Contact: Curtis D. Carey FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(xxx) xxx-xxxx Ext. xxx 12/15/98
COMMERCE DEPARTMENT AWARDS GOLD MEDAL TO MELBOURNE, FL WEATHER FORECAST OFFICE
The U.S. Department of Commerce has awarded its Gold Medal to the Melbourne, Florida Weather Forecast Officer of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Weather Service for their actions during Florida's worst tornado outbreak.
The office staff was recognized with the award December 10 by Commerce Secretary William Daley at a ceremony in Washington, D.C.
The Melbourne Forecast Office was widely heralded for their actions during the most devastating tornado outbreak in Florida's history on February 22-23, 1998. Warnings were issued with 100 percent accuracy and lead times twice the national average. Sadly, many people still lost their lives and highlighted the need to get more people armed with the NOAA Weather Radio, the voice of the National Weather Service. Their operational research of the event significantly advanced the understanding of Florida tornado outbreaks.
The Secretary grants the Gold Medal -- the Department's highest honorary award -- for extraordinary achievements in support of the Department's critical objectives. These achievements have a significant beneficial effect on the nation, and sometimes the world.