Checking the website
last evening, my attention was drawn to an unusual banner at the top: In
Memoriam for a beloved lead forecaster among America's severe weather experts.
I clicked on
the link to find out more about this man whose colleagues felt so strongly
about his life's work and his passing. I was surprised to read the following.
"The staff of the Storm
Prediction Center mourns the loss of Jonathan Racy, who passed away on January
8th after a long and courageous battle with colorectal cancer. Jon was born in Parkersburg, West Virginia, and was raised in Little Hocking,
Ohio, where summertime storms and floods and winter snows forged his deep
passion for meteorology.
"After high school, Jon attended Penn State University
and graduated in May 1993. While at Penn State, Jon participated in the Campus
Weather Service and served as its president during his senior year. After a
childhood of closely monitoring NOAA Weather Radio, Jon wanted to achieve a life-long
dream of being the voice behind Weather Radio. So working for the National
Weather Service was the only way to go."
The memorium goes on to
describe Racy's swift rise within the Weather
Service to become a lead severe weather forecaster. It also
describes his humanity and his deep interest in helping others. He was 42 years old.