Permian Grad’s Work Helps with Gulf Oil Spill

By Cierra Putman
NewsWest 9

A Permian grad currently studying meteorology at Texas A&M was in the Gulf of Mexico helping out with the BP oil spill.

If you didn't know it, meteorologists are some of the many scientists in the Gulf working to lessen the damage of the BP oil spill.

Odessa native, Dion Delao, spent about 5 days at ground zero of the BP oil spill.

His job was to help the National Weather Service determine how close they could get to the spill to make accurate weather predictions.

"I'm proud to say that I've gotten to contribute somehow to the forefront of learning more about operational weather support," Delao said.

He worked along side his professor Dr. Don Conlee and others deploying weather balloons and other meteorological instruments.

He says the work they did isn't normally done over water, but was needed so the National Weather Service could get the most accurate predictions, especially since their closest center was about 50 miles from the spill.

While meteorologists aren't the first group of people to think of when it comes to disasters, Delao says they have a big behind the scenes role.

"I can tell you from this experience that a meteorologist plays a major role in all kinds of disasters and things like that," Delao said. "I can't sit here and tell you that they deserve all the credit, but I can tell you that from what I've experienced, meteorologists definitely play a major behind the scenes role in the protection of people's property and the protection of people's lives."

Delao is still a student and therefore not a professional meteorologist, but he says he'll remember this experience throughout his professional career.