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Meet: Steve Sokol

Lead Forecaster
NASA Johnson Space Center

photo of steve sokol

photo of steve sokol at work Lead Forecaster in the Space Meteorology Group since 1984.
Worked a total of 71 Space Shuttle Missions.
Lead Forecaster for: STS-51B, 61-A, 26, 34, 35, 40, 49, 54, 60, 64, 70, 76, and 82.
Education - B.S. in meteorology from the University of Wisconsin.
MA in Human Relations from the University of Oklahoma.
ABD in Environmental Science from the University of the
Philippines. (Thesis -The Human Response to Typhoons.)

Steve was the Lead Forecaster on the Return to Flight Mission, STS-26. He has been honored by hanging the plaque in Mission Control on STS-34, STS-64, and STS-70. On STS-60 Steve forecast and tracked a gravity wave that cleared the skies over the landing site, allowing a last-minute Florida landing.

Steve served in the USAF from 1966 to 1994. While on active duty, he was stationed in Okinawa (twice), Guam, Duluth, Minnesota, and Wichita Falls, Texas. Following active duty, Steve served in the USAF reserves in Topeka and Wichita, KS.

photo of steve sokol at work station While stationed in Guam (1969-71), Steve flew with the 54th Weather Reconnaisance Squadron where he made nearly 50 typhoon penetrations. He also flew on reconnaisance missions over Southeast Asia. In the Philippines, Steve worked on a USAF rainmaking project, and in Alaska, he worked on a fog dispersal project.

Steve's National Weather Service (NWS) career began as a forecaster at the Topeka, Kansas, NWS office in 1979. In 1984, he transferred to the Space Meteorology Group.

Steve is an avid fan of tropical weather. He flew on the NOAA Hurricane Hunter aircraft into Hurricane Hugo in 1989, the night it made landfall in Charleston, South Carolina. He also chased typhoons throughout the Philippines while working on his thesis. Steve remains an avid fisherman, golfer, and basketball player.


Learn more from my NeurOn Chats
April 1, 1998
And my article in International Meteorology Magazine
March 1998


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