A forecaster with nearly total recall of Nashville's climate stats over half a century retired Tuesday from the National Weather Service office in Old Hickory.
Bobby Boyd grew up in Middle Tennessee and took an interest in meteorology as a child. He worked for the weather service for 47 years. With his time in the military, he had an even 50 years of government service.
"You can't replace 47 years of National Weather Service experience," says meteorologist Krissy Hurley. "And seeing it walk out the door, it's irreplaceable."
Reporters and even fellow forecasters turned to Boyd for his encyclopedic knowledge of local climate history. He was known as a walking weather almanac or climate book, Hurley says.
"I worked one of his last shifts with him on Christmas Eve, and we got over two inches of rain," she recalls. "I said, 'Hey Bobby, when was the last time we got two inches of rain?' And ... within a minute, he said, 'Feb. 21, 2015.' And that's what we're losing."
Boyd would occasionally reference weather events that occurred when he was just a boy.
Although he spoke to the media over the phone, Boyd shunned any spotlight. He was apparently concerned that his colleagues would invite TV crews for his final day.
Hurley says Boyd was also a generous colleague: Knowing he was about to retire, he volunteered to work on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years. He plans to spend his retirement playing with his grandkids and — when the weather permits — cutting the grass.