REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. -- A good question to ask a weatherman headed into a weekend with flurry possibilities is 'Will it snow this weekend?' "I sure hope not," said Captain Mathew Klick, the Army Materiel Command Staff Weather Officer.
That snow question is one of the few frivolous questions the Captain ever gets. The Staff Weather Officer has a job that requires a lot of serious scientific work. "I would say, bottom line, my responsibility is to provide weather support to the Command and advise the Command to increase the safety and the readiness of the force," said Captain Klick.
The force the Captain is talking about has the responsibility of making sure Army soldiers have everything they need. It gets doubly important when you consider the Army Materiel Command transports gear and goods in all 50 states and 150 countries around the world. For Captain Klick it means keeping an eye on storms on the other side of the world. "It's really rewarding whenever you have a correct forecast and make sure the right supplies get to the right people," said the Captain.
Captain Klick, by the way, is in the Air Force. He's serving with AMC because the Army doesn't have its own meteorologists. At AMC Headquarters, Captain Klick is the only Air Force member on duty. "I think it's been long enough that when people see the Air Force uniform they know it's the weather guy," said Klick.
He's a weather guy who has to keep his eye on things like that troublesome volcano in Bali, just in case there has to be a humanitarian mission. Weather-wise, Captain Klick is always working to meet the Air Force standard of 80-to-90 percent accuracy over 30-hours. Perfection for this job though is a bit hard to come by. "Everyone misses a forecast. Indeed I have," said the Captain with a laugh.
It's not an excuse, just reality that getting forecasts right all the time around the world isn't easy.