Meet a Met: Willis Young
May 1, 2018
Western Illinois University – Meteorology
DTN Expert On-site Meteorologist
Has been with DTN for 12 years
What is your favorite part about being in MetOps?
As an on-site meteorologist, I travel 27 weeks a year throughout North America and beyond. I love the challenge of forecasting at so many different locations and love traveling/sightseeing.
What is the most challenging part of being in MetOps?
My job is a bit different from the average meteorologist in MetOps, being out in the field. The biggest challenge is learning weather patterns and micrometeorology in so many different locations.
What is the craziest weather event you’ve experienced personally?
I have experienced a tornado during a golf tournament. This tornado actually formed less than 1/2 mile from the golf course and went right through the course during tournament week, causing some damage to tents, trees, and scoreboards.
What is the craziest weather event you’ve helped a client with?
With the exception of the tornado in Iowa, dealing with repeated thunderstorms and flash flooding during a Championship golf event in Palm Beach Gardens, FL. We experience over 11 inches of rain that weekend.
What has been your most exciting day on the job?
Hard to say, honestly. Anytime we have a major tournament we are responsible to forecast as accurately as possible inclement weather. Being on-site, forecasting and tracking severe storms can be both exciting and stressful, making sure everyone is safe during those times. I recall one time at a major golf tournament we had over 1000 lightning strikes within a 30-minute period of time, all within 10 miles of the golf course. It was the most intense lightning storm I’ve seen while on the job.
What is one weather myth you always correct people on?
It’s too cold for thunderstorms! I have people tell me it’s too cold for storms. They don’t quite understand.
Any fun weather facts you’d like to share?
The coldest temperature recorded during a major golf event was 19 degrees. We could not tee off until almost 11 AM because of the ground being completely frozen.
Alright, now a fun fact about yourself!
I have 12000 Christmas lights on my house and keep adding to that number on a yearly basis. I make candy, mainly chocolate and PB fudge items, and it is absolutely the best I’ve tasted. Because of my name, I always hear “what you talking about, Willis?” but many under the age of 30 don’t get it.