Lee
Chesneau

After Graduating from the University of Wisconsin with a B.S. Degree in Meteorology, in January, 1972, thirty four and a half years later, I drew my last isobar lines on July 31, 2006, ending an amazing career of analyzing and forecasting weather for government and private industry. Now I have changed to a new career of passing on my knowledge and experience as an educator and trainer, part-time-full time, essentials of marine weather and advanced weather routing techniques to seafaring mariners.

As a marine weather forecaster for the US Navy, route analyst for a large private commercial weather and ship routing firm, and Senior Marine Meteorologist for NOAA/NWS’s Ocean Prediction Center, for the later 17 of those years, I provided detailed marine and oceanographic warnings, analyses and forecasts, and routing advise on a global, synoptic, and micro-scale scope, covering all oceans and seasons. My early career as a naval officer saw extended tours of sea duty on two aircraft carriers, one (USS Saratoga CV-60) serving as a ship driver in the South China Sea during the Vietnam conflict, the other (USS Guam LPH-9) serving as the ships Meteorological Officer in the waters off the US east coast and the Mediterranean Sea.

In addition to surviving my “Shellback Initiation” while crossing the Equator, there were a wide range of challenging meteorological and oceanographic phenomenon to learn about, as well as warn and forecast for. After active naval service, I stilled connected with the sea between civilian job assignments while crossing the Pacific Ocean on a container ship, participating in sail boat races, and cruising on a brigantine geared for scientific research.. Most recently just after retiring from federal service, I trained Italian Bridge Officers on a Carnival Lines cruise ship (CS Victory) while cruising from New England to Nova Scotia and back. Of all my experiences, however, the pinnacle as a marine meteorologist was the ship routing and heavy weather avoidance recommendations I provided to the highest levels of the marine community, professional mariners. Added to this was a teaching experience in the middle of a hurricane (see Photo Gallery). This close interaction with the maritime community, allowed me to develop a keen awareness of the issues that confront mariners, and especially, the need for professional marine weather training.

Today, I am a USCG-certified Standard Training Certification and Watch Standing for Seafarers (STCW) instructor. The courses of instruction are for the Officer in Charge (OIC) of a Navigation Watch (AB to Mate Program) for Basic Meteorology and the Chief Mate Master (CMM) Upgrade Advanced Meteorology, These courses are designed generally for professional merchant mariners. On the other end of the spectrum, I am a regular presenter at U.S. Sailing and West Marine sponsored Safety at Sea (SAS) seminars and conduct short course symposia programs at trade shows such as Sail America’s Strictly Sail, catered to the recreational cruising and racing community.

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