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January-February 2010

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On the Job: Dale Dockus, Chief Meteorologist for Federal Express

Dale Dockus is a chief meteorologist for Federal Express. He and a team of 16 meteorologists run forecasts for about 150 cities daily, informing operations managers who staff and schedule cargo flights across the country. FedEx's biggest operations occur overnight, with most airplanes arriving at their destinations between midnight and 2 a.m.

At its main hub in Memphis, Tennessee, where 147 planes arrive every weeknight and forecasters keep their eyes on conditions at smaller hubs around the country, Dockus most often takes the busy night shift.

How did you get interested in weather?

I grew up in northeast Ohio, and of course we get a variety of weather year round. We get some tremendously heavy thunderstorms in the summer time and then in the winter we get the lake effect snow, and I was much interested in that.

I went to Penn State and got a 4-year degree there, and I had every intention of getting into meteorology and probably leaning toward the broadcasting end, not knowing of any other opportunities.

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