We are glad you have chosen to reconnect with Moraine Valley Community College and each other. You are part of a strong legacy that has helped the college grow to become one of the largest community colleges in the state. We hope your experiences at Moraine Valley have shaped your lives and enabled you to achieve success.
Moraine Valley Grad’s Career Takes a Stormy Path
It’s been said that in everyone’s life a little rain must fall. For Jim Purpura, it’s been more than just a little rain—it’s been hurricanes, tornadoes and flash flooding. But this Moraine Valley graduate isn’t complaining.
After graduating from Moraine Valley in 1975, Jim went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in meteorology from Northern Illinois University. He started his forecaster career with the National Weather Service office in Chicago, where he issued severe weather warnings and aviation forecasts for all Chicagoland airports. Shortly after, he moved to the NWS office in Norman, Okla., where he was the first warning coordination meteorologist in the National Weather Service. “Norman was the first weather office to use the new Doppler radar service,” Jim said. “It was a very exciting time.”
While in Norman, Jim had an opportunity to experience the Hollywood scene when he worked with the cast and crew of the Oscar-nominated major motion picture Twister to help ensure authenticity in the weather office segments. His tenure in Oklahoma also earned his office a gold medal from the U.S. Department of Commerce in 1999 for providing ample notice to residents in the path of a violent tornado.
Between 2003 and June 2011, Jim was the Meteorologist–In-Charge at the San Diego Weather Forecast Office.
Jim is currently a consulting meteorologist for WeatherCurrents.com.
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