National Weather Person’s Day is celebrated every February 5th to commemorate the birth of John Jeffries. Dr. Jeffries, a Boston physician, recorded detailed data tracking the weather from 1774-1816, and is widely regarded as one of America’s first weathermen. I have kind of a weatherman of my own — my dad. Weather is his passion and thanks to his information, I never have to look up a forecast before I travel, and I’m always instantly alerted to any storm warnings or conditions that may affect my commute. Given all of his expertise, and help over the years, Chris and I agreed that the best way to celebrate this “unofficial” was to feature my dad as a guest writer for this post, and give you all a chance to hear from a true weather-lover. With a little luck we’re hoping to get him to start his own weather blog. So without further ado, happy National Weather Person’s Day to my favorite weatherman, Vic Lipinski!
Why a Weather Appreciation Day? Weather constantly influences our daily activities — how we dress, how much energy we consume, outdoor activities, travel, etc. Ask the travelers stranded in airports because of cancelled flights if they appreciate the influence of weather, or the drivers stuck in their vehicles on the roads. Ask our friend, Dave, stuck in Nairobi, Kenya for five days because the Amsterdam airport was shutdown due to snow. If it hasn’t happened to you, you most likely know someone who appreciates the weather as a force to be reckoned!
My interest in Meteorology goes back to my childhood, when at the age of 8, I saw 4 or 5 tornadoes in one day, in the Texas panhandle. I was hooked from that day on, and always listened to weather forecasts on the radio or TV. When we lived in Indianapolis, I first experienced what -18° felt like, and I’ve never forgotten. In 1960, we moved to Virginia and I became a fairly serious weather observer, recording daily readings of temperature and precipitation. As a high school freshman in 1962-63, I learned that students who created science fair projects were usually rewarded grade-wise, and I instantly knew the subject matter on which I would base my projects. My first was on weather in general, and in successive years other projects were focused on tornadoes, storm tracks, and hurricanes. Each year I received numerous awards and went on to regional fairs.