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UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE
NATIONAL OCEANIC AND ATMOSPHERIC ADMINISTRATION
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE
Fort Worth, Texas

March 2002

SOUTHERN TOPICS

Working Together To Save Lives


REGIONAL DIRECTOR

IMPROVED SOUTHERN REGION WARNINGS. We all know that severe weather comes early to the South and after hurricane season severe convective weather stays even longer. This year has been no exception and so far warning verification statistics indicate our offices are doing an excellent job. From October 2001 through last month, Southern Region WFOs issued 68% of all severe weather and tornado warnings in the U.S. Eighty-two percent of all tornado warnings were issued by Southern Region offices.

Further, in the same period, average lead time for SR tornado warnings rose to above 13 minutes. Lead time for severe thunderstorms has also increased to about 16 minutes. We all realize that lead time will vary based on the type of events we experience, but this performance is very gratifying. The field offices are commended for doing their best. It is certainly the hard work of every Southern Region employee which makes our warning and forecast services so successful. The proud and 132 year long tradition of services to our nation when they are needed most is a result of our dedicated field work force.

NATIONAL CORPORATE WEB IMAGE IMPLEMENTED. When the NWS directors desired a corporate Web image, implemented as soon as possible and with a consistent NWS-wide appearance, the challenge was given to the Southern Region. This monumental task has been largely completed, and with great success. Hats off to the Southern Region team members who made this possible. Most important is the satisfaction of our customers and partners, evidenced by the following sample of comments received all across the region:

"Your website is incredible. The zone forecast page is outstanding. The arrangement and accessibility of related products allows for efficient and easy navigation. You are a trend setter in your field. I have a great appreciation of your expertise and application of your talents which translates to a more effective work product at my end."

"Absolutely superb!"

"It is hard to imagine the government doing anything right, but with your new website you have blown ... that thinking completely out of the ... water."

"I'm so impressed."

"I think the design looks really nice and organized, and the warning/advisory map on the front is super-awesome!"

"I just checked your new website out and found it to be very user friendly and informative...just what Emergency Management needs, tell everyone, JOB WELL DONE."

"Love the NEW NWS page. It seems that everything has become just a few clicks of the keyboard away. Who gets up in the morning and turns on the tube and waits for the weather report when with dedicated service (Cable, DSL etc) its like as if its there, WAITING ON YOU!"

And folks we have many more. Congratulations to all offices for implementing the new Web image in such a timely manner, and to all NWS employees who contributed to this effort. The Southern Region Web farm (www.srh.noaa.gov) has the NWS-wide corporate image throughout all our regions' Web sites. Likewise that same corporate Web image can be found on all Web sites across the National Weather Service.

WARNING IMPROVEMENT TEAM REPORT. Last fall, a team of Southern Region managers was commissioned to examine our warning operations and report what could be done to continue improvements, modernization, and our mission delivery which employees have made possible to the American people. Obviously, the warning program has always been a priority which has had us all looking for ways to improve our warnings, hence the formation of this team.

The Southern Region Warning Improvement Team, chaired by WFO Lake Charles MIC Steve Rinard, has just completed this most recent effort and has provided me their report. We will now begin to implement the thrust of their report as soon as possible.

IFPS

IFPS TRAINING. A two-day IFPS Training Planning Team meeting was held in late February at the NWS Training Center in Kansas City. Attendees included representatives from all NWS regions, NWS Headquarters (the OCWWS Training Division and MDL), the NWSTC, WDTB, COMET, and NCEP. Representing the SR was Chip Kasper from WFO Key West. Primary participants in the meeting were the five individuals who now comprise an IFPS training team (see related item in SSD section of this month's Topics). The goal of the meeting was to produce a national IFPS Professional Development Series (PDS) which will identify all IFPS-related training needs and specify how they will be addressed in future plans.

