Meteorologist killed in water sports accident

Peter Potvin

Staff member
May 20, 2018
Pembroke, ON, Canada
Around 4:30pm on Saturday, 6/29/19, Meteorologist Michael Robert James, 40, of Boulder, Colorado, was killed in a water sports accident at the Buena Vista River Park. This was confirmed by the Chaffee County Communications Center. Several private citizens and boaters attempted rescue, to no avail.

For those of you who don’t know who Michael is, he worked at Unidata as a Software Programmer/Engineer for AWIPS. He also worked as a Professor at the University of Oklahoma in Norman, Oklahoma.

May he rest in peace.
Link to the original press release by the Chaffee County Sheriff's Office: Arkansas River incident - Chaffee County Sheriff
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Dan Robinson

Staff member
Jan 14, 2011
St. Louis
Michael was a chasing veteran and a regular on the old Lightning email listserver that I was a member of in the late 1990s. He had a few well-known storm images including several taken on the OU campus.

His work can be seen on his Flickr account:

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Mark Blue

Staff member
Feb 19, 2007
Of all years I knew the Arkansas and other rivers were going to be wicked and scary this year with the snowpack and runoff. I didn’t know him but I’m sure he had friends and family like everyone else. My thoughts go out to them during this most difficult time after losing their loved one.