UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE
NATIONAL OCEANIC AND ATMOSPHERIC ADMINISTRATION
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE
Fort Worth, Texas
As this is written, we are only beginning to realize the impact of yesterday's, September 11, terrorist attack on New York City and our Nation's capital area. We are all affected. Words cannot convey the sorrow we feel for the senseless loss of life, but we also know it is during such times of crisis that courage, devotion and dedication come to the fore especially as was shown by the firefighters, police and other emergency personnel, many of which sacrificed their lives to help others. That same spirit was also obvious across America yesterday and will certainly help carry us through this national tragedy.
Like other federal, state and local public safety agencies, the NWS was well prepared to respond and provide the continuation of mission that is so vital in such times to assure our nation we are there and we carry on. When Washington was attacked, all but emergency personnel were dismissed from federal agencies, including NWS Headquarters. Nevertheless, critical mission delivery operations of the NWS continued around the clock nationwide. I want to commend every one of our Southern Region employees who are always there when they are called upon during this and any other challenge or emergency. Because of the resultant evacuations in the DC area due to this terrorist crisis, the Network Control Facility at NWSH was left with just a skeleton staff and severely limited communications, just when critical AWIPS upgrades were underway affecting many field offices. Paul Kirkwood (SRH) and Jim Lane (WFO Corpus Christi) stepped up and offered assistance to the NCF in the midst of chaos, and their help ensured successful operations without interruption. In the words of one of the NCF supervisors, "that type of camaraderie during these trying times certainly reminds me what a great team we have all become." I could not say it better, and I want to add, that applies to all Southern Region employees. You are all essential (emergency employees) to this nation and I'm proud to be on your team.
I ask each of you, in prayer, personal reflections or a moment of silence to remember the families who are experiencing personal loss and unspeakable grief. As a people we mourn the senseless loss of life and we are not alone in the world. This horrible event with all our heartache, tears and distress will draw us together as an even greater nation.
KUDOS FOR WARNING EVENT SIMULATOR. A year ago the idea of forecasters being able to train for significant or severe weather operations in a displaced-real-time mode, using a workstation that would exactly simulate AWIPS, was little more than that -- an idea. But thanks to perseverance, bright ideas, and a lot of hard work in the field, along with encouragement and funding support from NWSH, that idea is now a reality. All Southern Region WFOs and RFCs now have the Warning Event Simulator DRT AWIPS. One region-specific severe weather scenario was provided with the WES, but I have no doubt more site-specific scenarios will follow quickly (see below). In fact, we expect this training workstation to be a cornerstone of our efforts to enhance forecasters' analysis and warning skills.
I want to congratulate all those whose efforts made the WES a reality. There were more than I can name individually, but in particular Mike Foster and David Andra (WFO Norman), working with Mike Magsig, John Ferree and Ken Hoggard at the Warning Decision Training Branch, brainstormed the original idea. Other staff members at WFOs Norman and Fort Worth and at the WDTB helped develop the hardware and software. Thanks to the work of Ron Miller, SOO at WFO Spokane, the WES incorporates the capability of locally archiving cases. Bernard Meisner (SSD) and Paul Kirkwood (SOD) have led the WES training and implementation efforts in the Southern Region. As one example of how quickly we've gotten up to speed, a significant convective event impacted the Dallas area late on Wednesday afternoon last week. By Friday morning Paul and Bernard had created a WES scenario and demonstrated the workstation's capabilities to the SRH staff. That afternoon, less than 48 hrs after the event, Bernard carried the case (on CDs) over the WFO, helped them complete the WES set-up, and thus enabled the forecasters who had not worked that event to replay it in DRT training mode. I understand several other offices have also already developed scenarios.
Last year, those who conceived what has become the WES workstation envisioned and argued for "practicing the way you play." Now we have the tools to do just that.
Training. The third Southern Region IFPS class is being held this week. This course is a follow-on to the NWSTC IFPS focal point course. Student responses continue to be positive and we've had many suggestions for further enhancements. In addition, the course has evoked comments about the Southern Region approach to training and implementation, specifically:
"I commend the NWS Southern Region IFPS team for its initiative, ingenuity, and hard work over the last few months, culminating in an effective regional advanced course. It is extremely helpful, encouraging, and refreshing as a field forecaster to see the words put into action. I envision the NWS SR IFPS team playing a critical national leadership role in IFPS implementation. Thanks for stepping up!"
The SR IFPS team appreciates those encouraging words.
WWA Templates. Scott Kiser, NWSH Office of Climate, Water and Weather Services, has submitted Watch/Warning/Advisory (WWA) templates developed by WFO Tampa Bay, to the Office of Science and Technology for the tropical cyclone program. Two products are scheduled to be ready for the 2002 hurricane season using the IFPS/WWA interface. They are the Hurricane Local Statement and the Inland Tropical Storm/Hurricane Wind Watch or Warning.
METEOROLOGICAL SERVICES BRANCH
BLAST APPLICATION DEADLINE EXTENDED. The deadline for submitting applications to MASC for the 2002 BLAST course has been extended from September 17 to October 1. A copy of the BLAST homepage is attached to this month's Topics.
SMG PARTICIPATES IN NASA/JSC OPEN HOUSE. SMG had the biggest crowd ever through its weather operations area in support of Johnson Space Center's (JSC) sixth annual Open House. Once again it was held on a hot August Texas Saturday in conjunction with the Balloonar Liftoff Festival which is a hot air balloon festival held on the grounds of JSC. Over 100 balloons could be seen floating over JSC on Saturday morning. The combined events on Saturday Aug 25 attracted over 140,000 visitors to the space center. Over 10,000 people visited SMG to see how weather forecasting is done for the space shuttle, space station and crew return vehicle. For the second year, SMG was able to showcase AWIPS displays of realtime satellite and radar imagery as well as McIDAS displays of mesonet data at the shuttle landing sites. SMG personnel gave short briefings and answered questions. Videos of hurricanes and tornadoes as well as a table with SMG and NWS handouts on topics ranging from flash floods to safe boating helped the visitors pass the time in line. SMG participants in Open House were Doris Rotzoll, Monica Sowell, Karl Silverman, Wayne Baggett, Steve Sokol, and Tim Oram. Several staff member's spouses and children also helped out.
NHC HURRICANE LIAISON TEAM. The Southern Region is pleased to volunteer assistance for NHC's Hurricane Liaison Team (HLT) when tropical cyclones threaten landfall. John Schmidt (RFC Tulsa) and Todd Hamill (RFC Atlanta) were the most recent participants during tropical storm Barry last month. The mission of the HLT is to facilitate and support an effective, integrated response to the imminent threat of storms through timely coordination among emergency management decision makers at the national, regional, state and local levels, and all NWS offices. Meteorologists and hydrologists are detailed to NHC for short periods.
