My husband, Chris, is a meteorologist for the National Weather Service (NWS), a federal agency under NOAA. Before you ask, because I know many of you will, he is not on T.V. He is not a T.V. meteorologist. He works for the government. The meteorologists for the NWS are the ones that many T.V. meteorologists go to for their forecasts. (Not all, though. Larger markets usually employ real meteorologists and have the technology to support them, but they still may consult with NWS before putting out their forecast.) The NWS issues all the weather watches and warnings, too. There are many NWS offices across the country. These offices operate 24 hours, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. They never close.
Before my Chris and I got married, I learned that his job as a meteorologist meant that he worked strange hours. In his current position, he works one of three different shifts on a rotating basis: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., or 8 p.m. to 4 a.m. He does not work your typical Monday through Friday week. Sometimes he may have to work seven shifts in a row, other times only three before having a day off. Our weekends are on the days he has off. Sometimes it could be on a Saturday and Sunday, but just as often our weekends fall in the middle of the week.
I knew what I was getting into when we got married, and I was prepared for it. When we were first married, it was not a big deal. It has become more of a challenge since having two children. There have been days where I have felt like a single parent, but I make do, and Chris is fabulous about helping out when he does have a day off.
Soon after we married, I was contacted by another wife of a meteorologist at my husband’s office. She welcomed me to the club of the Weather Widows. We are a special “club” of spouses who know that our lives revolve around the weather. If there is severe weather, it is likely that my husband will get called into work or have to put in overtime. Severe weather includes blizzards as well as thunderstorms.
Over the last couple of days, we have had a lot of severe storms coming through. Chris, and those he works with, have been busy at their office. They have been putting out watches and warnings, as well as working on forecasts and processing observations. Yesterday was a particularly busy day. My husband had taken the morning off to go to our daughter’s two-year-old doctor appointment. He headed to the office right after, reporting for work around noon. He didn’t get home until 12:45 a.m. A long day.