Jim Abraham: retired Director General of Weather and Environmental Monitoring

Man wearing white shirt, glasses and baseball cap smiles from Hurricane Hunter Aircraft.
Photo: Jim Abraham

“Using the latest technology, ECCC’s weather and environmental prediction program is among the most advanced on earth.”

Meet Jim Abraham.

Now retired, Jim worked at ECCC for 36 years, from 1976 to 2012. He was the first manager of the Canadian Hurricane Centre (CHC), and an especially memorable part of that role was flying into active hurricanes to better understand the risks they pose to Canadians. Jim went on to manage many other weather and environmental programs within the Department.

During his time with ECCC, Jim saw exceptional developments in radar, satellite systems, high performance computing and numerical models, as well as massive innovation in telecommunications systems. These advances have made ECCC’s weather and environmental prediction program among the most advanced in the world, serving the ultimate goal of protecting Canadians and the environment.

As a result of his many contributions to the field of meteorology, Jim was awarded the Patterson Medal for Meteorology in 2003, the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012, and was named a Fellow of the Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society in 2017.

Jim has had many rewarding experiences with ECCC, but it is his passion for problem solving and the friendships formed through work, both locally and internationally, that have motivated him most.

Jim is currently the Vice-President of the Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society (CMOS), the national society dedicated to advancing atmospheric and oceanic sciences and related environmental disciplines in Canada.

Jim still enjoys forecasting as a part-time CBC meteorologist and tweets daily from @YHZweatherguy.

Learn more about Jim’s work with the CHC.

Learn more about the forecast for the 2021 Hurricane Season.

Here are a few random facts about Jim:

  • What was your first job? I was a summer student from 1974 to 1976, focusing on local weather studies, field work and forecasting forest fire weather.
  • If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be? Northern Canada.
  • Would you rather ride a bike, ride a horse, or drive a car? Ride a harness race horse.
  • If you could only eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be? Turkey dinner.
  • If you could go back in time, what year would you travel to? 2019, pre-pandemic.
  • What are your hobbies? Golf, weather observing and forecasting (especially on Twitter), hiking and travel.
  • If you were a super-hero, what powers would you have? Predicting the future.
  • If you could share a meal with anyone, living or dead, who would it be? My grandfather, Jim, who I never met, but apparently was quite the character.
  • What's your favourite food? Seafood of any kind. I’m from Atlantic Canada!
  • Where do you see yourself in 10 years? Providing career advice to our grandchildren.

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