Although the response to Barry was not as great as that required for a major hurricane or a more significant flood event, the RFC participants were able to observe the workings of the HLT and will be in a better position to make hydrologic contributions in the future. NHC Director Max Mayfield congratulated the team members on long hours and hard work while involved with the HLT. Max noted, "Barry was a good trial run for the HLT, and I trust the team will be even more ready for the next significant tropical cyclone ..."
WHAT DROUGHT? While drought conditions are still causing serious concerns in some parts of the region, other areas that had been plagued by drought have seen relief. The drought maps show significant changes now in Florida and along the Gulf Coast, compared to past seasons. Mike Koziara (SOO, WSFO New Orleans Area) provided a TV interview recently and was able to say "Our drought is over." He displayed the tropical storm Allison rainfall pattern from the LMRFC Web site and noted the local area was now in a very wet Palmer drought category. The interviewer appreciated the AWIPS loop of 500 mb model heights and images showing relative humidity. The colors graphically emphasized a major shift in patterns caused by a change in steering currents between this summer and the past two drought summers. Mike also showed rainfall data for the New Orleans International Airport indicating this summer's rainfall is 200 % above normal - thanks in large part, of course, to tropical storm Allison.
WFO BROWNSVILLE WORKS TO PREVENT RIP CURRENT DROWNINGS. Forecaster Paul Yura and WCM Hector Guerrero met with the Andy Bowie Park rangers on South Padre Island to discuss issues surrounding rip currents. Over the past year, more drownings have occurred on South Padre Island, some of which were attributed to dangerous rip currents and swimmer fatigue. As a result, this issue has gained importance lately in the local media. Although the WFO has provided safety information in the past, park officials want to do more to communicate the threat and alert tourists to the danger of rip currents. Both Paul and Hector are coordinating closely with them to accomplish that.
BOAT SHOW. The Jacksonville Fall Boat Show was held at the Prime Osbourn Convention Center from August 3-5. The National Weather Service had a booth with a display about climate, marine weather and hurricanes. Some positive comments from the public included the NOAA weather radio, the Jacksonville NWS Web site, and our watches and warnings program. A variety of pamphlets were handed out and the most common ones people liked where the ones about hurricanes, marine weather services, and thunderstorms and lightning. Charts of the Beaufort Wind Force Scale were also given out. Over 5000 people attended the boat show.
WEBSITE. The Southern Region Public and Marine Web site needs your input! What would you like to see about marine and public issues on this page? Email your suggestions to email@example.com. To view what is currently on the page go to:
MARINE GRAPHICS MEETING. NWS Headquarters will hold a meeting at the end of October in Virginia. Attendees of this meeting from each region will develop a plan/guidance for graphic and digital products to be produced from IFPS and strategically determine milestones each of us should be working on from year to year. Charlie Paxton (WFO Tampa Bay SOO), a member of the marine graphics team, will attend along with SR marine program manager, Melinda Bailey. Our new graphical marine products will be displayed at this meeting.
NOAA WEATHER RADIO NEWS. The new 1000 watt NWR transmitter at Corsicana, Texas was officially accepted as a new NWR site on August 24. Other NWR sites due to be installed this month, pending the correction of phone circuit difficulties, include: Blakely, Georgia, and Mena and Searcy, Arkansas.
The USDA NWR grant program has generated interest from over 40 sites in the Southern Region. The sites are in varying stages involving applying for the grants. Thus far, sites for over 20 installations have been successfully surveyed and determined acceptable by the Southern Region NWR USDA Expansion team.
VOICE IMPROVEMENT PROJECT UPDATE. The new voice of the NWR was chosen on August 8. Siemens Information and Communication Network of Boca Raton, Florida, will team with SpeechWorks International of Boston to provide software which combines phonetic sounds with natural language modeling. The text-to-speech conversion process is done with a software product called "Speechify." The selected voices, identified on the NWR voice sample Web page as Donna and Craig, were generated with a version of the Speechify software.
Field implementation of the new voice text-to-speech software program should begin early in 2002, following successful testing and integration within the NWR system. The old and new voices can be heard on the NOAA Weather Radio Web site at http://www.nws.noaa.gov/nwr/newvoice.htm.
CRS NEWS. The CRS Local Operations Guide Version 5.0 for CRS Build 7.0 has recently been completed by Michelle Margraf from WFO Sterling, Virginia and Tom Reaugh, WFO Northern Indiana. The .zfp file for the guide is located on the eastern region Web site at
CRS MP replacement Phase II is underway. WFOs Nashville and San Angelo received their new CRS MPs on September 5.
SEVERE WEATHER PREPAREDNESS AND OUTREACH
WFO Jacksonville participated in Jacksonville University's Civil Air Patrol (CAP) summer camp. WCM Fred Johnson gave the students a briefing on aviation forecast, warning and advisory products, which included a discussion in how to avoid downbursts and low-level wind shear. HMT Jim Boone provided the students with a detailed explanation of his upper air launch, ASOS and NWR. DAPM Mike McAllister assisted in describing NWS operations during a tour of the WFO. Jacksonville University's training is designed for high school CAP cadets interested in becoming a professional airline pilot.
Media Coverage in Middle Tennessee. There was quite a recent flurry of media attention at WFO Nashville. MIC Derrel Martin did two radio interviews with WSM-AM radio (one about the heat index and heat safety tips; the other on the StormReady program). Derrel also did a story with the Tennessee Radio Network about the new wind chill charts. SOO Henry Steigerwaldt was interviewed by FOX-TV and WTVF regarding the heat index and heat safety tips. WCM Jerry Orchanian did a TV interview about severe weather episodes. Jerry also did three newspaper interviews regarding lightning safety, middle Tennessee weather patterns, and Mt. Juliet's severe weather.
WFO New Orleans/Baton Rouge Involvement in Project Impact. WFO New Orleans/Baton Rouge recently participated in two different Project Impact events. First, they were a part of Hancock County's first Project Impact sponsored Hurricane Fair. The fair coincided with an approaching tropical storm Barry, which served to increase attendance and interest in the event. About 350 to 400 people attended the fair. Forecaster Robert Ricks staffed the NWS booth and conducted numerous briefings on the latest Barry advisories. Also, they were a part of the East Baton Rouge Parish Office of Emergency Management "Building a Disaster Resistant Community" Preparedness Expo. A variety of local, state and federal agencies had booths at the Expo. WCM Frank Revitte staffed the NWS booth, which featured information about the heavy rain and river flooding that occurred in June during tropical storm Allison. Approximately 80 people stopped by the NWS booth.