A highlight of the meeting was a presentation by Lynn Maximuk (MIC, WFO Pleasant Hill) in which he described the many challenges his staff faced during IFPS implementation, and some of the methods they used to address the challenges. Current IFPS training deficiencies were identified within small working groups through the use of a silent-structured brainstorming approach. After many subsequent and stimulating discussions, consensus was reached on the new IFPS PDS and the Professional Competency Units (PCUs), or specific training areas, which the training developers will undertake. Executive producers were assigned for each PDS/PCU category. The IFPS Training Planning Team will continue to interact and expand the categories via e-mail until approximately next September, when the team will be dissolved.

CLIMATE, WATER AND WEATHER DIVISION

METEOROLOGICAL SERVICES BRANCH

OFFICE TOURS AND SECURITY. We have received the following update of official policy regarding this subject: You may allow small groups to come into your facilities. They must provide proper identification and must be escorted at all times by an NWS employee. A large group that cannot be contained or controlled is not authorized. Please ensure this policy is followed strictly at your facility.

CIAMS SEMINAR. In February, WFO Fort Worth MIC Bill Bunting provided the monthly CIAMS seminar at the Texas A&M University in College Station. His subject was "The Role of Forecaster Judgment and Expertise in Issuing Severe Storm Warnings in the NWS." About 50 students and faculty were in attendance. Bernard Meisner (SSD) and WFO Houston SOO Steve Allen also participated. Bill stressed the importance of developing and applying expertise in the analysis of the pre-storm environment, and the proper interpretation of base radar data as well as WSR-88D algorithm output when making warning decisions. Situation Awareness was discussed, and the audience was given a taste of the challenges of making warning decisions in a modernized NWS office.

FLASH GOES FEDERAL. FLASH (formerly Florida Alliance for Safe Homes) is beginning to expand beyond the borders of Florida. Now, FLASH (Federal Alliance for Safe Homes) will be working with other states to share the organization's "lessons learned" and other resources to assist in their development of mitigation/prevention education for consumers. The expansion will include the states of Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina and Texas.

FLASH initially began as a program in Florida to help educate consumers about mitigating hurricane damage. The non-profit organization quickly expanded and has become a major education source for multiple types of hazzards including weather, wildfire, water and homeland security issues. The popular "FLASH Cards" are available via the FLASH Web site and in hardcopy upon request. One of FLASH's early publicity campaigns included a NOAA Weather Radio PSA (Public Service Announcement) in both English and Spanish.

Steven Cooper (CWWD), the NOAA/NWS liaison with FLASH, recently attended the organization's winter meeting. In addition to the expansion of the organization, he reports FLASH was awarded the Florida Fire Chiefs' "Award of Excellence in Education in Florida" on February 1, this year and awarded the Florida Emergency Preparedness Association's "Corporate Award for Education" on February 7.

FLASH is composed of both public and private sector representatives. Review their Web site at www.flash.org to learn more about the organization, what you can do to make your home less vulnerable to disasters, and many other types of consumer information.

SEVERE WEATHER PREPAREDNESS AND OUTREACH

WFO Brownsville MIC Richard Hagan provided an interesting and entertaining PowerPoint presentation titled, "A Short History of Weather and the Brownsville Office," to the "STARS" Texas HAM radio group. Richard's long tenure as the Brownsville MIC allowed him to provide the 30 person audience a quarter-century historical perspective on improvements in NWS technology, warning and forecast capabilities.

WFO Little Rock WCM John Robinson traveled to Arkadelphia, Arkansas, for a day long outreach effort during which he and the Clark County emergency manager talked about severe weather safety and preparedness to three consecutive and attentive middle school assemblies. Students from the school will be awarded prizes by the local emergency manager for the most creative poster highlighting severe weather safety. John's presentation was further enhanced by coverage from a local radio station.

WFO Lake Charles lead forecaster Kent Kuyper enthusiastically provided an outreach and severe weather preparedness presentation to nearly 200 students at the De Ridder, Louisiana, Junior High School. Kent focused his topics to severe weather safety and NWS operations.

