About The Owner & HurricaneConnect

 

Myself interning at the National Hurricane Center in Miami, Florida.

Myself with TV meteorologist, James Spann from ABC 33/40 in Birmingham, Alabama, on March 5 2016 at the SeaCAPS conference.

 


Dinner with TV meteorologist, Bryan Norcross on January 5 2016.


 

Jim Leonard and I outside of my house getting ready to leave for my high school graduation in May 2013.  Jim passed away on November 3, 2014, RIP.
 

Hi, I am Derek Sibley.  I am 22 years old and live in Mobile, Alabama and I was born and raised in Miami, Florida.  I' am a student at the University of South Alabama majoring in meteorology with a minor in mathematics, and work part time at my university's pool lifeguarding and teaching swim lessons.
  My meteorology interest began when I was four years old, having lived in south Florida through out most of my life, I saw interesting weather on a daily basis, especially in the Spring and Summer months.  Lightning, thunder, heavy rain, hail, and high winds, always excited me.
  From the late 1990s-the early 2000s I was into the NOAA weather radio, this was my first weather gadget, and I used to almost take it everywhere I went to get up to date weather conditions, and if the alert tone would go off I would be as excited as ever.
  By 2004, I discovered another meteorological phenomenon, tropical cyclones.  During this year three hurricanes stuck the state of Florida, though I was a little far from where they made landfall, I still remember some of the effects they brought to me.
  The next year, was the busiest hurricane season on record for the Atlantic basin, seeing 28 named storms beating the old record that was set back in 1933.  2005 ignited my interest into tropical cyclones.  And yet Florida, was another hurricane landfall target, this year I experienced my first 3 hurricanes.  Hurricane Dennis I witnessed over water on a cruise ship, with winds right around hurricane force and seas as high as 22-30ft.  Hurricane Katrina made landfall in south Florida as a category 1 storm with winds sustained at tropical storm strength and gusting to hurricane force.  And lastly hurricane Wilma, which was a rare late October major hurricane, that had the lowest minimum central pressure ever recorded in the Atlantic basin.  This storm eventually made landfall in Southwest Florida as a category 3, before moving through the rest of South Florida as a category 2.  These storms still have great vivid images in my head that I will never forget.
   After those two big seasons I needed something to look back at in case another storm would come by, and in 2006, as a Christmas present, I got my first video camera to film anything that came across me, whether it was thunderstorms, high winds, or even just anything interesting I would capture it.  My first video was tropical storm Ernesto, and though the impacts of that storm was minimal, it was still exciting to film my first tropical cyclone.
  In the summer of 2009, I appeared on a live hurricane internet show on
Hurricanecity.com by Jim Williams, this was my first time being on a show where I got to talk about hurricanes.  On the show I also got the honor to meet the famous storm chasing legend, Jim Leonard.  Jim Leonard, became one of my closest friend's, as we would always hang out and have deep conversations about storms.  Sadly, Jim passed away on November 3, 2014 from cancer.  To this day, I still have not met anyone who has the same amount of passion for severe weather, and he will surely be missed.
  During the summer of 2010, I began an internship at the Miami National Weather Service, there I got to learn everything about how to forecast using there special computer setups, and work on projects.  Now, I still intern there and hoping to be in that position someday.
  In June of 2012, I traveled to the great plains for my first time to chase mother nature's incredible storms.  I was joined with storm chasers Michael Laca and Jim Leonard.  Even though the storm pattern that year was slow, we did have one good chase during the evening of June 12 (
watch here).  During that same year in the summer, I also experienced my first tropical cyclone chase, on August 26th, Tropical Storm Issac brushed the Florida Keys.  On this chase I was joined with storm chasers Jim Leonard and Jim Williams. (watch here)
  Aside from meteorology, I love to have free time.  On my spare time I like to swim, play a few video games, hang out with friends, and watch sports (Go Dolphins!)

 

About Hurricane Connect

Welcome to Hurricane Connect!!

How did Hurricane Connect start? Hurricane Connect was first originally called Storm Center that started off doing tropical update videos on YouTube in 2009 and doing live internet shows on Ustream.  After doing my first few internet shows, I realized that this was the time for Storm Center to go live on the internet as a website.  However, after realizing I could not use the name for the website I could not move forward with Storm Center any longer.  This was the time when I sat down to take the time to come up with a new name that will actually be more beneficial by connecting users to the storm.  After coming up with the new name ''Hurricaneconnect'', plans to make the website started immediately.  In early 2012, Hurricaneconnect started to go under construction, but the site would not be possible without the help of Michael Laca, a veteran storm chaser that owns Tropmet.com.  Michael helped put the site together for me after I designed it.  HurricaneConnect had its first hurricane season run in 2012, after going through a very busy season, the site went through it very well. 

What is Hurricane Connect? Hurricane Connect is an online tropical weather information site that originally started in Hollywood, Florida but than moved to Mobile, Alabama as Derek Sibley moved the operations there as he attends school.  On this site you will find the latest tools you will need to connect you to the storm.  These tools such as satellite, radar, upper winds, sea surface temperatures, computer forecast models, and links will keep you updated on the tropics all the time.  These tools can be used by using the top navigation bar.  My latest tropical update video is found on the front page along with my storm chase photographs, videography, chase cams, and my season prediction.  What makes Hurricane Connect so amazing is that its user friendly!

 


Myself doing the weather on WKRG-TV in Mobile, Alabama for my intro to tv weather class in 2016.

 


Myself with former National Hurricane Center director, Max Mayfield in May of 2011 with bushy hair.

 



Myself with Dr. Phil Klotzbach (left) and Dr. William Gray (right) at the Florida Governors' Hurricane Conference in May 2011 with the bushy hair again.

2013 Hurricane Connect | Contact Information