Red Cross Hurricane Game. Anyone interested in hurricane preparedness should check out a neat interactive Hurricane Challenge game on the American Red Cross' website at:
WFO San Juan. MIC Israel Matos was an invited panelist, along with officials from the Puerto Rico Emergency Management Agency, on a three-hour hurricane preparedness radio talk show sponsored by WZOL radio station in San Juan. Also, Israel was the guest speaker at the kickoff activity for the Safe Homes and Hurricanes Expo, sponsored by the Puerto Rico College of Engineers and Surveyors and other private entities. The week-long activity covered many educational activities on hurricane safe construction and preparedness. WCM Rafael Mojica was the invited speaker at the annual meeting of the Puerto Rico Historical Cyclonological Society. The meeting was held at the Puerto Rico Emergency Management Agency auditorium. The presentation centered on storms that affected Puerto Rico during the last four years: Georges, Jose, Lenny and Debby. The meeting was attended by Luis Islan, Emergency Management Agency assistant director.
WFO Melbourne forecaster Matt Bragaw (lightning focal point) worked with the 45th Weather Squadron at Patrick Air Force Base on local lightning preparedness efforts. As a result, the Brevard School Board has developed new enhanced lightning safety guidelines for athletic teams. The guidelines are taken from existing lightning safety literature and are to be implemented immediately. Well done, Matt!
DAPM Heads to Zoo. WFO Brownsville DAPM Jim Campbell gave a presentation to the staff and volunteers of the Gladys Porter Zoo. The presentation included the history of hurricanes along the deep South Texas coast, hurricane hazards and the forecast for the current hurricane season. Special emphasis was made on inland flooding, particularly after the recent disaster in Houston from tropical storm Allison. Jim's wife is the information technologist and Webmaster at the zoo.
EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT COORDINATION
WFO Tallahassee WCM Bob Goree provided an EMWIN training session at the recent Florida Area I Emergency Management meeting. The training consisted of an overview of the system, REALEMwin configuration, operation, and demonstration. Bob also distributed customized installation CDs and reference materials. The disks included a batch file for localization of the "buttons," "Quick" and Alarm setting files for the Tallahassee CWA.
StormReady Increases. Brownwood, Texas (WFO San Angelo) became StormReady in August. At the end of the month, four Alabama counties in WFO Birmingham's area (Cherokee, Lee, Madison and Fayette) were also recognized. Thus far, 38 Southern Region locations have become StormReady during FY01. Nice work, everyone.
WFO San Juan MIC Israel Matos participated in the 14th annual hurricane conference of the Caguas municipality. The activity was attended by over 300 emergency managers from central and southern Puerto Rico. Israel presented an overview of the past decade's hurricanes and NOAA's outlook for the active part of the 2001 hurricane season.
MEDIA/PUBLIC/EXTERNAL CUSTOMER SUPPORT
WFO New Orleans/Baton Rouge sponsored a Media Workshop for their warning area's broadcast meteorologists and weathercasters. from southeast Louisiana and south Mississippi. Representatives from six of the area's eight TV stations attended the meeting, including all of the lead meteorologists from the four stations in the New Orleans market.
The topics covered included an IFPS review by SOO Mike Koziara, an update on new products and services from the Lower Mississippi RFC by HIC Dave Reed, a review of tropical storm Allison by WCM Frank Revitte and service hydrologist Dave Smith, the Operational Heat Assessment System by MIC Paul Trotter, and highlights of local preparedness/products/services by Paul and Frank. There also was an open session for the media during which allowed for good interaction and discussion among the entire group.
Mississippi Public Officials Conference. WFO Jackson WCM Jim Butch went to Starkville to participate in a conference for public officials. The conference included 45 representatives from seven northeast Mississippi counties as well as the state Emergency Management Agency. Jim talked about what the National Weather Service does, NWR, and customer feedback.
NWS/ARRL SKYWARN Recognition Day is December 1. The NWS and the American Radio Relay League cosponsored a special event for amateur radio the past two years. These events celebrated the contributions amateur radio operators made to the NWS. During the events, amateur radio operators transmitted from NWS offices and contacted other operators across the world. They provided information about the SKYWARN program and expressed appreciation to all SKYWARN volunteers. The events were widely supported by the amateur radio community, the ARRL, and the NWS. Last year, 80 NWS offices participated. Over 23,000 radio contacts were made from the offices including contacts with operators from 60 countries.
The ARRL and NWS have again agreed to support an event to celebrate SKYWARN volunteers. This year's event is called the NWS/ARRL SKYWARN Recognition Day and is scheduled for December 1.
WFO Amarillo recently hosted a picnic in appreciation of the efforts of spotters in the Texas and Oklahoma panhandles. Here is part of WCM Steve Drillette's report:
The first ever Spotter and Cooperative Observer Appreciation Picnic was held on August 18 at the National Weather Service Office in Amarillo. About 50 spotters and observers, along with several NWS employees, attended the event. All were treated to their fill of hamburgers, hotdogs, chips, cookies, and sodas.
A special "Thank You" goes to United Supermarkets of Amarillo for donating the food and drink. Their support in this effort was truly outstanding. My thanks also to the following NWS staff members: Steve Bilodeau, who proposed, organized and worked the event; and Jose Garcia, Glen Woodall, Lance Goehring, and Tabatha Seymore, for their assistance on the day of the picnic.
TEST OF THE WATCH COUNTY NOTIFICATION (WCN). WFOs Amarillo and Nashville, along with a number of WFOs from other regions, recently conducted a two-month test of the WCN as part of the Watch By County plan. The WCN is a product for use by WFOs upon issuance, alteration or cancellation of severe weather watches. The test was deemed a success and identified a few unsolved issues. First, it showed not only the need to automate the initial watch WCN, but also the need for offices to update by clearing counties when the severe weather threat has passed. Also, it highlighted the need for better coordination/collaboration tools. Some of the participants suggested the need for a tool that provides a quick graphics display with editing, annotating, voice and scheduling/notification capabilities all in one system. Finally, the software used for the WCN may be improved as a result of this test.
HYDROLOGIC SERVICES BRANCH
RIVER FLOOD WATCH PROJECT STATUS. Southern Region and NWS Headquarters conducted a conference call on September 4 to discuss the product category to use for the SR River Flood Watch product. After discussing the project and sharing our views with NWSH, it was agreed that we could use the ESF product category. We will also have to change the mass news dissemination heading title to "Hydrologic Outlook" and headline the product as a "River Flood Outlook" to conform to the new WSOM chapter E-22 guidelines that will be implemented on November 15. We also plan to implement the SR River Flood Outlook product on November 15. Further information about the River Flood Watch product changes will be provided in the near future and will be discussed during a conference call.
SERVICE HYDROLOGIST CHANGES. Marty Pope and Bob Carle were recently selected as senior service hydrologists at WFOs Jackson and Fort Worth, respectively.
Marty spent 18 years at the Lower Mississippi RFC. During his time at LMRFC, Marty was involved in daily river and flood forecast operations. He had various focal point duties including the AFOS system manager, dam break model activities, the Hydrometeorological Automated Data System, and the NWS river forecast system. He also was involved in community outreach as the LMRFC School-To-Work program coordinator with a local high school.