WFO Jackson WCM Jim Butch manned an NWS booth at the annual two-day Jackson Hamfest and provided eager customers with informative and expert descriptions of severe weather phenomena. He also promoted the need for real-time severe weather information from Ham radio operators and encouraged everyone to visit the NWS Jackson Web site. Jim's NWS display booth also provided hundreds of customers an opportunity to talk with their local weather expert, share their severe weather experiences and pick up the latest NWS preparedness brochures.

WFO Brownsville. Several staff members participated and manned the NWS display booth at the "2nd Annual Winter Texan's Expo" in McAllen, Texas. During the two-day event over 700 customers registered to win a free weather radio and pick up the latest NWS preparedness and safety brochures at the NWS booth which was manned by senior forecaster Paul Yura, forecaster Mick McGuire, DAPM Jim Campbell, HMT Tony Abbott and ASA Rachel Gutierriez.

EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT COORDINATION

Three New StormReady Sites. The StormReady program continued to grow in the Southern Region during February! WFO Mobile recognized Baldwin County (Mobile metro area), WFO Morristown recognized Jefferson County (Knoxville metro area), and WFO Lubbock recognized the city of Lubbock. There are now 18 new StormReady sites in Southern Region for FY02.

WFO Lake Charles Readies EMs for Hurricane Season. MIC Steve Rinard briefed the Louisiana Preparedness Shelter Task Force on the 2002 hurricane season forecast and potential impacts on the Louisiana coast. Steve is also busy coordinating a hurricane response exercise that will involve the NWS, Louisiana state and local offices of emergency preparedness, and various relief agencies such as the Red Cross in early April.

Texas WFOs unite to promote StormReady. WFO Austin/San Antonio MIC Joe Arellano and San Angelo WCM Hector Guerrero teamed up with Texas state emergency management to host a successful second "StormReady Panel Workshop" in Austin. The objective of the team, coupled with advice and input from several other Texas WFO MIC/WCM attendees, was to provide state and local emergency management participants (over 65 attended) the step-by-step process of how to become a StormReady recognized county or community.

MEDIA/PUBLIC/EXTERNAL CUSTOMER SUPPORT

Guest Columnist Program. WFO Melbourne WCM Dennis Decker and other staff members have instituted a creative and successful program which will routinely provide the local media with timely NWS authored weather and preparedness articles for the county warning and forecast area. The goal is to proactively market and promote the NWS mission and services to the public by sending seasonally timed articles, guest columns and letters-to-the-editor to their local major newspapers. Dennis noted that editors who were contacted embraced the idea and preferred articles of one page or about 500 words. The first article, "Are you Weatherwise or Otherwise," was a huge success and was carried by six major newspapers in Melbourne's CWFA.

Dedication of Weather Equipment at Ocean Reef. WFO Key West MIC Bobby McDaniel, WCM Wayne Presnell, SOO Jack Settelmaier and ITO Patti Schmidt dedicated the recent installation of a HANDAR Data Collection Platform (DCP) to measure weather conditions at Ocean Reef on the north part of Key Largo. The installation and implementation of the DCP was through the collective efforts of WFO Key West, Monroe County Emergency Management and the community of Ocean Reef. The equipment will provide the NWS and its customers, with consistent hourly weather observations around the clock.

Guidance Counselor Shadows the WCM. WFO Nashville WCM Jerry Orchanian provided a local high school guidance counselor the opportunity to shadow him while on shift in order to provide her students with an accurate depiction of the duties, responsibilities, expertise and knowledge required by an NWS meteorologist in performing his or her duties. This positive experience for the high school counselor will give her tools to better prepare students who may be interested in a career in meteorology.

MARINE PROGRAM

Southern Region Marine Workshop. The SR Marine Workshop will be held April 2-5 in Biloxi, Mississippi. Items on the agenda already include a visit to the National Data Buoy Center, presentations on marine hazmet and verification, and presentations from the National Marine Fisheries and the Coastal Risk Atlas group.

Good News for New PMO. Jack Warrelman, who was run over by a van in January, had his six- week doctor's visit and the X-Rays show his broken shoulder is healing on its own, so Jack will not need surgery. Jack is anxious to get back to work, servicing and recruiting ships for the Voluntary Observing Ship Program, and so the good news was music to his ears.

