New ABRFC Hydrologist-in-Charge Bill Lawrence (Photo: ABRFC)
(April 4, 2011) - Hydrologist Bill Lawrence has been appointed hydrologist-in-charge of the National Weather Service Arkansas-Red Basin River Forecast Center (ABRFC) in Tulsa, Okla. He replaces Billy Olsen who retired in December. The ABRFC is one of 13 River Forecast Centers in the nation and one of four serving the National Weather Service Southern Region.
"A hydrologist-in-charge is a front line officer carrying out the National Weather Service mission of serving the American public by helping protect lives and property," said Jack Hayes, Ph.D., director of NOAA's National Weather Service. "We are proud to have Bill Lawrence serving in this important role."
As hydrologist-in-charge, Lawrence is responsible for helping to ensure citizens in portions of Colorado, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri and Arkansas receive timely and accurate hydrologic information. His responsibilities include providing National Weather Service forecast offices and outside water management agencies with close support, while maintaining and enhancing ABRFC products and services.
The center's area of responsibility includes the drainage area of the Arkansas River above Pine Bluff Ark. and the drainage area of the Red River above Fulton Ark. This comprises over 208,000 square miles. The ABRFC was founded as the Tulsa River Forecast Center in December 1947, partially in response to record floods of March-April 1945 in the Arkansas and Red River basins. The area of responsibility has essentially remained unchanged through the years.
Lawrence launched his National Weather Service career as a meteorologist intern at the forecast office in Little Rock, Ark. in 1986. He transferred to the Middle Atlantic River Forecast Center as a Hydrologist in 1989 and moved to the ABRFC two years later as the first hydrometeorological analysis and support forecaster.
He was promoted to senior hydrologist in 1993, development and operations hydrologist in 1996, service coordination hydrologist in 2008; and served as acting hydrologist-in-charge since January 2011.
Lawrence brings a wealth of expertise, experience and leadership ability to his new position. His many years with the National Weather Service, his detailed knowledge of the hydrologic program and his thorough familiarity with the ABRFC will continue to be a great asset to the citizens living within the center's broad area of responsibility. Lawrence earned a bachelor's degree in Meteorology from Rutgers University in New Brunswick, N.J. While majoring in Meteorology, he also minored in Oceanography and Computer Science.