David Imy, 43, works for Storm Prediction Center.
He has a COOL JOB as a Meteorologist.

Two words to describe David Imy’s job at the
Storm Prediction Center are…“Violently Interesting.”

His Gig:
Imy works for the National Weather Service as a forecaster. “On April 2nd, 1957, a tornado moved
through Dallas. According to my mom, she carried me outside to see if the tornado was coming our way. Even though I was only 6 months old, my mom believes that this tornadic event was responsible for my interest in weather, and severe weather in particular. I had a rain gauge when I was 4-5 years old and have always had an interest in meteorology.”

Career Path:
Imy has been at the Storm Center for 21 years. His first big break was in October 1979, two months before his graduation from Texas A&M University. Two intern positions opened at Little Rock, AR. At the time, he was planning to attend graduate school and work toward a Masters Degree. He was accepted for the position in November and reported to work for the National Weather
Service on December 31, 1979.

A Day in the Life Of:
“As a forecaster at the Storm Prediction Center (SPC), every day presents a different challenge of forecasting where severe weather will occur across the continental United States.” No two weather events are exactly the same, so each day brings a new and interesting challenge to determine where severe weather is likely, what the main severe weather threat will be and then issue the appropriate forecasts.

All of the severe thunderstorm and tornado watches are issued at the SPC. Imy said this is a unique aspect of severe weather forecasting as the goal of the watch is to be issued before the severe weather, and sometimes even the thunderstorms, develop. At times, this is not possible because weather forecasting is an imperfect science and trying to determine exactly when and where severe storms will develop is very difficult. Forecasters work 8 hours shifts, 5 days a week.

High Five:
“Forecasting severe weather and knowing that the severe weather forecasts issued have a positive effect on saving lives.”

Down Low:
“Explaining why a tornado watch was not issued for a town that was struck by a tornado.”

Extras:
Hobbies include: growing roses, playing softball, bowling, following the stock market and being with family.

Words from the Wise:
“Apply yourself in school. Take as much math and physics as possible in high school. Also become very familiar with the use of computers (learning to program never hurts).”

Education:
Bachelors Degree in Meteorology from Texas A&M University



 

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