NHC/TPC Marine Discussion. The Tropical Prediction Center will be issuing a new text product, the Marine Weather Discussion, which will be transmitted twice daily at 0730 and 1930 UTC. The product ID and WMO header are: MIAMIMATS AGXX40 KNHC.

2002 Miami International Boat Show. Last month the 2002 Miami International Boat Show was held at the Miami Beach Convention Center and two other nearby locations. The boat show, one of the largest in the world with more than one billion dollars in exhibits, was attended by more than 300,000 people. Ten staff members from WFO Miami and the NCEP/Tropical Prediction Center staffed a booth at the convention center location from 10am to 10 pm daily. Additionally, the Marine Prediction Center sent Wayne Weeks and Tim Rulon to attend the show. This year for the first time in more than ten years the NWS booth was combined with the National Marine Fisheries Service.

With the added NOAA resources it was possible to upgrade the booth's location as well as the display itself. The booth featured a continuous PowerPoint presentation, and showcased such things as the NWR voice improvement and the latest in wireless technology. Many NWS brochures were distributed and the vast majority of passersby commented very favorably on NWS products and services. Participating from the WFO were Bob Ebaugh, WCM Jim Lushine and Robert Garcia.

Jacksonville Sailboat Club. WFO Jacksonville forecaster Andrew Sashy made a presentation at the Jacksonville Sailboat Club meeting last month. Items discussed included marine data and manual observations, coastal marine forecast terms, sea breezes and thunderstorms, severe weather, and NOAA Weather Radio.

NOAA WEATHER RADIO NEWS

NWR expansion continued in February as a 1000 watt site was installed at Hattiesburg (Melba), Mississippi, and a 300 watt site was installed at Sweetwater, Texas.

Preparations continue involving locating and installing 18 NWS NWR sites which were funded for Southern Region in the fiscal year 2002 budget. These locations are at: Muskogee, Oklahoma; LaFollette, Hickman and Spencer, Tennessee; Harrison/Jasper, Arkansas; Natchitoches and Bogalusa Louisiana; Hillsboro, Mineral Wells, Fairfield, Plainview, Leakey, Breckenridge, Dimmitt, Mount Pleasant, Denton/Gainesville and Van Horn, Texas; and a Spanish site at El Paso, Texas.

Texas plans to provide NWR coverage to all counties within the state. Increasing the coverage to 100 percent across the state will likely result in an additional 50 NWR transmitters being added to the NWR network.

Eleven locations in Southern Region have recently received USDA grants for NWR systems. They are: Lobelville, Centerville and Vale, Tennessee; Broken Bow and Atoka, Oklahoma; Sweetwater, Uvalde, D'Hanis, Dilley and Rio Grande City, Texas. Twenty-one other potential NWR sites in the region are involved in the application process and are vying for the remainder of the USDA grant money.

VOICE IMPROVEMENT PROJECT (VIP) UPDATE. WFOs across the Southern Region should have received the Voice Improvement Processor (VIP) software and hardware to begin CRS Build 8.0 and VIP installation. All sites are encouraged to complete the CRS Build 8.0 and VIP installation, but will wait until the next VIP software installation version 2.0 becomes available in mid-March before doing CRS dictionary work and broadcasting the new voices.

HYDROLOGIC SERVICES BRANCH

REGIONAL WHFS DATA SHARING TEAM UPDATE. The SR WHFS Data Sharing team conducted its first conference call last month. The names of the team representatives were provided in the previous edition of Topics. The objectives of this team are to (1) develop a set of guidelines and standards governing the entry and maintenance of site data in the WHFS relational databases and (2) establish methods to transfer hydrologic information between the WFO and RFC hydrologic databases. The conference call focused on the team charter, hydrologic database data entry standards, and supporting software functionalites to satisfy the objectives outlined in the Team Charter. The team will develop/identify software which can be used by both the WFOs and RFCs to meet the stated objectives. The goal is to have each RFC test and evaluate the software with a designated WFO in its service area by the end of the calendar year.

