UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE
NATIONAL OCEANIC AND ATMOSPHERIC ADMINISTRATION
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE
Fort Worth, Texas
July 1, 1996
UPCOMING SOUTHERN REGION MAR EVENTS.
July 16 County Warning Area transfer from WSO Key West to NWSFO Miami
July 31 El Paso and San Angelo WSR-88D commissionings
MODERNIZATION TRANSITION COMMITTEE ACCEPTS FOUR MORE SOUTHERN REGION CONSOLIDATION CERTIFICATIONS. The Modernization Transition Committee (MTC) met in Bethesda, Maryland, on June 27 to review 18 proposed NWS consolidation certifications. Southern Region sites considered were WSOs Columbus and Macon and the residual offices at Atlanta and Lubbock. All were accepted by the MTC. This brings the total number of Southern Region consolidation certifications accepted by the MTC to 22.
SITE SELECTION PROCESS BEGINS FOR NEW WESTERN ARKANSAS/EASTERN OKLAHOMA WSR-88D. A team of NWS personnel, along with representatives from SRI and Fluor Daniel, met in western Arkansas June 24 to make preliminary assessments on potential sites for the area's new WSR-88D. Sites being reviewed mitigate the degradation of radar coverage identified in the Secretary's Report to Congress on Adequacy of NEXRAD Coverage and Degradation of Weather Services under National Weather Service Modernization for 32 Areas of Concern. The site selection process is expected to take three to four months. The process begins for the new northern Alabama/southeast Tennessee/northwest Georgia WSR-88D July 10.
NEW STAR. Congratulations to Ken Graham, NWSFO New Orleans, on his recent selection as the next Southern Region STAR employee. Ken will report for work in early July for a three-month term. He will be working on the NWR program in MSD with Max White.
RPC MEETING. The Regional Partnership Council met on June 11. Attendees for the meeting included Pat Brown, Newton Skiles, Mac McLaughlin, Andy Anderson, Tom Wright, Steven Cooper, and Stan Christmas. Items discussed included a review of items from the April meeting, NWSEO and NWS Management jointly distributing results from the QTP survey, field office workload, and Watch Decentralization. The next meeting will be held on September 10.
NWSFO LUBBOCK TESTS "2 ZFP's/DAY" CONCEPT. On Thursday, June 20, NWSFO Lubbock, began a six-month test of two routine Zone Forecast packages per day. The ZFP will be issued around 1000 and 2200 UTC with updates (event-driven) issued as necessary. The relatively new "County Zone" configuration, which went into effect October 1, should allow forecasters to issue more timely, area-specific, event-driven updates, often in conjunction with the Short Term Forecasts (NOW). Once evaluated, and if successful, this concept may be expanded to other offices later this year.
NWR EXPANSION IN FLORIDA--#125. Ocala, Florida, officials received a grant to purchase NWR transmitting equipment to serve the Marion County area. They installed and will maintain the NWR system hardware. The dedication ceremony for Florida's latest NWR was held Wednesday, June 26. The Gainesville and Ocala NWRs will share a console with programming provided by NWSO Jacksonville. The Ocala NWR has the ID of WWF-85 and operates on a frequency of 162.525 MHZ at a power of 250 watts. Ocala becomes the 125th NWR in the Southern Region. Welcome!
COUNTY WARNING AREA FOR SAN ANGELO CHANGING AUGUST 1. As modernization and restructuring activities continue, the official warning responsibility for San Angelo will soon change. Effective at 11 a.m. CDT, Thursday, August 1, the following change in county warning area responsibility for the following state/counties will be made:
1. To NWSO SJT
WSO ABILENE, TX
Brown Callahan Coleman
Fisher Jones Mitchell
Nolan Shackelford Taylor
Additionally, NWSO San Angelo will assume NWR programming responsibility for Abilene.
NOAA CONSTITUENT MEETING. Frank Revitte of NWSFO New Orleans/Baton Rouge represented the NWSFO at the NOAA Gulf Coast Constituency meeting. After an introductory plenary session, the meeting offered four concurrent workshops on coastal management, fisheries, transportation, and severe weather warnings. During the remainder of the morning, Frank attended the coastal management workshop. The lunch break featured a 20-minute presentation from Dr. Baker on NOAA's budgetary outlook. Dr. Baker mentioned that the NWS is highly visible and has widespread support. During the afternoon, Frank attended the severe weather workshop. Drs. Zevin and Burpee fielded a number of questions from constituents on subjects ranging from hurricane forecasting to graphical guidance and data, to media interaction.