Bob has been the SR hydrologic services program manager at SRH for three and a half years, having previously been senior service hydrologist at WFO Talahassee for three years. During his tenure in SRH, Bob was instrumental in purchasing rain gauges to support hydrologic forecast operations, providing technical assistance on hydrologic data collection networks, and providing recommendations on the subject matters covered in the Hydrology Program Management Course taught at the NWSTC. He led a national effort to develop the questionnaire portion of the COOL template for the service hydrologist position and assisted in the implementation activities of the River Flood Watch project. We welcome both Marty and Bob to their new positions.
STREAM GAUGING NETWORK FUNDING. NWS Headquarters recently informed us the Senate and the House restored funding in the USGS budget for the federal stream gauging program. Though this is still a small reduction from the President's request, it will allow the USGS to continue their efforts to upgrade the federal stream gauging network in FY02. This is part of the USGS National Streamflow Information Plan (NSIP). Further information about NSIP is available on the Hydrologic Services Branch Web site found at http://water.usgs.gov/nsip.
HCRT. In collaboration with the NCEP Tropical Prediction Center and Eastern Region, we officially formed an NWS Hydrometeorological Coordination and Response Team (HCRT). The team is composed of eight members from Southern and Eastern Regions. SERFC HIC John Feldt is the team leader. The team mission is to facilitate and support an effective, integrated response to the emergency management community of the inland river flood threat associated with tropical cyclones. Team members from the Southeast and Arkansas-Red Basin RFCs were deployed in association with tropical storm Barry. These team members are working with John Feldt to develop an initial set of guidelines for team members to follow in future activations.
RIVER FLOOD OUTLOOK GRAPHIC OT&E. On September 1 the West Gulf, Lower Mississippi and Southeast RFCs began participating in an operational test and evaluation of a new RFC flood outlook graphic that will become part of a national RFC flood outlook graphic implementation. During September, these RFCs will generate a five-day river flood outlook graphic on a daily basis and post it online. Arkansas-Red Basin RFC will begin issuing this graphic in October as part of a second OT&E. Southeast RFC was instrumental in developing a layout for the RFC flood outlook graphic. In addition, the Lower Mississippi RFC collaborated with other RFCs to streamline the production of this graphic for all RFCs. The national implementation will culminate with a national mosaic of all the NWS RFC flood outlook graphic inputs into one map that will be distributed on NWS dissemination systems and AWIPS. The national implementation is currently scheduled for November. Further details on this project are available online at http://www.nws.noaa.gov/oh/Flood_Outlook/index.html.
INTERNET MAPPING TEAM. The Office of Hydrologic Development is forming a water resources Internet mapping team is to document requirements for water resource mapping, inventory current Internet mapping technologies, and evaluate the various mapping technologies to determine the technology which best fits the requirements. The goal is to recommend an NWS corporate approach to water resource Internet mapping. Frank Bell from the West Gulf RFC will represent SR on this team. Frank has extensive experience with GIS software, including ArcIMS, and recently provided an ArcIMS presentation to SRH.
NEWS FROM OUR HYDROLOGIC SERVICE AREAS. Dry weather was the general trend across most of the Southern Region during July. The airport in Midland recorded only a trace of precipitation during the month. This makes July 2001 one of the second driest on record. In early July, the Los Alamos region experienced some flash flooding in the Cerro Grande area that burned last summer. Water flows were estimated at 1500 cfs in Pueblo Canyon with some homes in the Los Alamos area requiring evacuation. Flood damage could have been worse had it not been for the reseeding efforts in the burn area, drainage expansion projects and the addition of retention dams.
HYDROLOGIC OUTREACH. WFO Nashville service hydrologist Mike Murphy and WCM Jerry Orchanian visited Davidson County Office of Emergency Management to receive flood impact studies from county officials. Mike wants to implement these studies in the office flash flood/river flood warning prrogram. Mike discussed how emergency management officials can receive USGS river gauge information in middle Tennessee from the Internet, and Jerry demonstrated how hourly and storm total precipitation amounts from the WSR-88D can be obtained from the Nashville Web site. Nashville public works participated and helped us identify flood prone areas within the city. They provided a demonstration of their flood plain management application and provide us with copies of 100 year flood inundation maps for small streams within the Nashville metro area. NWS flash flood and river flood warnings for Davidson County and the Cumberland River at Nashville were also discussed .
SCIENTIFIC SERVICES DIVISION
BRIEFING SUPPORT FOR AMS MEETING. As we've done many times in the past, at the request of the American Meteorologist Society, Southern Region conference participants organized and provided daily weather briefings for the AMS Weather Analysis and Forecast Conference which was held in Ft. Lauderdale, July 30-August 2. Each day's briefing started with a weather discussion and forecast for the CONUS, included a tropical weather discussion and forecast, then focused on South Florida weather. Miami SOO Pablo Santos led the effort and arranged participation by others, including Jack Beven and Richard Pasch from NCEP/TPC, T.J. Turnage and Todd Lericos (WFO Tallahassee), and WCM Jim Lushine (WFO Miami). Bernard Meisner (SSD) and Brian Maher (TPC) provided data for the briefings using the region's frame network. Pablo utilized one of the WFO's Linux workstations running NAWIPS 5.6. The briefings were 30 minutes long and were attended by an average of 150 to 200 people each day. After the last briefing, the AMS session chairman said these were among the best briefings he has seen in quite a few years at the AMS conferences. Congratulations to all who were involved in the effort, which once again demonstrated both the skill and technological capabilities of NWS forecasters.
OLD RADARS REBORN - A SMART IDEA. Prof. Mike Biggerstaff at Texas A&M (Cooperative Institute for Applied Meteorological Studies) announced last week that the Shared Mobile Atmospheric Research and Teaching (SMART) radar is up and ready. And he provide early images from the radar to prove it. We've attached those figures to this week's Topics. The SMART radar is a truck-mounted, mobile C-band Doppler radar which was built by TAMU in collaboration with Oklahoma University, Texas Tech, and NSSL. The NWS Southern Region played a significant role because a few years ago we provided TAMU with the decommissioned WSR-74Cs from WSO Meridian and WSFO Lubbock, from which SMART was built. A second SMART radar suffered in the NSSL fire on July 3 when the pedestal and truck burned. Plans are to rebuild and complete that system by next Spring in time to field two mobile Doppler systems for the International H2O Project.
NCDC (and SSD) TO THE RESCUE. Mike Branick, senior forecaster at WFO Norman, traveled to Africa to view the total solar eclipse on June 21 from near Lusaka, Zambia. While there, he recorded detailed surface temperature and moisture data during the eclipse, and documented a surprising drop in shelter temperature of over 19F (10C). The minimum temperature occurred 11 minutes after totality ended. Dewpoint temperatures (derived from relative humidity measurements) also dropped, as much as 12F (7C). The day after the eclipse, while departing from Lusaka International Airport, Mike decided he would try to obtain any "official" surface observations during the eclipse at the airport (which happened to also be in the path of totality). Unfortunately, there was no time to search for the airport weather station, much less find any data, while he was there.
