National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce
Brian Hoeth

Location: Fort Worth, Texas
Southern Region Regional Operations Center (SR ROC)
Job Title: Emergency Response Meteorologist
Brian Hoeth
Brian Hoeth
Brian Hoeth
Brian Hoeth

Educational Background:

  • B.S. from Ohio University in Math Pre-Meteorology
  • M.S. from Texas A&M University in Meteorology

Describe the career path that led you to your current job with the National Weather Service.

  • From 1998-2004, I worked at NASA contractor companies as a computer programmer. I wrote software applications that were directly used by the NWS Spaceflight Meteorology Group (SMG) for Space Shuttle support. In 2004, I moved into the SMG office as a Techniques Development Unit (TDU) meteorologist and then in 2008, I became a lead forecaster at SMG. I now work at the NWS Southern Region Headquarters as an Emergency Response Meteorologist at the Regional Operations Center.

What do you do for the NWS?

  • Primarily work shifts in the SR ROC where our main mission entails:
  • Operational/logistical field office support
  • Regional/state level partner weather/water/climate Decision Support Services (DSS). Primary partners include FEMA Regions IV and VI and the State of Texas Division of Emergency Management.
  • Coordination of DSS during high impact events within the region
  • Reporting of significant events and DSS to NOAA/NWS leadership

What was the most interesting, exciting, or impactful weather/water event you experienced while working for the NWS and why does it stand out?

  • I had the privilege and honor of being the Lead Forecaster for the last Space Shuttle mission in July 2011. The launch day weather proved to be quite challenging and after providing several in-depth weather briefings, the shuttle was cleared for liftoff towards the end of the launch window. In contrast, the weather at the end of the mission was benign. This allowed for me and my team to truly enjoy the experience of being a part of history as the space shuttle landed for the last time.

What made you decide to pursue a career with the NWS?

  • Honestly, I kind of lucked into it and I often tell people that I was in the "right place at the right time". When I graduated from Grad School at Texas A&M University I wasn't sure what I really wanted to do and then a computer programmer job opportunity at NASA opened up and even though it wasn't in meteorology, I was excited at the potential. Once I was exposed to the operational side of the NWS, I was determined to pursue a career with the NWS.  

What do you like most about working for the NWS?

  • I feel like I'm making a difference and I also enjoy making relationships. The work that I've done over the years has led to many potentially life saving decisions, so that makes the job fulfilling. Also, with all of the various jobs I have held, I have been able to make a lot of great relationships both within the NWS and externally with the many NWS partnership entities.

What advice do you have for someone interested in a career with the NWS?

  • Firstly, if you are interested in a career with the NWS you must be aware that it will likely involve rotating shift work and/or moving around geographically. While a career in the NWS has many benefits (good pay, benefits, stability, etc.) these 2 "limitations" should be considered. For career advice, the best thing you can do to stand out is to be involved in (and lead if possible) as many team activities as you can. Also, I recommend visiting a NWS office and seeing if you can volunteer. 

What training or coursework would you recommend to someone interested in following your career path?

  • The world of meteorology has changed a lot the past 15 years or so and meteorologists are being asked more and more to communicate ... not just typing the forecast, but explaining it to the "average joe" verbally and visually with graphics. Also, teamwork is extremely important. So, I would recommend any courses that help in these areas. Specifically, the following courses would be beneficial: oral communications/speech, teamwork/leadership, & graphic design