AVIATION SEMINAR. Charles Coleman (Lead Forecaster and WSEO, NWSFO Memphis)conducted two aviation seminars at NWSO Morristown in June. These seminars were very well received and stimulated considerable discussion, proving to be an effective aid as the Morristown forecasters assume their TAFs in July.
FAA TORNADO PLANNING. Jim Purpura (WCM, NWSFO Norman) recently completed a four-day shelter survey of the buildings at the Mike Monroney Aeronautical Center/FAA Academy in Oklahoma City. The buildings, up to 1,000,000 square feet, house a population of about 3,000 on a typical day. Thus, they represent a considerable potential risk in case of a large tornado or significant downburst event. Some of the center's original plans called for people to move to tunnels and underground structures, but they had to place themselves at risk to get to shelter. The results of Jim's survey found that, in fact, adequate to good shelter was present in the buildings people were required to leave. Based on the survey, FAA officials plan to revise the sheltering instructions and post the new information in all buildings.
ALTERNATIVE TEACHING METHODS. Bruce Burkman (WCM, NWSO Shreveport) took Daryl Tolland (Northeast Texas SKYWARN coordinator) to West Texas and the Oklahoma Panhandle on a storm chasing tour. They saw a rotating wall cloud, two funnel clouds, shelf clouds, and other features on the tour. After the chase, Bruce received an e-Mail from Daryl stating:
Thanks for taking me along on the chase.... I actually learned more in 3 days on the road than I would ever have learned in 3 years of video and Skywarn classes. I now have to rethink all the reports I receive before relaying them to the NWS and others....
HURRICANE PREPAREDNESS. Many of our coastal offices have been pounding the pavement in an effort to prepare their customers for hurricane season.
Richard Hagan and Don Ocker (NWSO Brownsville) conducted a hurricane preparedness meeting for Willacy County. Nearly 40 attendees were present, including the county judge, county commissioners, several city mayors, school superintendents, and many of the school district department heads. The NWSO also participated in the Brownsville Hurricane Preparedness Fair which attracted about 450 participants.
Frank Revitte (NWSFO New Orleans/Baton Rouge) participated in a hurricane preparedness conference at the Naval Station in Pascagoula, Mississippi. The conference was attended by about 30 staff members from the base who have a role in hurricane preparedness and response. Frank made a presentation on the impacts of a hurricane along the Mississippi coast, emphasizing the storm surge and strong winds. Other speakers at the conference included a representative from the American Red Cross in Pensacola, Florida, and a Navy meteorology officer from the Pensacola NAS who discussed their hurricane procedures.
Gary Beeler (WCM, NWSO Mobile) worked with the Mobile Press Register to produce an in-depth brochure on hurricanes. The 24-page magazine, printed on newsprint, includes articles on hurricane structure and behavior, the NOAA P-3 and Gulfstream aircraft, NOAA Weather Radio, evacuation, and securing the home. The brochure also contains some tips for after the storm passes and includes a hurricane tracking map.
Joe Arellano and John Cole of NWSO Corpus Christi helped conduct the annual Coastal Bend Disaster Conference. The conference was attended by approximately 400 emergency management officials, city fathers, military staff, and members of the public. A C-130 from the 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron flew in for the conference and provided tours to the attendees. The NWSO's presentations focused on hurricane trivia, preparedness, and predictions for the 1996 hurricane season. The staff set up a display featuring the NWSO's new technology and the restructuring of their CWA.
Dennis Decker (WCM, NWSO Melbourne) conducted a series of four hurricane presentations, including one for a safety seminar presented by Southern Bell for their larger corporate customers. Dennis also represented the NWS at a two-day statewide planning hurricane evacuation session sponsored by the Florida Division of Emergency Management. Bart Hagemeyer (MIC, NWSO Melbourne) staffed a booth and gave two hurricane preparedness talks at the Orange County Safety Expo in Orlando.
MEDIA COORDINATION. Al Dreumont (MIC, NWSFO Austin/San Antonio) did an interview with the Hispanic Radio Network on the severe drought conditions in Texas. The Hispanic Radio Network, based in Santa Fe, New Mexico, provides information to over 175 Hispanic format radio stations throughout the United States and several foreign countries. The interview (all in Spanish) covered the formation of a drought, the impacts of this year's drought, conservation measures being implemented, and future prospects for the drought's end.
Roland Nuñez of NWSFO Fort Worth met with KUVN-TV's weather anchor and news director. KUVN is an affiliate of the Univision Hispanic Television Network. Both of the KUVN representatives are new to North Texas and wanted to become familiar with the NWSFO's operations and services. The news director stated that the Hispanic community in North Texas needs to be informed of weather developments in a timely manner. He wants his station to become a leader in providing weather information and believes his news program can be on the cutting edge of this effort.