IHC FLOOD MAPPING SESSION. The Inter-Departmental Hurricane Conference in New Orleans this month will include a flood mapping applications workshop co-sponsored by the NWS, U.S. Geological Survey, and the NOAA Coastal Services Center. The session will include presentations about flood mapping activities in various agencies including the NWS, USGS, and FEMA. One NWS presentation will focus on an ARCVIEW flood forecast mapping tool developed by the Office of Hydrologic Development. LMRFC HIC Dave Reed will also give a presentation about LMRFC procedures for integrating Tropical Prediction Center SLOSH model real-time storm surge time series with hydraulic models in the NWS River Forecast System to simulate storm surge backwater effects upstream from the mouth of the Mississippi River.

CADAS REPLACEMENT SYSTEM SUPPORT. The NWS Corporate Board approved an unfunded request submitted by the NWSH Office of Climate, Water, and Weather Service Hydrologic Services Division to develop a CADAS replacement system. This unfunded request was driven by the recent CADAS system failures at NWSH. It is anticipated it will take up to six months to develop this new system. This CADAS replacement system will be more user friendly and more robust to handle current data requirements from phone-interrogated data collection platforms. We will keep you posted on this development.

CRA WORK MEETING. WFO Jacksonville SOO Pat Welsh, WFO Tallahassee senior service hydrologist Joel Lanier, and state meteorologist for the Florida Emergency Operations Center Andy Devanas attended a Coastal Risk Atlas (CRA) working meeting held in Jacksonville last November. The CRA is being developed to provide identification and access to coastal data (primarily in a GIS context) for community vulnerability assessments. More details on this and prior CRA meetings as well as presentations may be downloaded at ftp://ftp.csc.noaa.gov/incoming/riskatlas/.

CESPR MEETING. Dave Furbish, head of the Center for Earth Surface Process Research (CESPR) at Innovation Park at Florida State University hosted a meeting to overview and discuss approaches for modeling rivers and closed basins in Florida. The meeting was attended by Andy Devanas, state meteorologist for the state of Florida, Joel Lanier, WFO Tallahassee service hydrologist, Francois le Dimet (an applied mathematician specializing in inverse methods for parameter estimation from the National Research Institute in Computer Science and control at Grenoble France), Yousuff Hussaini (an applied mathematician specializing in advanced computations at FSU) and Steffanie Kolbus a graduate student at CESPR. Several topics were discussed including the current operational hydrologic needs in the Florida area and 1-D and 2-D river modeling being done in France.

MDEQ MEETING. The Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality hosted a meeting and provided a forum for project managers working on grants from the NOAA Coastal Impact Assistance Program to share plans. Lower Mississippi RFC HIC Dave Reed and WFO New Orleans senior service hydrologist Dave Smith were in attendance. NOAA-funded gauges installed by Jackson County will assist in forecasting by providing better mean areal precipitation values. The Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality will collaborate in this project.

RESEARCH RAINFALL NETWORK DATA USED BY RFC. The Cooperative Huntsville Area Rainfall Measurements (CHARM) network covers Madison, Limestone and Morgan Counties which straddle the Tennessee River in northern Alabama. Rainfall data are collected daily by NASA researchers from the Marshall Space Flight Center, other agencies and local volunteers. Dr. Gary Jedlovec and others at MSFC initiated the network in January 2001 in support of on-going research, and the rainfall reports are now being used by the LMRFC in Slidell, whose area of responsibility includes the Tennessee River Basin. Keith Stellman (LMRFC) worked with MSFC to acquire the data in real-time. Interactions such as this will be facilitated further when the new Huntsville WFO becomes operational next year, and as part of the newly established Short-term Prediction Research and Transition (SPoRT) Center at the Global Hydrology and Climate Center. GHCC is a partnership involving NASA/MSFC and the University of Alabama in Huntsville. Other collaborative research activities have been on-going between WFO Birmingham and GHCC for several years.

