Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.
By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 2:08 PM GMT on October 09, 2006
The tropical Atlantic remains quiet. A non-tropical low pressure system off the coast of North Carolina today is expected to intensify and move northeastward this week. This low should remain non-tropical, but could gain some tropical characteristics and give Nova Scotia heavy rain on Friday. None of the computer models are forecasting any tropical storm development in the Atlantic this week, and the flow pattern reminds me more of November than October.
Interview with Hurricane Specialist Dr. Jack Beven
With hurricane season winding down, it's time to pay tribute to the forecasters at the National Hurricane Center that have done such an excellent job over the years. You've seen the familiar signatures at the bottom of the National Hurricane Center advisories--Avila, Beven, Stewart, Franklin, Pasch, and Knabb (and this year, joined by five new names!) It's these hurricane specialists that form the bedrock of the superb NHC hurricane forecasts. They are fantastic at what they do, and I rely heavily on their expertise. I'll be doing profiles of two of the forecasters this hurricane season, so you can see the faces behind the names.
"Beven" is Dr. John L. Beven II, one of the six senior hurricane specialists at the NHC. Jack, 45, has been working at the Hurricane Center since 1988. He started then as an intern while working on his Ph.D., and landed one of the coveted hurricane specialist jobs in 1993.
Jack graduated in 1984 from Louisiana State University with a Bachelor's in Physics. He got his Masters degree in Meteorology in 1988 from Florida State, and continued on for his Ph.D. in 1994. His advisor was Dr. T.N. Krishnamurti, famous for his numerous research achievements in tropical meteorology, including development of the FSU Superensemble tracking model for hurricanes. Jack's Ph.D. thesis was titled, "Tropical Cyclone-Environmental Interactions During Recurvature - A Modeling and Observational Study".
I got a chance to catch up with Jack this April at a conference in Monterey, and asked him a few questions:
Q:What is your most memorable experience with a hurricane on the ground?
A: Well, back in 1985 while I was in graduate school at FSU, Hurricane Kate came ashore. A bunch of us grad students found a place by the west door of the Love Building sheltered from the wind, and took turns running into the wind.
Q: What do you do in your free time?
I like to go storm chasing! I take a yearly trip out to Oklahoma and chase tornadoes. I'm also a big Dr. Who fan, and enjoy sports, particularly college football, college basketball, and college baseball.
Q: Do you have any comments you'd like to make about the global warming issue?
A: I think there's a lot of room for both natural and man-made effects in the current way the climate is changing.
Jack has the nickname "Dr. Suppresso" among his storm chaser friends, thanks to the tendency for promising supercell thunderstorms to suddenly die out when he approaches--or for an expected outbreak of severe thunderstorms to completely fail, due to a strong capping inversion. With that kind of ability, we need to have him intercepting hurricanes at the coast, instead of writing advisories!
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