HURRICANE COORDINATION. Many offices across the region have been heavily involved in coordination and planning activities with their local emergency management agencies. A few of the highlights are listed below.
Dennis Decker (WCM, NWSO Melbourne) attended the Evacuation and Sheltering Plan Development meeting in Orlando. This meeting, conducted by the Florida Division of Emergency Management, was attended by county officials from the Florida peninsula. The purpose of the meeting was to look at evacuation problems on a statewide scale instead of on a county-by-county basis. During the meeting, the attendees split up into two work groups (west and east coast) and gathered information on evacuation actions as a major hurricane moved up the peninsula from south to north. This information will be used in the future to revise and refine the state's evacuation plans.
Frank Revitte (WCM, NWSFO New Orleans/Baton Rouge), along with Mike Koziara (SOO, NWSFO New Orleans) and Dave McIntosh (MIC, NWSO Lake Charles), participated in the Southeast Louisiana Hurricane Tabletop Exercise. A total of 75 people attended the day-long exercise, which emphasized response to events immediately before and after landfall. The exercise was deemed a success, with excellent discussion among the participants regarding the responses which would be required as a storm approached and moved through the area.
Paul Hebert (MIC, NWSFO Miami) summarized the Florida NWS Offices' participation in the Florida Governor's Hurricane Conference. In previous years, the only NWS presence at the conference were the NHC Director and the Florida Area Manager. This year, all of the MICs and WCMs not only attended the conference, but led a series of workshops for the 1,400 conference attendees. Workshop topics ranged from basic meteorology to modernized NWS products, to inland wind effects of tropical cyclones.
LOCAL COORDINATION. Bruce Burkman (WCM, NWSO Shreveport) has joined the ranks of the Caddo/Bossier Office of Emergency Preparedness (OEP) as a voting member of the Local Emergency Planning Committee. This has given him a direct social and professional link with all of the Shreveport area city and parish leaders, and the committee has received a voice from the NWS on weather-related emergency preparedness issues. Bruce has participated in several meetings and reports that the position is well worth his time. Besides the relationships being developed with the local officials, several spotter training and hazardous weather safety talks have spun off from the contacts.
MEDIA OUTREACH. Howard Waldron (WCM, NWSO Knoxville/Tri-Cities) conducted a workshop for the eastern Tennessee television weathercasters. The workshop began with an overview of the WSR-88D and strengths and weaknesses of the products available via NIDS. Next, an introduction to the hydrologic program was given, followed by a briefing of products issued by NWSO Morristown. The morning session concluded with a briefing on the warning process. After lunch, the workshop focused on data collection and a look at future products and services which will be available from the NWS. The workshop concluded with a map briefing for those who had 6 p.m. weathercasts to prepare. Howard noted that the workshop was very successful, and the Morristown staff already has plans to expand future workshops to include radio, the print media, and local emergency managers as well.
Al Moller (Lead Forecaster, NWSFO Fort Worth) met for a total of eight hours with Joe Nick Patoski of Texas Monthly magazine. Joe is writing an in-depth article on tornadoes and tornado chasing, which in turn will become a series of articles to be published in Texas Monthly. Mr. Patoski is very interested in the relationship between storm chasers, spotters and the NWS spotter training program, and WSR-88D data. Joe also received some field experience as he spent several days with Al and other storm chasers in western Kansas and the Texas Panhandle.
PREPAREDNESS NEWS. Some notes from across the Region:
Larry Eblen (WCM, NWSFO Austin/San Antonio) is continuing his preparedness efforts with the Northeast and Northside Independent School Districts in San Antonio. The districts comprise over 100,000 students with over 40,000 riding buses each afternoon during the peak severe weather time. Both districts are working with Larry to establish four training programs: basic spotter training for campus police, maintenance, and custodial personnel; weather safety programs for bus drivers, warehouse workers, and maintenance personnel; safety programs for school coaches; and in-depth spotter/safety/sheltering programs for campus supervisors.
Richard May, Amy McCullough, Phillip Baker, Mark Deutschendorf, Patricia Capers, Monte Oaks, Larry Blanchard, and Shirley Matejka of NWSO San Angelo staffed a booth at Sunset Mall in San Angelo. Nearly 3,000 people stopped by the exhibit which was set up as part of Community Awareness Day in the city. The staff showed severe weather videos, passed out information, and answered questions about the NWS and preparedness issues.
Jim Lushine and Michael O'Brien of NWSFO Miami staffed a booth at the Ocean Expo in Fort Lauderdale. The Ocean Expo is a yearly trade show for the diving public and vendors of diving equipment and services. Over 2,000 people attended the expo during its two-day run. Jim and Michael handed out hundreds of informational brochures during the show and fielded questions about weather in general, NWS products and services, and modernization programs.
