Tropical Weather Course Offers Global Knowledge

The tropical weather course at Keesler Air Force Base is designed to give these students basic analysis and forecast skills for tropical weather throughout the world.

Now, these students are already advanced weather forecasters. However, during this three week course, they focus specifically on the tropics.

"Lack of data is a major problem in the tropics. You have to make the most of what little data you have. Most of this course is geared towards day-to-day weather in the tropics. We do talk about tropical storms but, you know that's only part of the weather in the tropics," said meteorology instructor Michael Beeson.

"We get them familiar with the interaction between the atmosphere and the sea and terrain in the tropical regions, and the interactions between the sea and terrains and how that affects the dynamic and thermodynamic properties in the tropical regions," said instructor Lt. Jeff Hess.

Student Staff Sergeant Melanie Hurst will take her information back to Hunter Army Air Field in Savannah, Georgia.

She says the course will help her to better understand messages sent from the National Weather Service and the National Hurricane Center, thereby relaying a clearer message to customers, which is the ultimate goal of all weather centers, including this one on the base.

"Once you have a good understanding of that information, you can know better how to track the storms, where they're going to form, where they're going to go, and obviously here on the Gulf coast of Mississippi. It's one of the key weather things that we look at during the summer and fall months," said base weather service commander Captain Lee Price.

The tropical weather course hosts a wide variety of students from members of every branch of the service, international students, and even civilians.