Wednesday, June 13, 2012

"The Busby Flock"

As those you have read Warnings or followed this blog for a while know, I got interested in weather when a tornado went through my neighborhood when I was 5 years old. 

I was encouraged by a number of adults throughout my childhood. The pinnacle occurred when I reached eighth grade. My homeroom teacher, Mr. Robert Phillips, had a neighbor that worked at the U.S.Weather Bureau (the former name of today's National Weather Service). They arranged for me to take a tour. During that tour, I met the late Don Whitman who would become a close friend and my mentor.  Don's advice was valuable more times than I could begin to count

As a result of being mentored by Don -- who took this eighth grader seriously -- I promised myself that I would do the name when I finally graduated from college and achieved my dream of being a meteorologist.

Days after becoming the chief meteorologist at KTVI in St. Louis in 1979, I was introduced to our part-time meteorologist, Bryan Busby.  He was an extremely enthusiastic meteorology student at St. Louis University. So, I worked with Bryan to explain my forecasting techniques and ways of effectively communicating weather information on the air then watched him develop his own style during the two years we worked together.

Bryan has gone on to achieve great things: Chief meteorologist at KMBC TV and the national award from the American Meteorological Society for broadcast meteorology in 2010.  There is just one award given each year.

Continuing the tradition of mentoring young meteorologists, Bryan started "The Busby Flock" -- a mentoring program for young meteorologists that has achieved national scope.

  But Busby didn’t just let interns see how the business works. He took it another step and began underwriting a block of rooms and provided food for attendees at three-day conferences to help them break into the field.
    His first conference was in 2000 in Lake Tahoe; 2002 was in New Orleans; 2004 was in Chicago; 2006 was in Cleveland and 2008 was in Las Vegas. The poor economy postponed one scheduled in 2010, but he hopes to host one this fall.

The story continues,

   Today the Busby Flock has about 40 members who are still in the business from New York down to St. Joseph, MO. In fact, including previous markets, at least 48% of the US population has been served by a Flocker at one time or the other.
      “I guess you could say my career started off from an internship, and then landed me the weekend position in addition to college credit back in 1978,” Busby says. “So from very early on, I realized the importance to being placed in a newsroom to learn and observe.”

Thanks, Bryan for all you have done for the profession.

You can read the entire heartwarming story of The Busby Flock here.

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