A senior weather forecast official in America, William Lapenta died in rough seas on the North Carolina’s Outer Banks. He supervised the government’s forecast centers which keep track of the ocean, hurricane and even space conditions. The 58-year-old scientist died on September 30 in the coastal town of Duck. According to local officials, the lifeguards pulled him out from the waters. There was a warning from the National Weather Service on Monday on the region's high risk of rip currents. It is a phenomenon that has the ability to pull the swimmers out to the sea. These rip currents are super dangerous for people who are in the water.
According to the town's spokeswoman Christian Legner's October 2nd statement, the late official was swimming alone and there are no indications if he had been caught by a rip current. She also said that the lifeguards pulled Lapenta towards the shore in order to save his life. However, the health workers who responded to the emergency situation claimed that he was dead on the spot. There is no proper reason why the official ran into the danger but the surf conditions on Monday might be a reason, she added. According to records, there have been around 7 deaths in the rip currents in North Carolina alone in 2019. The number of deaths is over 41 in the United States of America.
The late official William Lapenta was the director of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Centers for Environmental Prediction. It is an organization that issues forecasts, warnings for the aviation, ocean, storm and climate conditions in American territory and areas that are beyond it. The National Weather Service Director Louis Uccellini said in a statement that Lapenta headed the NOAA's initiative to develop improve the quality of weather prediction methods by letting foreign scientists have virtual access in order to make the government models better. “Bill Lapenta was a friend to us all. He was a brilliant scientist, a leader in weather modeling, an amazing partner and collaborator, an energetic mentor, and a devoted husband and father,” Uccellini said. The deceased was a native of Nyack in New York who lived in northern Virginia with his wife Cathy. His wife is also a meteorologist according to reports by his weather service biography.
(With inputs from AP)