ALL GOOD THINGS MUST COME TO AN END. The last week of June marks the end of my (Patrick Sneeringer) STAR appointment here in Hydrologic Services Division. The ALERT program has moved forward during my three-month tenure, but much more work needs to be done. The 15 sites getting new ALERT base stations have received their new computers and the QNX operating system. Instructions on how to load the operating system and how to connect the machine to the network have been sent to each Service Hydrologist/Hydrology Focal Point. The newest release of the Hydromet 4 software package will be completed (including documentation) by the beginning of August. Training for RFC and regional focal points will occur shortly after the documentation is released. Installation of the program in individual offices will occur shortly after the focal points have been trained. The process of ordering new repeaters and radio receivers has begun. Additional phone lines and modems are next on the project list.
Even though I head back to WGRFC Fort Worth next week, I will still be the regional Hydromet Focal Point until the training in August, so feel free to contact me as things continue to progress over the next few months.
I recommend the STAR program to anyone in the region who wants to expand their knowledge, skills, and abilities. I'd also like to put a special request out to the hydrologists at other RFCs to consider applying for the STAR program. Any local expertise that can be shared with the whole region would be a giant plus for the hydrologic program.
PILOT NWSTC COURSE FOR WFO HYDROLOGIC FORECAST SYSTEM TRAINING. Ed May (HSD Chief) and Dave Schwertz (Service Hydrologist, NWSO Houston) attended the pilot training course that is being provided to selected personnel (two per office) at the Build 1 AWIPS sites prior to August 1, 1996 (NWSO Tulsa is the only Build 1 AWIPS site in Southern Region). The class was held at the NWSTC June 11-13. The purpose of the pilot course was to evaluate the training to be provided and provide feedback on course content and course materials. The course is intended to provide training on the hydrologic applications that will be provided in the Build 1 software.
COMET CBL REVIEW. Ed May conducted one of the final reviews of the COMET CBL Hydrology for Meteorologists at COMET June 19-20. The first half of the module will be distributed to the AWIPS Build 1 offices in July and to the remainder of the NWS offices in August. The second half of the module will follow in approximately two months.
NOAA WORLD WIDE WEB CONFERENCE. Glenn Austin (Deputy HSD Chief) attended the WWW conference at NWSH June 26-28.
RIVER FORECAST CENTER HIGHLIGHTS
International Visitors. On June 19, LMRFC Slidell hosted eight officials from the Thailand Royal Development Board and one official from the World Bank. The delegation was briefed on NWS hydrologic forecast activities and given a tour of NWSFO New Orleans and LMRFC. The Thai government is discussing flood protection projects with the World Bank. LMRFC was one of the first stops on the delegation's 12-day visit to the United States. The delegation will also visit the California-Nevada RFC in Sacramento. This is the fourth group of international visitors to receive a briefing and tour at LMRFC this year.
WGRFC Fort Worth River Forecast Service Package. WGRFC has developed a lap-top PC- based presentation and accompanying hard-copy handout that can be used to demonstrate to external users the expanded services available from the RFC due to modernization. The next issue of the Southern Topics will include a Technical Attachment further explaining this package.
Personnel from WGRFC are busy traveling the highways, byways, and skyways of Texas meeting with all the river authorities in Texas to demonstrate the package, with a goal of providing a demonstration to all the river authorities by mid-summer. Several of the authorities have expressed a desire to enter into an MOU with the NWS to gain access to the expanded service.
NEWS FROM OUR HYDROLOGIC SERVICE AREAS
Coordination in the Sunshine State. NWSO Miami Hydrologic Focal Point Jere Gallup held a teleconference with the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD). They discussed the WFO's plans to implement QPF forecasts November 15, 1996. They also discussed a mutually agreeable set of sub-basins for which to forecast. Uniquely, south Florida has no river basins, so the WFO has been charged with "creating" its own basins. By coordinating with the SFWMD, Jere made sure his primary user would be satisfied with a product not yet being produced. Jack Gross (SOO) then successfully arranged for hourly rainfall data from the SFWMD to be downloaded via ftp through the Internet into the WFO's local database. Jack is presently working on a program that will ultimately collate, encode, format, and display this information for access and transfer into AFOS for the SERFC and other interested WFOs. Way to go, Jere and Jack!
More Sunshine State Coordination. Frank Alsheimer met with a member of the Southwest Florida Water Management District to initiate paperwork allowing NWSO Tampa Bay access to the management district's real-time data system. This is expected to greatly increase the WFO's precipitation ground truth.
