Monday, January 27, 2014

[californiadisasters] NWS IMET Forecaster Retires

Lead Forecaster Rob Balfour Retires

Lead Forecaster Rob Balfour Retires How do you encapsulate more than forty years as a public servant? Unless you write a book, you can't. Forty plus years is a long time to serve, but Lead Forecaster Rob Balfour did just that. He retired from his long career at the end of 2013.

Rob is an Oakland native and a graduate of San Jose State University. He started in the National Weather Service in the 1970s and over his career worked in Reno, Nevada, Seattle, Washington, San Juan, Puerto Rico, Miami and Tampa, Florida, and since 1998, San Diego. He always had an interest in marine weather, particularly as it applied to one of his favorite hobbies: surfing. His weather knowledge also came in handy whenever he and friends would go four-wheeling in the desert. His Jeep Rubicon with the protruding surf board was emblematic of his free time pursuits and a common sight in our NWS parking lot.

Rob will be remembered for his enthusiasm for the forecast and for his work ethic. He will probably be remembered most during his tenure in San Diego for his Incident Meteorologist (IMET) service to fire fighting agencies. Rob became legendary and much beloved to those agencies for the kind of weather support he gave. He worked on dozens of fires from Southern California to South Dakota, among the most of any IMET in history. He also provided support for other rare incidents like hazmat spills or the safe incineration of a house full of bombs.

The man deserves a heartfelt thanks for so many years of dutiful
service. We wish him well!


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