This was in the days well before Internet access, so I had to learn to interpret the clouds as an important part of my developing skills as an amateur weather forecaster.
Since thunderstorms were common throughout the year where I grew up, that interest led me to college at the University of Oklahoma, where severe thunderstorms and tornadoes were an obvious focus.
Q: Describe the path leading up to your job at the SPC.I will likely still be working as a Lead Forecaster at SPC.Q: What is the most memorable experience of your career?Rich Thompson Lead Forecaster Operations Branch Storm Prediction Center By Ariel Cohen (SPC) and Keli Pirtle (NOAA Public Affairs) Q: How did you get into weather?I've been deeply interested in the weather longer than I can remember.In the Instagram post celebrating six months together, Ariel wrote, 'Happy six month anniversary to my horrendous human being/cheese to my peanut butter.' 'I love you baby. Here's to many, many more,' she wrote in the gushing message.The pair were set up by her friend Sterling Beaumon, who co-starred in The Killing with Levi.If you can't or won't share what you've learned with others, then your positive contributions will end once you walk out the door.Q: What do you see yourself doing in 5 to 10 years?How did it develop your interest in severe storms forecasting?As a kid, my weather interests were broad, but focused primarily on thunderstorms and tropical cyclones while I was growing up along the Texas coast.