Frank also held an in-house QPF seminar. The seminar included practice issuances of QPF products and examples of hydrologic products the forecasters will likely issue in the future. The seminar was videotaped for future use by staff members unable to attend.
In the Country Music Capital. Mike Murphy (Service Hydrologist, NWSO Nashville) prepared and distributed a "Flood Warning and Dam-Break" drill for the staff. He also worked with the Nashville Corps of Engineers system manager on data transfer using ftp.
The River Book in Amarillo. NWSO Amarillo Hydrologic Focal Point Lance Goehring has taken a concept from his old duty station and improved upon it at Amarillo. The River Book is a ledger, of sorts, where river stages and rain gage reports from each HADS site are entered four times daily. By perusing the data regularly, river behaviors, including response times, can be better seen. Lance reports, "I have already seen some interesting trends on our rivers.... I was able to see some rivers double their stage in about a day and then drop just about as fast." The River Book has been placed prominently in the office for all staff members to easily access. Lance plans on automating the process soon.
Field Trip. In Jackson, Mississippi, Service Hydrologist Tommy Thompson and Meteorologist Intern Nicki Koch attended an open house sponsored by the United States Geologic Survey.
On the NET in Birmingham. Birmingham Service Hydrologist Roger McNeil has been working with the NWSFO Birmingham office home page group to develop a hydrologic section. Roger is also working on creating an off-line home page (Intranet) for the staff where internal hydro products and information can be stored and accessed. Basin descriptions, forecast procedures, notification procedures during flood events, portions of the station duty manual, and even training exercises are planned inclusions in this off-line home page.
Perseverance Pays Off. In Lubbock, Service Hydrologist Steve Drillette reports that after more than a year of trying, he was finally able to get a cellular LARC installed at PIOT2, an important gaging station along the Rio Grande five miles upstream from Presidio. He has taken actions with the Office of Hydrology to have the site included in the CADAS list. Steve also made a presentation to the Christ the King School. His presentation focused on flash flooding unique to West Texas with emphasis placed on precautions and safety rules.
SOO NEWS. To prepare for assuming the forecast responsibility in the near future, NWSO Corpus Christi recently conducted an aviation weather workshop. Vince Carreras (CWSU Houston) and Jim Ward (SOO, NWSFO Austin/San Antonio) assisted John Cole (WCM) and Andy Patrick (SOO) at the NWSO in making presentations. John is well versed in presenting aviation forecasting material, as he participated in several similar aviation workshops in Florida. CWSU operations, South Texas aviation forecasting guidelines, and the TAF code were among the topics discussed. In addition to a review of aviation forecasting principles, the workshop provided NWSO forecasters with a greater understanding of the impact of our aviation forecasts on the user community.
Dr. Pat Fitzpatrick, professor of meteorology at Jackson State University, conducted a seminar at the Jackson NWSFO on Monday, June 10, on hurricanes and tropical meteorology. Dr. Fitzpatrick was a graduate student under Dr. William Gray at Colorado State University (CSU), and he first reviewed Dr. Gray's statistical forecast technique. The current forecast is for ten named storms, six hurricanes, and two intense hurricanes. After a short break, Dr. Fitzpatrick discussed the rapid intensification of tropical systems, such as Hurricane Opal last year, and what may cause it. He reviewed a scheme he developed at CSU that predicts rapid intensification using a statistical analysis of sea surface temperature, satellite imagery, persistence, wind shear, storm motion, and longitude. He noted that no storm has shown rapid intensification when the sea surface temperatures are less than 28.5 C.
Seven forecasters from the Jackson office attended the seminar which was videotaped by Rusty Pfost (SOO) for those on the midnight shift. A reporter and photographer from the Jackson Clarion-Ledger attended the seminar, and a story was included in the next day's paper.
ICING CONFERENCE. Bill Schaub, Jr. (forecaster at NWSFO Atlanta) represented the NWS at the 7th International Workshop on Atmospheric Icing of Structures, which was held in Chicoutimi (Quebec), Canada, in early June. Bill's paper--"Methods to Estimate Ice Accumulations on Surface Structures"--summarized his last study for the USAF before he joined the NWS a year ago. Several participants felt the paper contributed good practical ways to obtain estimates of rime and glaze ice thickness. Most of the papers addressed engineering problems due to icing, such as tower and transmission line failures; but there were several of general interest, including some which suggest how data from the ASOS icing detector might contribute to research. Representatives from the Hughes STX Corporation (under NWS contract to implement the icing detector for ASOS) and the U.S. Army Cold Regions Research and Engineering Lab (involved in icing research for the Department of Defense) are already working with the NWSH Office of Meteorology and the regions in correlating ice type and thickness with ASOS output during icing events at some manned ASOS locations.
