Mike Castillo describing clouds to attentive children at Storm Fury 2010
Forecaster Mike Castillo plays a game of "Cloud Concentration" with a rapt audience at Storm Fury 2010 in Brownsville.

2010 NWS Brownsville Outreach Begins
Thousands Visit Us at Air Fiesta, Storm Fury Events in March

Air Fiesta
Delightful mid March weather brought nearly 20,000 residents and visitors from across the Rio Grande Valley and beyond to the Rio Grande Valley Commemorative Air Force’s 2010 Air Fiesta at the Brownsville/South Padre Island International Airport March 13th-14th. Between 500 and 1,000 children of all ages stopped by the NWS exhibit, where they learned how a tornado works, viewed videos of Hurricanes Ike, Katrina, and Dolly, as well as Valley flooding from Starr County in 2008, picked up copies of the Rio Grande Valley edition of the Texas Hurricane Guide, our local Aviation User’s Guide, and more.

The stellar weather not only boosted attendance, but light winds on the 13th followed by moderate but stable southeasterly winds on the 14th made for great viewing of aerobatic exhibitions to mock World War II air battles. This was in sharp contrast to the 2009 Air Fiesta where a late season cold front was followed by low level moisture riding over the unseasonably cool air mass to produce a cloud deck below 1000 feet, along with periods of light rain and drizzle each day. We’d think that nearly everyone went home happy this year!

Storm Fury
Just two weeks later, children of Brownsville and nearby areas were treated to a hands–on educational experience all about weather! From making clouds and tornadoes in a bottle, experiencing what it’s like to be on television, and listening to a storm chaser describe harrowing experiences near killer severe storms, youngsters got a real taste for hazardous storms ranging from hurricanes to tornadoes and floods. NWS Brownsville saw more than 700 kids who were able to learn cloud types and how moving and changing clouds can be used to forecast short term weather events, see how a water spout forms, and discover how NOAA Weather Radio can save lives. Meteorologist In Charge Nezette Rydell and Data Program Manager Jim Campbell conducted a show and tell to more than 100 children and parents with slides about weather hazards, and how weather balloons are launched and the attached radiosonde measures wind, pressure, temperature, and humidity high in the atmosphere.



Thank You...
To those who stopped by our exhibits to learn more about weather, and how your NWS in Brownsville helps residents of and visitors to the Rio Grande Valley and Deep South Texas every day, rain or shine, to make critical weather decisions that can save and protect life and property.

Click here for a photo gallery from these events.


USA.gov is the U.S. government's official web portal to all federal, state and local government web resources and services.