There is an old saying that goes like this, "If you don't like the weather, wait a minute as it will change." This is true for most locations as the processes the atmosphere which produce our weather are similar around the world. However, there are local differences which may enhance or affect the type of weather where you are located.
Your local National Weather Service Forecast Offices monitors your weather around-the-clock. In addition to the daily forecast issued two to fours times daily, we are always looking out for you in regards hazardous weather. Should threatening weather occur or appears imminent we will issue weather watches and/or warnings to alert you to the threat.
The forecast office area of responsibility typically consist of 20 to 50 counties though some counties are split between offices (most common in the western states) based upon geographical features. (See map)
Because of these small regions your local office forecasters are most familiar with your local area and weather nuances. The typical staff of a weather forecast office consists of...
- Meteorologist-In-Charge (MIC)
- The MIC carries full managerial, supervisory, and technical responsibility for the provision of weather warning, forecast, services, and support activities within the area served by the WFO, and for the conduct of important scientific development work which is undertaken in an operational weather forecast environment. In other words, "The Boss."
- Warning Coordination Meteorologist (WCM)
- Serves as the principal interface between the forecast office and the users of the forecast office products and services. He/She is fully responsible for planning, coordinating, and carrying out area-wide public awareness program designed to educate the public to ensure the mitigation of death, injury and property damage or loss caused by severe natural hydrometeorological events.
- Science & Operations Officer (SOO)
- Ensures the scientific integrity of the products and services provided to the public by the WFO and also leads or participates in joint research projects and developmental efforts conducted with any collocated university/research center.
- Information Technology Officer (ITO)
- Serves as a software and information technology expert with responsibility in three primary areas: application development/integration, information technology management, and systems analysis. The ITO provides overall guidance and coordination for the computer-related focal points.
- Data Acquisition Program Manager (DAPM)
- Supervises a technical staff in activities which can be divided into three major categories: Data management and acquisition, public service and user interaction and forecaster assistance. The DAPM supervises a technical staff comprised of three or four hydro-meteorological technicians or interns. An office has a DAPM or Observation Program Leader, not both.
- Observation Program Leader (OPL)
- The OPL ensures that a full range of technical support and assistance is provided for WFO operations and other basic activities, especially the incorporation of timely, high quality observational data into WFO forecast and warning decision-making processes.
- Service Hydrologist (SH)
- The Service Hydrologist is responsible for providing the primary NWS hydrologic support and interface to the state emergency management and other water resources-related agencies. The hydrologist serves as the "resident expert" on WFO hydrometeorological technologies as they relate to mesoscale hydrologic forecast problems and their application to meeting the diverse requirements existing in the designated support area.
- Senior Forecasters
- Serves as shift leader. Ensures the provision of general weather information, warnings, advisories, and forecasts to the general public and special user groups in the WFO service area. As shift leader, is responsible for all NWS service products, warnings, and advisories produced on the shift, and for their coordination with other NWS offices.
- Journeymen (General) Forecasters
- The general forecaster provides weather information, warnings, advisories, aviation and public forecasts to the general public and to special user groups in the forecast office's service area. He/She is responsible for the coordination of NWS products, warnings, and forecasts with the Senior Forecaster on duty, the Service Hydrologist, and the hydrometeorological technicians on duty.
- Meteorological trainees, involved in forecasting and interpretive studies, and/or conducting related projects and programs.
- Hydrometeorological Technicians (HMT)
- The HMT performs technical work related to weather forecasting, observations, research, climatology, and/or other areas of meteorology.
- Electronic System Analyst (ESA)
- Serves as the site’s lead technical focal point for maintenance on all electronic systems and electronic equipment for assigned local and remote areas and serves as the immediate supervisor for the site's field maintenance electronics staff.
- Electronic Technicians (RT)
- The ET provides specialized support for scientific or engineering operations or research, serving as a specialist in a narrow aspect of electronic engineering.
- Administrative Assistant (ASA)
- This principal administrative assistant to the MIC and performs a wide range of administrative functions for the staff management team.
We know your weather because we live where you do. We do these for less than $3.00 per year for each man, woman and child in the United States. Through your taxes, you have already paid for this information we provide so why not use it?