WSR-88D OPERATIONS CLASSES. WSR-88D Operations Course classes 96-12 and 96-13 have completed their final week. Due to the low number of students signed up for the July course, classes 96-12 and 96-13 will be the last double Operations Course classes the Training Branch at OSF teaches. The July class will be a single class of 24 students. The original planned phasing to a single course was the course beginning in August. Due at least in part to this change, there were no slots available for Southern Region interns in July.
END-T0-END TEST FOR METAR IMPLEMENTATION. Each office by now should have completed preparations for the METAR conversion. All affected application programs should be loaded and running at all offices, and the databases should be updated as well.
By the time you read this we should be settled into the new METAR/TAF era. Sites having any lingering problems in the wake of the changeover should call Gordon Hammons in SSD (817-978-2671).
UNIX TRAINING. We issued a memorandum on June 4 soliciting nominees for UNIX training at the NWS Training Center. We've had responses from about half of the offices. MICs and SOOs are reminded to submit names of individuals needing this training to Gordon Hammons in SSD. There are two classes available: "Introduction to UNIX" and "UNIX Systems Administration."
We will soon begin prioritizing the list and matching students with class dates. The classes begin in October, so we need to get the planning under way soon.
STAR UPDATE. My (Tim Brice) three-month tenure as a STAR employee has come to an end. I came to SRH to help get the framework in place for an Internet home page. That goal has been achieved, and then some. The unveiling of the home page has been delayed until August 1, while we get a few of the last ducks in a row. I attended the NOAA Web Workshop in Washington the last week in June, where several webmasters from Southern Region and other NWS offices were also in attendance. It was an interesting and informative workshop.
Two weeks ago I traveled to Seattle for a NOAA JAVA Workshop (JAVA is a new programming language specifically written for the World Wide Web). The potential use of JAVA is great, from the home page applets to the stand-alone applications. It was interesting to see what some of the NOAA research laboratories had done with JAVA on an experimental basis. After I return to WSO El Paso, I will continue to help research and develop JAVA as a workable tool for use in the NWS and NOAA.
Finally, I want to thank everyone at the Southern Region Headquarters. The experience, knowledge, and friendships I have gained here will not only benefit me and my office, but anyone else with whom I share my experiences. If you would like to contribute to the work at SRH--and the Southern Region--then I highly recommend the STAR program.
SITES FOR WEB SURFERS. Listed below are the Uniform Resource Locators (URLs) of some new and/or interesting Web pages.
The AWIPS Implementation, Installation and Training (AIIT) home page is updated each Friday and contains the AWIPS installation and training schedule, including the centralized and on-site user's training associated with each site's installation and checkout. It can be found at: http://hazel.ssmc.noaa.gov/awipsiit.html.
The MASC home page includes links to the Federal Times, the Federal Employment News Digest, vacancy announcements, etc. It can be found at: http://www.masc.noaa.gov.
An HTML version of the documentation for the XView graphics capture and manipulation program is at: http://is.rice.edu/~shel/xv-3.10a/.
The URL for the home page of Dr. William Gray's tropical meteorology project at Colorado State University is: http://typhoon.atmos.colostate.edu.
The Forecast Systems Laboratory Web Page is at: http://www.fsl.noaa.gov.
The graphics version of the Interactive Wireless Information Network is at: http://iwin.nws.noaa.gov/iwin/graphicsversion/main.html.
For RAMSDIS sites only, the RAMM GOES-8/9 3.9 micron tutorial is available via ftp from: ftp.cira.colostate.edu in the directory RAMMB. There is a READMEOS.TXT file with installation instructions and two self-extracting ZIP files. The tutorial will also be released on CD-ROM in late July.
CITM DIRECTOR HONORED. Professor T. N. Krishnamurti, Director of the NWS Cooperative Institute for Tropical Meteorology at Florida State University, was awarded the 41st International Meteorological Organization Prize in Geneva, Switzerland, in June. The prize was given in recognition of his many years of work in numerical modeling. Southern Region SOOs were brought up-to-date on some of "Krish's" work--in collaboration with NCEP--at the recent SOO/Cooperative Institute Workshop at FSU.
OLYMPIC WEATHER SUPPORT. A summary of all the activities that will soon be underway to provide weather support for the 1996 Summer Olympic Games is provided in the latest Southern Region NOAA Technical Memorandum (NWS SR-179). Edited by Mac McLaughlin (SRH/MSD) and Lans Rothfusz (OWSO Peachtree City), the tech memo is a compilation of papers that were presented at the 76th AMS Annual Meeting in Atlanta last January. Fourteen individual contributors (authors and co-authors) are represented from several NWS offices, Techniques Development Lab at NWS Headquarters, NCEP, NOAA research labs at NSSL and AOML/HRD, the University of Georgia, and Florida State University. Many more individuals are already preparing to take part in the actual forecast and warning efforts. In the spirit of the games themselves, this is truly a collaborative effort that is Olympian in scope.
