Meet a Met: Marshall Wickman
August 28, 2018
University of Michigan – Bachelor of Science (Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences)
DTN Senior Marine Meteorologist & Metocean/Climate Specialist
Has been working for WWT/DTN (Wilkens Weather was acquired by DTN on September 29, 2017) for 37 years
What is your favorite part about being in MetOps?
Always knowing what the weather will be doing in the days ahead and being able to communicate that to our customers.
What is the most challenging part of being in MetOps?
Up to now it has been getting through the transition from the Rockwell Collins environment to working on the DTN systems. Another one is the forecast workload which gets really heavy twice a day.
What is the craziest weather event you’ve experienced personally?
The Great Midwest Blizzard of January 26, 1978. I was in Ann Arbor, MI at the time and we got rain, which froze, and then 20 inches of snow on top of the ice. The barograph trace from the meteorology lab dropped to the bottom of the chart as the storm passed.
What is the craziest weather event you’ve helped a client with?
Hurricane Juan in 1985. It developed in the Gulf so quickly that clients who were out on rigs offshore could not get off and had to ride out the hurricane. This hurricane did two loops near the Louisiana coast before moving inland near Mobile, AL.
What has been your most exciting day on the job?
It was when Hurricane Alicia came ashore at Galveston in 1983. I worked from 10 o’clock in the morning until 2:30am the next morning. We were constantly updating the hurricane’s forecast track to all Gulf clients, as well as inland clients along the Texas and Louisiana coast, which included a Houston radio station. Watching the radar image developing and advancing toward Galveston and inland was also an exciting part.
What is one weather myth you always correct people on?
When I talk to people who are from the South about being from Michigan they seem to think it is always cold up there. Not true. They are typically warm to hot from mid-May to late September.
Any fun weather facts you’d like to share?
I share a weather saying that I got from our founder Richard Wilkens. He told me that in Texas you can apply for flood relief and drought relief on the same day. We get these long dry spells that are broken up by a deluge of rain.
Alright, now a fun fact about yourself!
My grandson Patrick Stephen Parsons was born on my 62nd birthday last year, at the tail end of Hurricane Harvey. My daughter and son-in-law refused to name him Harvey.