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About me

My name is Mike Moretz and I maintain the 828 WEATHER website.  I was born and raised in the North Carolina foothills (Lenoir/Caldwell County) with most of my family being from the Beech Mountain and Grandfather Mountain Communities.  I currently live on Beech Mountain with my wife and daughter.  I attended Appalachian State University and University of North Carolina Asheville (Atmospheric Sciences/Weather Forecasting) before graduating from the University of North Carolina Charlotte. My Bachelor’s Degree is in Geography with an emphasis in GIS (Geographic Information Systems).  I am a licensed Pilot and my entire professional career has been in the GIS industry.

My Story

I have always loved the weather.  My love of weather goes all the way back to elementary school when my teachers would ask me if I thought it was going to snow.  I have always been fascinated with weather, specifically snow.  Growing up in the foothills (Caldwell County) I remember looking to the Northwest toward the mountains which were partially in the clouds and receiving snow.  Meanwhile, at my home in Caldwell County it was sunny and mild. I didn’t understand how a place that was so close, even bordering the county I lived in, could have weather so different.  I decided at an early age that I would “solve” this mystery and make Meteorology my future career.

While my degree/career would not be in meteorology, as a Geographic Information Systems professional, I have found that the two professions are closely related.  Many of the display tools and gridding used in weather forecasting use GIS.   I have obtained valuable knowledge of topography especially as it relates to weather patterns experienced in the NC High Country.  It has also given me a better understanding of why we experience Northwest Flow Snow events in the higher elevations near the Tennessee border.  My weather knowledge has also helped as a Pilot, which is one of the biggest causes of aviation accidents.

Why Start 828 Weather

As a Christian, my relationship with God is very important and provides the foundation of all I do. After much prayer, I decided to start this website because I wanted to share the knowledge and information obtained throughout the years from more of a "local” perspective.  Most, if not all, of the weather and information is restricted to Watauga, Ashe, and Avery Counties along with the higher elevations in the Northwestern part of the state.  Most of my interest is in winter and extreme weather events.  Over the last 20 years I have studied and modeled Northwest Flow Snowfall events in the High Country.  As the years have passed, there is a much better understanding of this phenomenon, but they are still difficult to forecast.  I am currently studying wind flow patterns during Northwest Flow Snowfall events represented by a Froude Number.  Froude Numbers represent the flow of air when it comes in contact with a barrier (mountains along the Tenn/NC line) and is an estimation of whether the flow can make it over the mountains or not.  Through 3D GIS modeling and meteorological data, I can simulate the flow patterns.  My mission is to gain a better understanding of the air flow represented by the Froude Number and its impact on snowfall amounts and geographic placement.

Lastly, I want to make it clear that while I use some of the same resources used by the National Weather Service, like Bufkit (program that displays vertical soundings from computer models), and AWIPS CAVE (Public version of the meteorological software package used by the National Weather Service), I do NOT have a meteorology degree.  I have a great deal of respect for meteorologists that are responsible for public forecasting (some are friends of mine) and understand how it can make you humble.

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