Q and A with Featured Meteorologist Jeff Last from Green Bay, Wisconsin.
Jeff is the warning coordination meteorologist (WCM) at the National Weather Service office in Green Bay, WI. In his role as WCM, Jeff works closely with emergency management, the media, and other important partners to ensure NWS products and services meet their needs. In addition, he is the local public information officer and helps oversee NWS forecast and warning programs for northeast Wisconsin. He’s been with the NWS for just over 30 years.
Question 1. What was your most memorable weather event?
There have been several, but one that comes to mind is the May, 12, 2000, hail storm that struck central and east-central Wisconsin. After we issued warnings in the morning, I did a damage survey that afternoon. I will never forget the destructive power of golf ball size hail combined with 70+ mph winds, as thousands of homes and businesses were damaged. The single storm produced over $100 million in damage, a first in Wisconsin weather history.
Hail Damaged Building
Question 2. What is your favourite and least favourite type of weather?
I enjoy winter storms the most. There is nothing like watching an area of low pressure develop and mature over several days as it slowly approaches the region, and the anticipation of the accompanying snow and wind. And this leads me to my least favorite type of weather – the bitter cold that usually follows!
Question 3. If you weren’t a meteorologist, what would you most like to be?
A math or science teacher. Interestingly, it was both my math and chemistry teachers in high school that encouraged me to study meteorology.
Question 4. From a purely meteorological point of view, where would you most like to live?
Meteorologically, the Midwest has the best weather. But I plan to retire where it’s warm for more than three months of the year!
Question 5. Is there anything else you’d like to share?
I’ve had the pleasure of turning a childhood hobby into a long career. The next few years have the potential to be even more exciting as the NWS begins to focus, full-time, on providing decision support weather services to our partners and the public we serve.