Hector Guerrero retiring from National Weather Service after 33 years

Bill Hancock
Runnels County Register
Hector Guerrero will be retiring from the National Weather Service in San Angelo on July 31s. Guerrero has served the NWS  as a meteorologist for 33 years.

It's likely that you've never heard of Hector Guerrero, who is a Warning Coordination Meteorologist with the National Weather Service in San Angelo. For 33 years Guerrero has honorably gone about his duties to help keep people in the Concho Valley safe from severe weather. On July 31st, he'll bid farewell to a job that many will say that he excelled at. Guerrero is known for his enthusiasm and tireless work ethic.

In addition to his duties at the weather station, Guerrero has also conducted Skywarn classes. In an interview for a 2018 article in this newspaper, Guerrero spoke about the importance of Sky Warn weather observers, "Radar is a good tool to use, but nothing replaces the eyes of the people in and around the weather event. You may not be in the part of a storm that generates a tornado, but you might be in the part that is experiencing wind sheer or hail and that can help us know which direction the storm is going and what it’s going to do in the immediate future. The more eyes we have, the better off we are. You have to be looking in the right place of the storm at the right time to see severe weather.”

Guerrero has gone about his duties, traveling from county to county throughout the years to give classes to Volunteer Fire Departments, as well as anyone else who wanted to gain some insight into weather events.

What the general public does not see are the email updates that Guerrero has sent out over the years to National Weather Service media partners. He has updated this newspaper, as well as several others, about the possibility of severe weather well in advance. Those notices aren't always "warnings" or "watches." Many times his emails discussed the possibility of severe weather days in advance of the potential weather event. When severe weather has struck, Guerrero has always been quick to send out emails and messages to help spread the word and warn our respective communities.

After significant weather events, Guerrero has sent out a summary of the event to inform local media, and the public, as to what transpired before, during, and after the event. After the Ballinger tornado on May 18, 2019, Guerrero sent all of the information regarding when/where/how the tornado formed, as well as the path it took and the other data collected by the NWS. It wasn't just a simple evaluation of the twister, it was a comprehensive breakdown of the event to be shared with the pubic.

Between 2014 and 2018, Guerrero trained over 100 Sky Warn weather observers just in Ballinger and Winters. Just in 2018 alone, Skywarn spotter classes have been held in Winters, Eden, Eldorado, Abilene, Sterling City, Brady, Brownwood, Stamford, Coleman, Sweetwater, Menard, Ballinger, Sonora, Albany, San Angelo and Throckmorton.

Guerrero announced his retirement in an email to the media,

"Dear Friends and Media Partners:

I hope you are well and are enjoying our awesome cooler and wetter summer.

I'm writing to let you know that, Lord willing, I'm planning to retire on July 31, 2021, after a 33 year National Weather Service Career. It's been a great pleasure and privilege to work with you in West Central Texas. On behalf of my NWS Co-workers, who I represent and are here for you, I appreciate your partnership and friendship over the years to educate and alert our friends across West Central Texas of hazardous weather. You are all truly Weather Ready Nation Ambassadors.

All the best to you and yours, Hector."

The Runnels County Register would like to thank Mr. Guerrero for his 33 years of service. We appreciate all that he has done over the years. We'd like to wish him a long and happy retirement.