BREVARD COUNTY – Scott Spratt, meteorologist in charge of warning coordination at the National Weather Service in Melbourne, has retired after a distinguished career.
According to Melbourne’s National Weather Service, Mr Spratt worked at the federal level for 31 years and had worked in the Melbourne office since 1993.
“Since tropical weather forecasting was my primary interest and academic focus, my goal was to eventually travel to Florida,” Spratt said in an email to Hometown News. “Two years after starting a career with the National Weather Service in Jackson, Mississippi, a job advertisement was posted for Melbourne and I applied. At the time, the NWS was beginning a modernization program to install new radars meteorological services and restructure forecasting and warning services. Melbourne was the first of 122 meteorological offices across the country to undergo this process and I wanted to be part of it! In addition, the office provided unique opportunities to collaborate with the NASA weather office, developing methodologies to advance forecasting for the benefit of both agencies.
Spratt said that in addition to his duties with NWS Melbourne, he also has fond memories outside the region, citing his experience working with a small team of meteorologists based in Savannah, Georgia, which provided specialized forecasts for marine forecasts for sailing events. during the 1996 Summer Olympics.
In addition, Spratt said he had twice visited India where he provided training to the Indian Meteorological Department to help them improve their tropical cyclone forecasts. He has also been involved in training meteorologists with the Indian government at the NWS in Melbourne and the National Hurricane Center.
Mr Spratt also said one of the things he was most proud of about his work was “providing valuable public service and advancing the NWS’ mission to protect lives and property”.
“I have been fortunate to be surrounded by a team of very dedicated and experienced meteorologists throughout my career,” Spratt said. “Together we have worked through many high impact events including the Central Florida tornado outbreak of February 1998, the 1998 wildfires, the three hurricanes of 2004, the flooding associated with Tropical Storm Fay in 2008 and Hurricane Irma in 2017, to name a few.Working closely with our emergency management and media partners, we were able to get the word out ahead of the imminent dangers of these potentially fatal and damaging events, in order to minimize their impacts.
Mr. Spratt also offered advice for those who wanted to follow a career path similar to his.
“In addition to having a strong foundation in physical science and mathematics, being able to communicate weather information to diverse audiences is a critical skill that NWS meteorologists need today,” Spratt said. “An important and growing part of the job is to assess the results of complex weather patterns and their potential impacts, then create specific and concise messages for different social groups to digest and act on. Be comfortable multitasking, be proactive, practice good time management and stay flexible at all times – the pace of work is faster than ever, often with competing priorities. And perhaps most importantly, enjoy the experience and never stop learning – there aren’t many jobs where the work is different every day, literally!
Those interested in more information about the National Weather Service in Melbourne or should visit weather.gov/mlb/.