Other collaborative work between the LMRFC and GHCC includes providing real-time daily QPF and hourly Stage III data. These data are used by GHCC in the development of a fully distributed river model for the Amite River Basin located in the Baton Rouge area. For this project, GHCC is planning to use high resolution DEM data from LIDAR to generate flood inundation maps using the output from the distributed model. GHCC also plans on sharing the LIDAR data with the LMRFC once the data have sufficient quality control. GHCC and LMRFC personnel presented a paper at the recent AMS conference in Orlando which outlined a procedure to use radar to distribute daily rain gauges into hourly intervals. GHCC is now in the process of testing this using the CHARM network and the Hytop WSR-88D.

FFMP MEETING. The Flash Flood Monitoring and Prediction (FFMP) working group met at NWS Headquarters in January. WFO Morristown service hydrologist Brian Boyd attended. Brian provided field feedback on the Graphical User Interface (GUI) design for FFMP 2.0 and the FFMP basin map display. Participants saw a demonstration of the Multisensor Precipitation Estimator (MPE), which is replacing the PPS Stage II and Stage III precipitation processing application at the RFCs and Stage II precipitation processing application of the WFOs.

FEMA FLOOD MAPPING WEB SITE. FEMA has been spending a great deal of effort, funds and time with various mapping modernization projects. Their Web site www.fema.gov/mit/tsd/fmc_main.htm provides interesting inland flood maps and will eventually include hurricane surge.

HSA ACTIVITIES AT THE WFO LAKE CHARLES. Last month a meeting was held in Beaumont, Texas including representatives of the Jefferson County Drainage District 6, WFO Lake Charles and the West Gulf RFC. Topics of discussion included obtaining real-time Jefferson County Alert System data in the NWS data base, and flooding along Pine Island Bayou as happened last year during tropical storm Allison. The following actions resulted from the meeting: A system will be set up to send real-time Alert system data to WFO Lake Charles every 15 minutes using LDAD. These data will help the WGRFC with Stage III precipitation estimates used in forecasting the Pine Island Bayou. Also, the data will help WFO Lake Charles in issuing Flash Flood Warnings for Jefferson County. The WGRFC will work closely with Drainage District 6 on finding stage relationships along the Pine Island Bayou downstream from the current forecast point at Sour Lake. Further meetings are planned.

REACH MEETING. The RFC Enhancement of Advanced Communication in Hydrology (REACH) team met in Peachtree City, Georgia, in late January to discuss ideas for the Southern Region RFCs to investigate advanced communication technologies and techniques, evaluate operational potential, and implement operational capabilities to enhance communication and better serve and educate customers, both internal and external to the NWS. Team members in attendance included SERFC HIC John Feldt (team leader), DOH Brad Gimmestad, hydrologists Jack Bushong and Johnathan Atwell, ABRFC senior hydrologist Greg Stanley, WGRFC hydrologist Greg Waller, senior HAS forecaster Cyndie Ableman, and SRH hydrology program manager Kandis Boyd. The 2002 REACH Team initiatives include: enhancing Southern Region RFC communication capability to state emergency management, FEMA, and other key hydrologic partners; investigating and possibly demonstrating the use of Web streaming to communicate RFC information to a wide variety of users; aggressively increasing Southern Region RFC visibility/communication capability with media; and investigating additional avenues of communication technologies.

SOUTHERN REGION RFC WEB TEAM. The SR RFC Web team held a conference call last month to start work for FY 2002. Those in attendance included: team leader Dave Reed, LMRFC hydrologist Ethan Jolly and senior hydrologist Keith Stellman, WGRFC senior HAS forecaster Cyndie Abelman, SERFC hydrologists Jonathan Atwell and Jack Bushong, ABRFC DOH Bill Lawrence, HAS forecaster John Schmidt, and hydrologist Ken Pavelle, and Kandis Boyd from SRH. The conference call included briefings on the national "one-stop" Web team activities and plans, Internet mapping, and the AHPS WFO Web page plans. The team discussed activities to accomplish in the upcoming year as well as establishing a method to retrieve a baseline set of RFC products. The team discussed activities to accomplish in the upcoming year which included establishing a method to retrieve a baseline set of RFC products and implementing the NWS corporate Web image.