PC-GRIDDS UPDATE. Now that you've survived the changeover to METAR and have begun issuing TAFs, are you ready for some changes to PC-GRIDDS? First and foremost, please note that the telephone prefix for the SRH PC-GRIDDS server will change from 885 to 978 on July 20.
Second, recall that data compatible with the current version of PC-GRIDDS will stop flowing sometime in late July or early August, as the NCEP Hitachi computer is phased out of service. SSD has begun making available on the SRH server data compatible with the new PC-GRIDDS 96 software. Two versions of the data from each model run are available: a smaller file (about 1 Mbyte), with fewer parameters and levels, for those offices with only modem access to the server; and a larger file (3-4 Mbytes) for those offices on the regional Frame Relay network. SSD has distributed software which will allow a PC running Windows 95 to ftp the PC-GRIDDS data from the SRH server. Remember that you must first provide SSD with the IP address of the PC in order to have access to the server.
A number of offices have reported frequent Cyclic Redundancy Check (CRC) errors when dialing into the SRH server. We recommend you use one of the newer V.34 modems (such as a USR Robotics Sportster V.34 Internal Modem or a Practical Peripherals PM288HC II V.34 Internal Modem) to contact the server. We have successfully downloaded data files with both modems mentioned above without any CRC errors. Modem manufacturers also recommend that you disable any Terminate and Stay Resident (TSR) programs, such as screen savers, to reduce CRC errors.
HUB McNETT UPDATE. Hub is home and resting after his recent heart attack. We are looking forward to his return on a part-time basis in early July.
DOES MY TELEPHONE LINE HAVE FTS2000 VON (Virtual-On-Net) SERVICE? The only way to determine whether your telephone line(s) has FTS2000 VON service is to dial (700) 988-1234. However, in some LATAs and local telephone companies, the 700 access is blocked. If you think you are being blocked from 700 access, you can call (312) 831-5720. In using either of these numbers, you should hear a message "Welcome to FTS2000 Service A." This means you are on FTS2000 VON for long distance access.
FEDCARD CALLS WITHIN A LATA. If you make a toll call between two points within a LATA (Local Access Telephone Area) with your FEDCARD, the call will be charged at regular AT&T rates. To avoid this charge, everyone should use the 800 access number for all calls made with a FEDCARD. This 800 access number is located on your FEDCARD in the gray area just below the center part of the card (800) 433-3273. For those of you who use a computer while traveling, FTS2000 has another 800 number for analog and digital access (800) 633-6384. Call Gene Witsman for setup details at (817) 334-4967.
SRH INTERNET. We continue to push the technology envelope by striving to use the latest in hardware and software. Leon Minton recently installed the Windows NT 4.0 Beta 2 Server operating system on a dual-pentium pro computer. The Windows NT 4.0 comes complete with Internet Information Server Version 2 software for setting up WWW, Gopher, and FTP services. The Southern Region home page is up and running on this new server. Our current plans are to try to have our Web page content suitable for advertising the IP address of the server by August 1. We also have available on the Southern Region network the latest Microsoft Internet Explorer Version 3.0 Beta 1 which has just received the Java support upgrade (all free from Microsoft).
JAVA WORKSHOP. Leon Minton attended a Java Workshop in Seattle earlier this month and is excited about what this new technology will offer. There is a big push to use Java to make data retrieval over the Internet more interactive without having to wade through many static HTML Web pages. Java will also be used to generate real time graphic products based on data selections, and some of these might be animated. As we gear up for Java, there is a big need for training, materials, and software toolkits.
FAASEND. The update of the FAASend program has been turned over to the FAA Southwest Region and the New England Region. The FAA has been working to get the software installed in all sites by the July 1 deadline. The Systems Integration Branch will continue to help the FAA work through their installation problems until all systems are installed and operating. FAAReceive software has been installed at the NWSFOs in Norman, Fort Worth, and New Braunfels. The systems are working smoothly and should be ready for the big conversion.
COOPERATIVE PROGRAM DATA RECEPTION. Data reception through March 31,1996, continues at a rate that is consistently above the national average. While the national average has ranged from 1.5 to over 3.5 percent missing data, the Southern Region's DAPM/HMT teams have held the missing data to less than 2.0 percent for all months, and most recently, below 1.0 percent.
