John Pavone

John W. Pavone

  • John grew up on Park Avenue, the son of John and Mary Irene Pavone. His father instilled in him a strong work ethic and his mother taught him right from wrong. After graduating from Tyrone High School in 1957, John received his bachelor’s degree in education from Lock Haven State College (1962) and his Master of Science in Education from West Virginia University (1963). He planned to be an educator, but the outbreak of the Vietnam War put a hold to those plans. John enlisted in the Air Force to avoid being drafted.  After completing basic training in Texas, he was sent to Officers Training School where he was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in 1964.  From there, John attended Texas A&M University for post graduate work in Meteorology to prepare for working in the field of weather.

    John began his career at a Forecast Center in Ramstein, Germany, providing forecasts and weather warnings for U.S. bases in France and Germany. Returning to the States in 1968, he got into the aviation business as a flying weather officer, logging more than 9,000 hours on the WC-135 and WC-130 aircraft. The primary job was flying into hurricanes, typhoons, and nuclear debris. He also worked in fog dispersal for the construction of the Alaskan pipeline, supported trans-Atlantic and trans-Pacific aircraft movements, and provided both takeoff and landing weather for Apollo space missions. He was awarded the Yates Award in 1970 as the outstanding crew member in weather reconnaissance. John held various staff positions in both Air Weather Service and Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Service Headquarters, including Chief of Standardization, Detachment Commander, and Director of Reconnaissance, from which he retired in 1985 as a Lt. Colonel.

    In 1988 after spending three years exploring the world, Pavone was asked by his last Air Force general to take the job of Chief, Aerial Reconnaissance Coordination, All Hurricanes (CARCAH) in Miami. There he tasked, coordinated, and quality-controlled aircraft missions in support of both the National Hurricane Center and the Central Pacific Hurricane Center in Hawaii. During his tenure, the unit increased the flow of aircraft data to the forecasters (and the public) thirty-fold.  During the winters, CARCAH supported the National Centers for Environmental Prediction by coordinating the winter storm missions.  The unit takes great pride in getting an aircraft to where and when it is needed and has been credited with helping to save thousands of lives in the U.S., Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and Central Pacific.  Pavone was the 2014 recipient of the Richard Hagemeyer Award for his contributions to the U.S. hurricane program and, after his December 2017 retirement, received a Distinguished Service Award from the National Hurricane Conference for "half a century of outstanding aerial support to the nation's hurricane warning service."