After returning home Mike began to search for any observations from Lusaka, but its remote location on another continent seemed to make that a longshot. Actually, though, when he contacted SSD we did a little searching of Web sites and discovered NCDC was a likely source. Sure enough, Sam McCown and Tom Ross at NCDC soon retrieved surface data from the Lusaka airport. The station was open only part time, from 8 AM to 5 PM local time (0600 to 1500 UTC), and recorded only hourly surface data, but since the eclipse peaked shortly after 3 PM (1300 UTC), the hourly reports contained enough data during the eclipse to support Mike's observations. Mike is now in the process of writing up his findings for an AMS journal article, which will include the Lusaka airport data along with his own observations. Thanks, Sam and Tom ... now we know the "national" NCDC is international as well.
MASTERS KUDOS. Congratulations to Fred Johnson, WFO Jacksonville WCM, who was recently awarded the degree of Master of Aeronautical Science, with a specialty in Aerospace/Aeronautical Management, from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach. Fred's degree project was a study of the impact of the WSR-88D on storm warning verification statistics in the state of Florida. He compared statistics for all counties in the state for five years before and five years after installation of the radars. The study showed statistically significant improvement in all three measures, PoD, FAR and CSI, following implementation of the Doppler radar. Fred presented his results at the recent AMS 18th Conference on Weather Analysis and Forecasting in Fort Lauderdale. A tech memo is also in the works. Well done, Fred.
Winter Lightning. The August 2001 issue of Weather and Forecasting contains the paper "Winter Lightning and Heavy Frozen Precipitation in the Southeast United States." The authors investigated the location, frequency and polarity of CG lightning flashes in relation to location, intensity and type of heavy freezing or frozen precipitation for seven Southeast U.S. winter storms. Their results suggest two distinct phases of winter storm development, and they conclude real-time monitoring of CG lightning may aid in forecasting the amount and duration of frozen precipitation patterns associated with each phase. The paper was authored by Steve Hunter, former SOO at WFO Morristown, and S.J. Underwood, R.L. Holle and T.L. Mote.
Heavy Rain in the Southern Appalachians. David Gaffin and David Hotz (WFO Morristown) authored the paper, "A Precipitation and Flood Climatology with Synoptic Features of Heavy Rainfall across the Southern Appalachian Mountains," which appears in the June 2001 issue of National Weather Digest. They document the dominant role played by terrain in the summertime development of thunderstorms, which in turn results in August being the most active month for flash floods in the region.
NWA NEWS. The National Weather Association has moved its office from Montgomery, Alabama, to 1697 Capri Way, Charlottesville, Virginia 22911-3534. The telephone and fax number will be (804) 296-9966, and the E-mail and Web page addresses will remain the same (http://www.nwas.org.) An update and agenda for the NWA's 26th Annual Meeting, to be held October 13-19 in Spokane, Washington, can be found on the Web site.
ENSO and FLORIDA WEATHER. WFO Melbourne has developed an informative Web site which explores the relationship of the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) to Florida's dry season and severe weather. The site is at http://www.srh.noaa.gov/mlb/enso/mlbnino.html. Local research since 1997 suggests that climatic fluctuations on regional and global scales have a profound impact on Florida's weather, and the importance of seasonal forecasts can only increase as the state's growing population becomes more sensitive to extreme weather events. The interactive Web site incorporates a variety of information in an easy-to-use format in order to help everyone better understand seasonal variability and seasonal forecasting of weather-related hazards. The main goals of this effort are to provide:
- a clearinghouse for official NWS and NOAA seasonal forecasts and outlooks for the Florida,
- an easy way to monitor weather and climate changes through links to official NWS products and experimental, locally-produced, graphics,
- experimental graphical dry season forecasts and localized meteorological interpretation of official and experimental forecasts,
- educational material to help emergency managers, planners, forecasters and the public better understand relationships between ENSO and Florida weather, and the predictability of these relationships.
Development of this Web site has been an on-going effort, and WFO staff members have briefed on it at various AMS and NWA meetings. MIC Bart Hagemeyer will report on the work at the Climate Diagnostics Conference and NWA Annual Meeting. A paper on the forecasting of "storminess" for Florida and the Southeast will be presented as a joint paper at the AMS Annual Meeting next January.
NEW SR SOOS. Over the past few weeks transfers and a retirement have impacted the region's SOO ranks. Newly selected SOOs and their offices are:
Amy McCullough, WFO San Angelo. Amy is a former forecaster and the hydrologic focal point at San Angelo.
Chris Buonanno, WFO Little Rock. Chris transfers from a forecaster position at WFO Fort Worth.
Steve Cobb, WFO Midland. Steve has been a forecaster at WFO Amarillo.
We welcome all aboard, and know Chris, Amy and Steve are looking forward to their new jobs and new challenges. Chris assumes the SOO position behind George Wilken, who retires this month after many years of outstanding contributions to the development of the SOO program, both within the Southern Region and nationally. George asked us to share this farewell message to his many friends and fellow SOOs:
To my friends and colleagues in the National Weather Service and especially the Southern Region -
As my career with the National Weather Service comes to an end, I want to thank everyone that I have interacted with. It has been my pleasure to work with the best of the best and I know that every success the National Weather Service has in the future will be directly attributed to the hard work produced by its employees.
May your career be as fulfilling as mine has been. My best regards for your continuing success, both individually and collectively.
WARNING EVENT SIMULATOR/DISPLACED REAL TIME AWIPS. The first WES/DRT AWIPS training classes were conducted by Bernard Meisner (SSD) in August. Staff from 17 field offices attended. Since three of those were from co-located WFOs and RFCs, 20 SR offices now have a local WES/DRT-AWIPS "expert." The material covered included: initial configuration of the workstations (including the second monitor), installation and operation of the WES/DRT AWIPS software, installation of the case study data, conversion of case study data to the DRT AWIPS format, localization/customization of the D2D, and strategies for effectively using the WES. See the Technical Attachment for nationally supported case studies available for the WES.
NEW SECTION IN AMS BULLETIN DEDICATED TO OPERATIONAL FORECASTING. Starting in January 2002, the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society (BAMS) will include a new section called Map Room. The goal of this feature is to provide a monthly forum for presentation and discussions of forecast challenges and unusual weather events from an operational point of view. These contributions are not meant to be detailed case studies or fully documented and evaluated forecast techniques that are more appropriate for other AMS journals, or published in other sections of BAMS. Rather, through Map Room, forecasters will be able to discuss some of the nuances and complexities posed by various hydrometeorological challenges, and communicate their insights and approaches. Map Room will furnish an opportunity for operational meteorologists and hydrologists to share the benefit of their experiences not only with other forecasters, but with the entire diverse AMS community.
