Les Lemon Passed Away

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Jul 5, 2009
Newtown, Pennsylvania
Just happened upon this sad news today, although it happened over a month ago. Didn’t see anything on ST about it, sorry if I missed it, but figured I would post. Les Lemon was a legendary pioneer in severe storms research, part of the “old guard,” and his research papers remain foundational sources to this day. Nice tribute here by another legend, Dr. Chuck Doswell.

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Jeff Duda

Resident meteorological expert
Staff member
Oct 7, 2008
Broomfield, CO
I saw the announcement on Twitter from someone. There wasn't much fanfare over it. I don't think Les Lemon was very connected with the meteorology community outside of the aged academic/research region. I personally never met him formally, and I don't think I ever saw him or interacted with him outside of one possibility: my Masters advisor thinks he was a reviewer on my first published paper (from 2010).

No doubt his contributions to operational and severe storms analysis have been invaluable to the larger community. He left an academic/intellectual legacy, which is exactly what leads to long-term increases in human knowledge and the overall furtherance of science. For that we should all be grateful of his presence in the human pipeline. On a personal basis, however, there seemed to be a generational gap between him and the younger folks (like me) that may have led to a diminutive show of emotional output over his passing.

Still, I salute this hero of meteorology. As the saying goes...we only see further into the future by standing on the shoulders of the giants that came before us. As he was a giant from the previous generation, someday we will be, too.

R.I.P., Les.