Woodson Knows How to Weather a Storm
When State Employees' Credit Union employees have big plans for the weekend they check with Vice President of Payroll/Personnel Bob Woodson, who moonlights as a meteorologist. Woodson received his Masters in Meteorology from NC State University and despite a busy career and family life, he never gave up on meteorology. In 1985 he began keeping daily weather records and in 1986 he started reporting precipitation information to the National Weather Service in Raleigh. Later on he wrote a monthly weather article for the local newspaper and became a TV weather watcher for a local TV station. "The TV station would call in the evenings to see if I was available. If I was, the station would call back and I would give the current weather conditions to the TV meteorologist who would then display my photo and the audio of my report on the air," said Woodson. While day-to-day weather reporting was okay, it was the severe weather that peaked his interest early on. "I usually prefer extreme weather versus the usual sunny and mild stuff. In 1996 I obtained my amateur radio license and got involved with the National Weather Services' Skywarn program," said Woodson. "The purpose of Skywarn is to observe and forward severe weather information to the National Weather Service as soon as possible." The National Weather Service activates Skywarn spotters whenever there is a threat of severe or winter weather in the area. With Doppler radar technology unable to determine actual conditions at ground level, the National Weather Service depends on `ground truth verification' from trained spotters like Woodson when deciding whether to issue a weather warning.