Articles in Map Room should be brief (roughly 1000-1500 words), with up to five illustrative figures as needed. Articles should be focused on a particular problem or aspect of an event. In some cases it may be useful to provide electronic supplements to an article to provide an animation, additional tabular or graphical information, or other supplemental materials. Such electronic supplements will reside on the AMS Web servers with links from the electronic version of the BAMS article.
Map Room articles will typically be written with a more personal tone than other BAMS articles, and will emphasize the experiential and the factual aspects of an event. Limited formal references should be included as appropriate. Submissions for Map Room will undergo a peer review, which will primarily be conducted by individuals with extensive forecast experience and will be focused along the guidelines described above.
We encourage SOOs and DOHs to work with forecasters to take advantage of this opportunity. Manuscripts should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org, with copies to SSD, or by regular mail to:
American Meteorological Society
45 Beacon Street
Boston, MA 02108-3693
Questions can be directed to Jeff Waldstreicher, BAMS Editorial Board, at email@example.com.
REMOTE SENSOR TRAINING. The Integrated Sensor Training PDS (ISTPDS) and Virtual Institute for Satellite Integration Training (VISIT) sessions for October are listed below. Offices can register for the ISTPDS/VISIT teletraining sessions by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. To access the teletraining calendar, go to: http://www.cira.colostate.edu/ramm/visit/ecal.asp.
The sessions currently scheduled for October are:
- GOES Sounder Data and Products (Basic) Oct 1, 12
- Forecasting Mesoscale Convective Systems (Basic) Oct 4, 11
- Ingredients-Based Approach to Forecasting Winter
Season Precipitation (Intermediate) Oct 31
- Lake-Effect Snow (Basic) Oct. 11, 24
- Lightning Meteorology (Intermediate) Oct 9
- Mesoscale Analysis of Convective Weather using
GOES Rapid-Scan Imagery (Basic) Oct 10, 23
- Natural Disaster Information Cards (Basic) Oct 17
Links to the ORPG and DLOC teletraining schedules are available just above the calendar. The Top Ten Misconceptions about Numerical Weather Prediction (NWP) Models teletraining will be added to the calendar as soon as the dates are determined.
Sessions can be reviewed in advance by following the instructions in the student guides available on the ISTPDS/VISIT page: http://www.cira.colostate.edu/ramm/visit/visithome.asp.
MESOSCALE MODELING AT WFO MELBOURNE. The NASA Applied Meteorology Unit (AMU) at Kennedy Space Center in Florida involves contract staff from ENSCO, Inc., but it is a collaborative effort which also involves staff from WFO Melbourne, and the NWS Spaceflight Meteorology Group (SMG) at Johnson Space Center in Houston. One of their projects involves implementation of a Local Data Integration System (LDIS) at Melbourne and the SMG. The goal was to integrate the many varied data sets near KSC and in east-central Florida in order to enhance analysis and short-range forecasts - in support of both Cape activities and WFO operations. A description of the various data sets - some of them unique to the KSC complex - and more information about WFO Melbourne's local data analysis efforts can be found at http://www.srh.noaa.gov/mlb/ldis_index.html. The site also contains examples showing how the real-time mesoanalysis system contributed to critical operations.
THUNDERSTORM RAINFALL. It's no surprise, but the figures below confirm the Southern Region has the highest frequency of thunderstorm days in the nation, and overall the region experiences the greatest amount of thunderstorm rainfall. In addition, most of the annual rainfall across the region comes from the thunderstorms. This subject is the focus of a paper by Stanley Changnon which appears in the September 2001 issue of the Bulletin of the AMS ("Thunderstorm Rainfall in the Conterminous United States"), from which we extracted the figures. The author points out that in spite of many previous studies of thunderstorm frequency, surprisingly little attention has been given to the amount of precipitation produced by thunderstorms, and to measuring the environmental impacts of that rainfall. It may seem obvious, especially in light of the above, but the paper also emphasizes that thunderstorms have a sizable influence in producing extremely wet as well as dry years across the nation. There are implications in that which may not be so obvious.
SYSTEMS INTEGRATION BRANCH
AWIPS. Build 5.1.1 is going forward with few problems noted so far. Some performance issues have been solved with this build, but we are still a long way from matching the performance of the Linux workstations. You can monitor the AWIPS build 5.1.1 progress at the Web site http://srhawips.srh.noaa.gov/AwipsStatus.html. AWIPS Build 5.1.2 is scheduled to be deployed by late November and 5.2.1 is scheduled for mid-April 2002.
Southern Region has been testing a three monitor, one keyboard and mouse setup for the Linux workstations that are to replace the current AWIPS workstations. The only problem with the three monitor setup is the Linux drivers for the video are not completely compatible and we are awaiting the new drivers. The other limiting factor to using the Linux AWIPS workstations is that not all of the software has been ported over to Linux.
The Linux demonstration project has officially ended with success. Extra Linux workstations are expected to be sent to field sites sometime next year. We are continuing to test the full Linux replacement at SRH and plan to have the Linux DS-preprocessor early next year.
We have been helping other regions set up the Linux and GFE workstations by giving them our setup scripts and installation instructions. Generic setup scripts will soon be available for download to install Linux machines on the AWIPS network, following the proper protocol. Note though, there will be a new way IP addresses will be requested for the AWIPS network. This information/procedure is not available yet, but we are aware only a few IPs are being approved.
IT UPDATE. Forty-one people have been enrolled in the SANS Web-based security training which was mandated by the Department of Commerce. All persons who were selected have been contacted and their names have been sent to the N-CERT. We are still awaiting course start dates and the information needed to access this material. With the guidelines given by the CIO at D.C. as to who should take this training, we feel at least three additional people from each SR office should enroll.
We want to take this opportunity to thank everyone for the efforts involved in updating the contact information for IT and AWIPS security focal points, and also replying to the short notices on verification of patches for the Red Worm virus and the removal of obsolete user accounts. We had 100% compliance and no incidents were reported.
Our Netscape mail servers have been running smoothly for the last month. Although we had another hard drive go bad on the backup messaging server, it was replaced and re-built without any problems or down time. We will be taking the mail servers down sometime in the second or third week of September to do a full defragmentation of the hard drives. This will take about four hours since we have 45Gb RAID system. We will also be applying a patch from Micron that will flash our RAID controller cards to reduce problems using the 10,000 RPM replacement drives.
We have setup an LDAP search script that will allow the field offices to run and verify the user information which was input to the LDAP server. About 20 percent of the offices have completed updating the information. So far, we have had two users who were still in the LDAP but had since left government service, as well as many wrong addresses and/or telephone numbers still in this database. Many people are now using the address book to get contact information. We would like all personnel in Southern Region to have accurate information listed in their look up. Our goal is to have this LDAP directory updated by the end of September.
