WFO Miami Warning Coordination Meteorologist Robert Molleda working in Joint Operations Center (Photo: WFO Miami)
(Feb. 1-7, 2010) - The National Weather Service forecast office in Miami provided direct decision support to federal, state and local agencies at the Super Bowl XLIV Joint Operations Center (JOC) at the Broward County Emergency Operations Center in Plantation, Fla.
Forecasters were on hand to provide weather information, from 8:00 a.m. to midnight, beginning Monday, February 1 -- through game day on the seventh. Four forecasters worked two eight-hour shifts, with additional overnight on-call support provided by the forecast office.
At the JOC, the staff participated in twice-daily operational briefings, provided on-demand briefings to participating agencies and maintained a continuous weather watch.
In addition to these basic duties, daily operational HYSPLIT (Hybrid Single Particle Lagrangian Integrated Trajectory) model runs were requested and displayed on Google Earth at the weather desk and on situational awareness screens on the front and side walls of the operations floor during the daily briefings.
The forecasters also shared the HYSPLIT information with CBRNE (chemical, biological, radiation, nuclear, high explosive) Civil Support Teams from the Florida National Guard deployed at the stadium. These teams were part of the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) effort.
Significant weather events during the support period included:
A heavy rain/flooding event over southern Broward County took place on Monday, February 1. Occurring well before the onset of major game-related events, it had only a minor impact on operations. A more serious threat was encountered on February 5 when a Tornado Watch was issued for southwest and central Florida. Although the watch did not include event locations in the southeast, a broken band of showers and thunderstorms moved through the region. One thunderstorm exhibited rotation and resulted in the issuance of two Tornado Warnings for northern Miami-Dade and southern Broward counties.
Super Bowl XLIV Joint Operations Center in Broward County, Fla. (Photo: WFO Miami)
The National Weather Service staff announced the warnings on the JOC operations floor and kept Miami-Dade and Broward County law enforcement officials advised of the latest developments. At least three major outdoor events were occurring at the time the thunderstorms moved through the area: a music concert on Miami Beach; a large Super Bowl party at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood; and, a VIP reception/party at Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, just southwest of downtown Miami. Briefings were also provided to Seminole Tribe emergency management officials in advance of the storms and an e-mail briefing was distributed south Florida emergency managers.
WFO Miami's participation in the Super Bowl XLIV decision support was an excellent opportunity to not only provide direct decision support for a major event, but also to establish and strengthen relationships between the National Weather Service and a wide range of federal, state and local partners.