impact on the farmers and their crop yields. Early stimulation also came from a challenging weather project in the 6th grade and reading of George Stewart's novel Storm. From these experiences, Bob Johns decided to pursue a science career in service to society. This service took the form of work as a weather forecaster for the United States Weather Bureau (USWB)/National Weather Service (NWS).

The arduous path to severe storms forecaster is traced by highlighting his youthful experiences, his academic training, and the stepwise progression from student trainee to lead forecaster at the Severe Local Storms (SELS) unit of the USWB/NWS.

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