San Diego

Worcester Native Predicting Weather for the U.S. Navy

While most people get their weather forecasts from television or a smart phone, the U.S. Navy gets its forecasts from Petty Officer 1st Class John Campbell, a 2011 graduate of Worcester Technical High School.

As part of the team at the Fleet Weather Center in San Diego, Campbell forecasts everything from wave heights to wind speeds for ships, submarines and airplanes deployed across the Pacific Ocean.

The Worcester native has been forecasting in San Diego for two years, and calls it a "rare opportunity" and a "unique experience."

During high impact storms, he will often communicate weather information directly to pilots and captains to keep Navy assets and crews safe.

In a phone interview, Campbell said some of the most challenging weather to predict is just east of Japan, and added that the winter months are the busiest.

One of the biggest challenges in providing a good forecast comes from the lack of weather data across the Pacific. Satellites and reports from ships and planes are often the biggest source of current information.

In addition to forecasting for U.S. ships, Campbell says he has also provided forecast information for ships from Sri Lanka, South Korea, and Australia.

Campbell’s brother also serves in the Navy, and his sister served for six years as well.

He will be serving at the Fleet Weather Center for at least another year and a half, he says.

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