Get to Know OPC - Timothy Holley

Image of Timothy Holley, Marine Meteorologist, Ocean Forecast Branch, Ocean Prediction Center Timothy Holley
Marine Meteorologist, Ocean Forecast Branch
Ocean Prediction Center

What is your title and what are your duties?

My official title is marine meteorologist. When I'm working one of our high seas desks I'm responsible for producing a basin wide surface analysis twice a day, high seas text forecast twice a day, 24 and 48 hour 500mb forecast charts, a 48 hour surface forecast chart and a 48 hour wind/wave forecast chart. When on the Pacific Regional desk I produce a 5 day text forecast twice a day, an eastern Pacific sea state analysis every 3 hours, a 24 hour surface forecast chart and a 24 hour wind/wave forecast chart. Occasionally I work on the Outlook desk which is somewhat similar to our high seas desks, except there's no text forecast and the forecast charts are for 96 hours into the future.

What first got you interested in the weather?

I'm from Hampton, VA so growing up near the Atlantic Ocean I got use to following tropical systems at an early age as they threatened the Outer Banks, NC and occasionally southeast VA. I'd sit and almost non-stop watch coverage of the storm from local TV meteorologists as well as the Weather Channel. From there the interest remained and expanded to include fascination with all types of weather.

Where did you attend college?

I attended North Carolina State University in Raleigh, NC and graduated with a Bachelors of Science in Meteorology in 2003.

What's one of the best things you like about being a Meteorologist?

Mainly I enjoy the challenge of trying to predict what's coming down the pike so to speak in terms of the weather. Also when people find out I'm a meteorologist, they usually mention how cool that is, so have to admit I like when people say that about my profession.

When did you get hired by OPC?

I was hired by OPC in July 2008.

When it comes to weather whats your favorite aspect?

I'm amazed by the overall power of weather. When you think about how much energy a hurricane, tornado, nor'easter or thunderstorm has it's pretty impressive. In terms of what type weather events interest me the most, while I'm interested in all modes about equally hurricanes and severe thunderstorms stand out above the rest.

Personally do you have an exciting weather story to share?

My favorite weather story is from January 2000, the 2nd semester of my freshmen year at NC State. On January 24-25 we had a snowstorm that dumped around 2 feet of snow in Raleigh. I remember meeting up with friends in the middle of night and taking part in a campus wide snowball fight.

When you leave work after your shift do you still find yourself checking the weather from home or are you able to leave it at the office?

If there's a big event impacting the U.S. chances are I'll follow it even when not at work. During the April 2011 tornado outbreak in Alabama and other parts of the south I came home after work, turned on the TV, called up the radar up on my PC and tracked the storms while keeping up with damage reports as they came in.

Outside of the office what are some things you like to do in your spare time?

When I'm not at work I try to be as social as possible. There are lots of things to do in the DC area, so I try to hang out with friends when I can be it at the movies, a local pub, or even a museum. I'm a big sports fan so I like going to live sporting events in the city from time to time.

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