December 10 2013 Latest news:
Tuesday, October 29, 2013
He was the unsung hero who had to get his weather forecast just right.
And now Don Day, the meteorologist behind Felix Baumgartner’s famous skydive from outer space, is coming to Norfolk to be the star guest at a lecture.
Mr Day’s appearance at the University of East Anglia (UEA) on November 13 has been set up by Norfolk weather forecaster Chris Bell, chairman of the Royal meteorological Society’s East Anglia Centre.
Mr Bell said he appreciated the excitement and difficulty of Day’s duty for the Red Bull Stratos mission, as he tried to judge perfectly the conditions for Mr Baumgartner’s 24.2-mile leap to Earth.
He said the mission “captivated a lot of people last year”, especially since just 10 minutes before the original jump was to take place, it was cancelled due to imperfect weather conditions.
And he described Mr Day as the new “superstar” of the meteorology world, saying he was to meteorologists what Brian Cox was to physicists, or David Attenborough to geologists.
Mr Baumgartner made his extraordinary jump in October last year, becoming the first human to break the sound barrier outside of a vehicle, and reaching speeds of 844mph on his descent to Earth.
But it would not have been possible without Mr Day’s meticulous work behind the scenes. His research showed that there must be no wind, no precipitation of any kind, and minimal cloud cover in order for the jump to be safe and successful, and it was imperative that he and his team of forecasters predicted the weather conditions correctly.
The huge interest in the weather and Mr Day’s work prompted Mr Bell to host the public lecture, where Mr Day will discuss his duty to Mr Baumgartner in the mission, explaining exactly what went into the planning and execution of the project, from a professional meteorological standpoint.
Mr Bell hoped the talk would appeal to people interested in the Red Bull Stratos project, as well as his affectionately-termed “weather geeks”.
For more information visit www.rmets.org/about-us/local-centres/east-anglia-local-centre