On The Road: Jacob Banitt in Louisiana

What an appropriate week to discuss weather forecasting with the people who rely on it the most. Heavy rain, strong winds and flash flooding with the cold front that moved through southwestern Louisiana on Monday, caused me to postpone one meeting with a client near the Gulf coast. “Your weather report says we are expecting up to four inches of rain today,” David said to me on the phone. “If we get that much, you’ll be stuck in town for a day or two; we better reschedule.”

Clients rely on our weather forecasts not only for their daily operations, but for their personal safety. Having the opportunity to visit with our Louisiana customers directly, while the weather is active, makes that much more evident.

View of West New Orleans from my hotel room

I have had the opportunity to discuss our 2017 Atlantic hurricane season predictions with several customers who are genuinely interested, asking me detailed questions about the relationships between certain atmospheric processes and the strength of tropical storms. Some have even gone as far as saying that they should have chosen meteorology as a major in college!

My favorite aspect of visiting customers at their offices is watching how they use our predictions. When we are regularly working from our Houston office, it is easy to forget that someone is making multi-million dollar decisions based on the services we are providing. Part of the customer service aspect of my job includes relaying the customer’s appreciation to our operational meteorologists so they are reminded of the importance of their forecasts.

Louisiana Showers