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Little Hocking Native, NOAA Severe Weather Lead Forecaster Passes
Posted on: 01/10/2013
By  Mike Cullums
 
This reporter last night learned of a local native's sterling career and early death via the website of the National Weather Service Storm Prediction Center.
 
Located in Norman, Oklahoma, the Storm Prediction Center issues all tornado and severe thunderstorm watches and outlooks for the United States. 
 
Checking the website last evening, my attention was drawn to an unusual banner at the top: In Memoriam for a beloved lead forecaster among America's severe weather experts.
 
I clicked on the link to find out more about this man whose colleagues felt so strongly about his life's work and his passing. I was surprised to read the following.
 
"The staff of the Storm Prediction Center mourns the loss of Jonathan Racy, who passed away on January 8th after a long and courageous battle with colorectal cancer. Jon was born in Parkersburg, West Virginia, and was raised in Little Hocking, Ohio, where summertime storms and floods and winter snows forged his deep passion for meteorology.
 
"After high school, Jon attended Penn State University and graduated in May 1993. While at Penn State, Jon participated in the Campus Weather Service and served as its president during his senior year. After a childhood of closely monitoring NOAA Weather Radio, Jon wanted to achieve a life-long dream of being the voice behind Weather Radio. So working for the National Weather Service was the only way to go."

The memorium goes on to describe Racy's swift rise within the Weather Service to become a lead severe weather forecaster. It also describes his humanity and his deep interest in helping others. He was 42 years old.
 
The memorial page is here: www.spc.noaa.gov/Racy/
 
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