It is interesting to note that since the transfer of the Cooperative Program in January, there has been a steady decrease in the missing data rate. This appears to be the result of each DAPM/HMT team adjusting to the system and developing an organization that works for their CWA. If this theory is correct, the trend should continue.
While the quantity of data is one measurement of the system, data quality is a much better measure. This measurement is much more difficult to track and document. One method being used is to quality control the station documentation records--B-44s--that are submitted to the regional office. Initial tracking indicated an error rate of nearly 70 percent. This number has dropped to 25 percent. The majority of these errors are minor in nature and concern formatting errors. These type errors will continue to decrease as the DAPM/HMT teams develop a broader experience base.
THE NEW VERSION OF THE CSSA. The new version will be released from National Weather Service Headquarters in early July. It will be sent to the Regional Headquarters, along with the new manuals, for distribution to each CWA. The new software and the manuals will be distributed at the DAPM conference. At that time, we will also demonstrate the upgraded database. The new database is very similar to the old, with only a few minor changes. The major change will be in the way updated B-44s are sent to the RCPS (on floppy disk instead of on paper).
THE NEW PC-ROSA SOFTWARE. This software will be introduced to the Southern Region Cooperative Program to replace the current touch-tone system. New computers are on order, and everything is in motion for an introduction of the new reporting system by October. This will mean that all the cooperative observers will need to be retrained to use the new code for making their reports. The plan allows the current touch-tone reporting system to stay on line for one year to allow time for implementing the new system.
SOUTHERN REGION TELEPHONE PREFIX CHANGE. GSA will implement the new Aggregated System Procurement telephone system on July 19. The existing prefixes, 334 and 885, will be replaced by 978. Telephone numbers for agencies at the Fort Worth Federal Center on Felix Street will not change at this time.
Referral messages will be placed on all old telephone numbers for 60 days to inform callers of the new numbers. Beginning July 19 and continuing through July 21, telephone service will be interrupted during the installation of the new system.
SMG HOUSTON. On May 15 and 16 Frank Brody and Doris Rotzoll addressed several classes of Office Education students at Pearland, Texas, High School. They presented a seminar on "Success in the Workplace." Most of the audience consisted of upperclassmen involved in work-study arrangements in the Houston area. The seminar focused on "nontechnical" job skills such as communications (formal and interpersonal), keeping management happy, networking and career building, and customer relations (internal and external). Many Pearland students stated it was the most practical of all the seminars they had attended. Frank and Doris used materials from NWS and NASA training courses, as well as their own workplace experiences, to build the presentation.
NWSFO NORMAN. On May 3 a delegation of seven meteorologists from China was given an office tour. The office also participated in a career awareness presentation at Hayes Elementary School and handed out safety information at the Safe Kids Fair at Wichita Falls.
NWSFO FORT WORTH. Robert Robledo (OIC, WSO Waco) represented the NWS at the annual Mexia Health Fair by passing out information on safety to the public.
REGIONAL EEO COMMITTEE MEETING AT SRH. The Regional EEOC met in Fort Worth June 11-13 to discuss the Regional EEO Program. Attending were Andy Anderson (NWSFO Lubbock); Carlos Garza (NWSFO Atlanta); José Garcia (NWSO Amarillo); Beverly Reese (NWSFO Norman); Suzanne Fortin (ABRFC Tulsa); Jesse Moore (NWSFO Fort Worth); Thomas Wright (NWSFO Albuquerque); Billy Beams (NWSO Amarillo); Larry Boatman (CWSU Memphis); Robert Luna (NWSO Corpus Christi); Robert VanHoven (NWSO Houston); Harry Hassel, Buddy McIntyre, Betty Bales, Cyndie Abelman, and Sam Balandran (SRH).
Two and a half days of discussions led to two major projects for the EEOC. Another "Working Together Toward the Future" Conference, which is scheduled for September 10-12 in Fort Worth, was planned. The Committee also decided to schedule the Sexual Harassment and Diversity office discussions at 15 Southern Region offices. Notes from the EEOC Committee meeting will be distributed to each office in early July.
Dr. Deborah Flick of ZOE Training in Denver will conduct office discussions on sexual harassment and diversity at Jackson, Lubbock, and Norman, during June and July. In addition, Dr. Sitterly of Management Training Specialists of Fort Worth, continues with her office discussions on Sexual Harassment and Diversity during the summer months. She will lead the discussions for Brownsville, Corpus Christi, Amarillo, Houston, Lake Charles, Tallahassee, Shreveport, Birmingham, Midland, Tampa Bay, Melbourne, and San Juan.
Regional Diversity Coordinator José Garcia submitted an excellent paper on diversity which is attached to these Topics.
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