Stacy R. Stewart, a Senior Hurricane Specialist with the National Hurricane Center in Miami, Florida and a U.S. Navy Reservist, has retired from federal service effective January 1, 2022. Stewart served as a Senior Hurricane Specialist at the National Hurricane Center (NHC) since 2000; he was also a 40-year Reservist. Stewart was previously awarded the Bronze Star Medal and Combat Action Ribbon for his distinguished service to the United States.
In 1999, Stewart joined the Tropical Analysis and Forecast Branch of NOAA’s National Hurricane Center as a lead forecaster, and became a senior hurricane specialist the in 2000. He had previously served as an Enlisted Reserve Forecaster, and as a Naval Reserve tropical cyclone forecaster in Guam and Pearl Harbor.
Stewart was called to active duty in 2007 for a 20-month period to aid in the troop surge in Iraq. Two years later, in 2009, Stewart was again deployed as part of the 2009 troop surge in Afghanistan in support of “Operation Enduring Freedom”. Over his career, Stewart participated in more than 80 combat missions.
In an interview with NOAA Communications Officer Dennis Feltgen, Steward described his interest with the world of meteorology. “Being a native Miamian, one of the few from the ‘50s, my first experience was Hurricane Donna in 1960. We were living in Melbourne, Florida at the time. It blew down my favorite climbing tree in the front yard. I always wondered what the top of my tree looked like, now I knew because it was on the ground. I was fascinated that the weather could do something like that. Then we moved down to the South Miami area and went through Hurricanes Cleo (‘64), Betsy (’65) and Inez (’66). That kind of peaked my interest.”
Stewart says now that he’s retired, he wants to spend time on his health, with his family, and traveling around the U.S.
And in his absence, he is confident in the team he leaves behind at the NHC. “There’s a great crop of new people that have come into the hurricane center here. There’s good leadership too. I foresee a very promising future for the center and its remaining the preeminent organization that it has been.”