You may have noticed that we are have trouble reaching doc.gov sites on the internet and via e-mail. We are working with NWSH in trying to resolve this ongoing problem
NETSCAPE CALENDARING IS COMING. The word from NWS Headquarters is the Netscape Calendaring which was originally purchased with the Netscape Suite by NOAA will be operational by the end of this month. It has been running in Beta for four months now and most bugs have been fixed. We have had access to it at SRH for a few weeks and it has some nice features. From a Web browser, you will be able to set up multiple calenders, share calenders with others, make group calenders, set e-mail reminders of meetings or events, have the system e-mail others for confirmation, etc. More information will follow when we get the go-ahead to start adding people to the service.
COREL OFFICE 2002. We have received the NOAA enterprise update for Corel Office 2002. Corel Office 10 comes on a two-CD set and we should have copies to each field office by mid- month. Please note this is not an upgrade but a full version, and it takes about 450 Mb of hard disk space. We recommend you uninstall your current version before putting Version 10 on the system. The office suite has some new features like an online dictionary and the ability to import and show PowerPoint presentations. This version comes with WordPerfect 10, Quattro Pro 10 and Corel Presentations. We are in the process of getting information about the upgrade for the professional suite which includes the Database.
TELECOMMUNICATIONS. Concerning the frame relay/AWIPS circuits, all of Southern Region is now on the MCI network. All AT&T circuits associated with the regional frame relay network have been disconnected.
The NOAA Weather Radio (NWR) circuits transition will soon be completed. MCI has delivered 76 of 80 NWR transition circuits to-date, and we look to take delivery of the remaining four within two weeks. Address issues with the local telcos have delayed these installations, but we are confident these will be resolved soon to allow us to complete the transition. Of the 76 delivered by MCI, Southern Region has accepted 62 and we are working with MCI and the local telcos to resolve problems with the remaining circuits. Disconnect orders for all remaining circuits will be input this month.
At this time we are also confirming with each office that their telephone lines are on the MCI network. Orders to the local telcos have been resent to insure each line is switched to MCI and follow-ups to previous orders are being processed. We will have disconnect orders submitted for these lines this month.
We are currently working to get the orders submitted for the WFO Tallahassee move in January 2002. We will be conferencing and coordinating with the representatives from Florida State University, the site of the new office location. We will continue to report more on this move as it progresses.
We will continue to monitor the progress of each of these projects to completion and report as necessary.
ORPG. SRH is getting ready to embark on the deployment of the Open Radar Products Generator (ORPG) to all if its field sites. The first delivery in the region took place on August 28 at WFO Atlanta. We will continue to work with the Radar Operations Center in Norman and NWS Headquarters to closely monitor and update any necessary changes which could make the transition from the legacy system to the ORPG a smooth one. As part of the effort, SRH/SOD EPM Steven Baker attended the ORPG Provisioning Conference last month at the NLSC in Kansas City. The conference members established what hardware items will be stored in NLSC, and decided at what level (field or NRC) those items should be repaired.
WFO Atlanta is the next national beta test site, with installation there occurring the last week of August. If all goes well, a decision will be made shortly to begin national deployment later this month. WFO Memphis is currently the first SR site slated to have the ORPG installed the last week of September. Subsequent October installations include the WSR-88D sites at Tulsa and Ft. Smith (both ORPGs to be installed at WFO Tulsa), Little Rock, and finally Shreveport.
Electronics technicians are being sent one month prior to the installation to in-residence training courses at NWSTC. The Warning Decision Training Branch has completed distance learning courses that WFOs can sign up for beginning one month prior to the ORPG installation. See the SSD training item on page 15 for a link which provides more information.
Attached to Topics this month is a summary provided by George Phillips from WFO Topeka which describes the ease of PRF selection using the ORPG - and the positive impact that can have on severe weather operations.
OTHER WSR-88D NEWS. Regional system specialist Joe Villescaz (SOD) traveled to WFO Houston/Galveston last month to participate in the installation of air conditioning duct work for the WSR-88D RDA shelter. He assisted Radar Operations Center personnel and local technicians in installing duct work procured from a private contractor located in Norman, Oklahoma. Changes to the RDA shelter ducting has been shown to reduce the workload on the HVAC units in the RDA. The scope of work performed should extend the useful life of the existing units and reduce costs, and permit replacement of failed units with like models.
CRS. Last month, the OOS/FSOC Test and Evaluation Branch asked each NWS regional headquarters to select two sites to participate in a limited deployment of the CRS frequency shift key wave software modification. This modification was established to assure NWR SAME tones could be identified on certain Midland NWR receivers, which previously had problems. The two sites selected from SRH, WFO San Angelo and WFO Nashville, performed the modification and monitored the tests for 30 days. Based on the outcome, a recommendation was made to implement the CRS modification nationwide.
UPPER AIR. Regional system specialist Charlie Lake assisted several offices with nagging ongoing deficiencies in their upper air system last month. He visited WFO Shreveport to perform a theodolite comparative and to establish proper azimuth and elevation parameters. He went on to WFOs Jacksonville and Jackson to assist operations personal with some unique situations that occur during flights. This effort will continue to be an ongoing project to establish a baseline, isolate the problem and provide remedies.
ASOS COMMISSIONINGS COMPLETED. The FAA sponsored ASOS site at Greenville, Mississippi (KGLH), was commissioned on August 15. This means every ASOS within the SR has now been commissioned. Southern Region is the first region in the Continental U.S. to complete this task. Kudos and congratulations to all field personnel who have worked feverishly for many years to make this a reality.
ASOS PROCESSOR UPGRADE TEST TO TAKE PLACE. The ASOS Planned Product Improvement calls for the installation of upgraded temperature/dew point sensors and the new all-weather precipitation accumulation gauge by the end of fiscal year 2003. In order to accommodate these new sensors, the memory and CPU of the ASOS must be upgraded. The first step toward reaching this agency goal is the installation of new test software (Version 2.6U) which contains CPU upgrades at three sites in Southern Region next month. The test sites have been identified as Guadalupe Pass, Texas; Boothville, Louisiana; and Austin, Texas (Camp Mabry). The software will be shipped this month to the responsible WFOs for installation.
PUP DISCONNECTIONS. At present, only a handful of NEXRAD Principal User Processor (PUP) workstations have been disconnected, primarily at CWSUs and RFCs. The region will be working with NWSH this month to outline a decision making process/strategy to facilitate future PUP disconnections on a regional/national basis. SRH will be seeking input from the WFOs prior to this taking place.
DIVERSITY/EEO AND COMMUNITY OUTREACH ACTIVITIES
CNN en Espanol. Shawn Bennett (SOO) and Hector Guerrero (WCM) from WFO Brownsville provided CNN en Espanol with interviews in Spanish regarding the heat wave which recently affected a large part of the northern plains and the eastern U.S.
SPANSISH LANGUAGE TRAINING AT WFO BROWNSVILLE. Not surprisingly, WFO
Brownsville receives numerous inquiries in Spanish each week. To enhance services provided by the office, SOO Shawn Bennett made arrangements with the Villa Maria Language Institute in Brownsville for 40 hours of onsite Spanish language instruction for ten WFO staff members. Classes began August 6 and will conclude September 21 and are held Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 4-6 PM. Villa Maria provided two instructors so the group of ten students could be for separated into a beginners and an intermediate/advanced class. The instruction is comprehensive and includes speaking, writing and reading, all in Spanish. What separates this effort from a more conventional language class is that the WFO staff members are studying meteorological terms and are required to translate newspaper articles about the weather and perform mock radio and television interviews. The students are senior forecasters Jeff Philo, Brian Miller and Tim Speece, HMT Alfredo Vega, WCM Hector Guererro, forecasters Mike Castillo, Mick McGuire and Dan Dixon, ITO James Raley, ITO, SOO Shawn Bennett.
TECHNOLOGY ALL-STARS IN GOVERNMENT AND DEFENSE AWARD. Recognizing the achievements of minority women who distinguished themselves in the fields of technology, math, and the sciences was one of the items on the agenda at a "Women of Color Government and Defense Technology Conference" recently. Angela Downing, meteorologist at CWSU Miami, was one of three NWS recipients of the Technology All-Stars in Government and Defense award. Angela and the other recipients were honored for their innovativeness, discipline, and dedication, and their valuable contributions to technology within government. This award was sponsored by the publications U.S. Black Engineer & Information Technology and Hispanic Engineer & Information Technology. Angela was nominated by CWSU Miami MIC, Stan Holland.
WFO MORRISTOWN hosted a sixth grade teacher for a week from the Hamblen County school system who was participating in a program between the county and various businesses and agencies in the area. The purpose of this program is to allow teachers to spend time in businesses outside of the classroom to gain practical experience and knowledge in applicable fields and bring that experience and knowledge back to the classroom. This is the third consecutive year that the WFO has been a participant.
WFO SAN JUAN. Forecaster Hector Rivera and DAPM Pancho Balleste conducted an office tour for 40 summer student volunteers of the Carolina Emergency Management Agency.
WFO TALLAHASSEE. Senior forecaster and EEO focal point Ron Block lectured on careers in meteorology and/or distributed literature at the Caribbean Carnival, at the Tallahassee Democrat Kids Show and at 4-H Ecology Day, all in Tallahassee. He helped initiate the new school year with hurricane talks at Raa Middle School and for the Leon County Association of Science Teachers. Weather as a career was discussed at the Florida State University International Student and Scholar Center. Ron also provided aviation weather training for members of the Experimental Aircraft Association and for the Small Craft Pilots Association. HMT Alan Baker provided an upper-air demonstration to these groups.
MIC Paul Duval interchanged with the Florida Institute of Rehabilitation Education. All eight participants were blind or visually impaired. WFO programs were discussed with emphasis on the need for the visually impaired to own NWR radios. Paul also discussed the NWS mission and its programs with Lively Technical Institute Aviation Camp.
WCM Bob Goree discussed tornado readiness plans with school officials from Leon County, tornado detection and safety with residents of Geneva, and Houston, Alabama counties and with participants from Colquitt, Georgia County. Summer weather was the featured topic at the Florida A&M Summer Institute. (FAMU is a traditionally African-American Institution). Bob supported the first ever Tallahassee Regional Airport Fun Day providing weather information to more than 500 children and their chaperones and at the American Red Cross Hurricane Season Kickoff.
The WFO staff provided many media interviews, office tours and community visits focusing on tropical weather, the drought, severe weather and rip currents. Media workshops were conducted at the offices of the Tallahassee Democrat and Albany, Georgia, Herald. These were attended by most of the respective staffs and centered on improving media/NWS interaction. Other interviews were conducted with the Camilla Enterprise newspapers and with various local and regional television affiliates which appeared regularly on the nightly news. Training sessions centered on improved communication and severe weather recognition were provided for a number of emergency managers throughout the county warning area.
SCEP students Todd Lericos and Angel Montanez continued to assume increasing responsibilities in daily WFO shift duties.
SOUTHERN REGION WORKFORCE TRANSACTIONS
July 1-31, 2001
|Southern Region Losses|
|Name||From (Office)||Action/Transfer||From Title/Grade|
|Christopher Smallcomb||WFO MAF||Promotion to CR||Met Intern, GS-9|
|Doug Cain||WFO MAF||Promotion to WR||Forecaster, GS-12|
|Scott Cordero||WFO BRO||Reassignment to PR||Senior Forecaster|
|Michael Langevin||WFO MEG||Reassignment to WR||Forecaster, GS-12|
|Timothy Erickson||WFO LCH||Promotion to CR||Met Intern, GS-11|
|Ernest Cathey||WFO FWD||Retirement||Service Hydrologist, GS-12|
|Brian Francis||WFO MAF||Reassignment to CR||SOO, GS-13|
|Charles Maxwell||WFO ABQ||Transfer outside NWS||Forecaster, GS-12|
|Renee Wasko||RFC TUA||Reassignment to CR||Hydrologist|
|Southern Region Gains|
|Name||To (Office)||Action/Transfer||To Title/Grade|
|Roy Pringle||WFO MFL||Reassignment from PR||Forecaster, GS-12|
|David Marn||WFO EYW||New Hire-Reinstatement||Met Intern, GS-11|
|Gar Kenneth Nelson||WFO OHX||Reassignment from WR||El Tech, GS-11|
|Robert McFall||WFO EPZ||Promotion from WR||ESA, GS-12|
|Gary Petroski||SRH SOD||Promotion from SPC||IT Program Mgr., GS-13|
|Bill Bunting||WFO FWD||Promotion from CR||MIC, GS-15|
|Todd Lindley||WFO TSA||New Hire from SCEP||Met Intern, GS-7|
|Kati Sommer||WFO EYW||New Hire from SCEP||Met Intern, GS-7|
|Within Region Transfers/Actions|
|Name||To (Office)||Action/Transfer||To Title/Grade|
|Ernesto Morales||WFO SJU||Reassignment from EYW||Forecaster, GS-7|
|Kerry Jones||WFO ABQ||Promotion from ABQ||Senior Forecaster, GS-13|
|Clay Morgan||WFO LZK||Promotion from JAN||Senior Forecaster, GS-13|
|Laura Finlon||WFO EYW||Promotion from EYW||Forecaster, GS-9|
|Chad Entremont||WFO JAN||Promotion from BMX||Forecaster, GS-11|
|Alexander Lyster||WFO MAF||Promotion from MAF||Senior Forecaster, GS-13|
|Brian Miller||WFO BRO||Promotion from BRO||Senior Forecaster, GS-13|
|Marty Pope||WFO JAN||Reassignment from ORN||Sr. Srvc Hydrologist, GS-13|
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