WFO BROWNSVILLE OUTREACH ACTIVITIES. WFO Brownsville MIC Richard Hagan met with engineer Jesus Martinez de la Cerda from Monterrey, Mexico. The state of Nuevo Leon has agreed to fund a Doppler radar for their organization to assist in management of water supplies. WFO Brownsville will have access to these data in the near future, providing extensive radar coverage into the headwaters of the Rio San Juan. This river enters the Rio Grande below Falcon Dam and has the potential of creating a flood on the Rio Grande, which could require the International Boundary and Water Commission (IB&WC) to open the floodways to avoid flooding in Brownsville/Matamoras.

Having access to radar data from this site would allow the WFO to provide better support to the IB&WC in anticipating rises on the Rio San Juan. In addition, the radar data could possibly increase lead time of warnings issued for severe weather moving from the front slopes of the Mexican mountains. By sharing our WSR-88D expertise, WFO staff will help engineer de la Cerda utilize their new radar in the fastest and best way possible. The radar should be installed and operating by the end of 2002, or early 2003.

WFO SAN JUAN OUTREACH ACTIVITIES. On January 31, WFO San Juan hydrologist Eloy Colon and WCM Rafael Mojica met with U.S. Dept. of Interior, Bureau of Reclamation Technical Center project engineers to discuss Puerto Rico's historical floods, hurricane climatology and storm data. This was in response to a Puerto Rico Power Authority project which is analyzing storm vulnerability of the island manmade water reservoirs. On February 6 Rafael met with members of the Barranquitas municipality mayor's office to discuss the StormReady concept and requirements. The municipality was designated a Project Impact Community last year and they were interested in implementing StormReady.

SCIENTIFIC SERVICES DIVISION

VERIFICATION FOR MORE LOCATIONS. The eventual goal of the NWS is to verify every element we forecast at every projection out to seven days. This will become possible when we evolve from our present point-wise verification system (verification at relatively few specific observation sites) to a system which verifies gridded forecasts. For such a system to work, of course, a denser more technologically sophisticated network of surface observations will also be required. In the mean time, we will stick with point verification, but we will begin to test gridded verification in areas where it is feasible. A first step in this direction is to increase the number of verification sites for which we compute verification statistics. All offices were notified last month by email that WFOs are now authorized to increase the number of national public forecast verification sites representing the office. Verification statistics for the new sites will be available on the national verification Web page.

Due to limited programming resources at NWSH, this expansion must be incorporated with minimal coding changes to the current verification software. Therefore, for the time being, (a) forecasts will only be verified for Days 1 and 2 (as is currently the practice), and (b) each new verification site must have complete MOS data from the aviation AVN model available. Increasing the number of verification sites is optional for each WFO. For complete instructions on setting up additional verification sites, please refer to the email noted above, or contact the verification program leader in CWWD.

EXPANDED NWP TRAINING AND SUPPORT. COMET has announced two new newsgroups: Eta-Discuss and AVN/Global-Discuss. These newsgroups supplement the current online NWP training materials by providing direct interaction among NWP users. Stephen Jascourt and Bill Bua, COMET meteorologists at NCEP, will answer questions about the NCEP Eta model and "Meso" model (used for the "high resolution window run"), and the NCEP Global model. Bill and Stephen will also facilitate two-way communication between field forecasters and NCEP model developers.

Just some examples of good topics for discussion might include impacts of model changes, cases when the model appears to be doing something unrealistic, effects of model parameterization, or cases when the model performed exceptionally well (the point being, what led to such good forecasts in that case?). The newsgroups are available from the MetEd home page (http://meted.ucar.edu) or can be accessed directly from the NWP Newsgroups home page

(http://meted.ucar.edu/nwp/newsgroups/index.htm). COMET encourages feedback on this new forum; e-mail the NWP development team at nwp12@comet.ucar.edu, or send comments directly to Bill (Bill.Bua@noaa.gov) and Stephen (Stephen.Jascourt@noaa.gov).

NATIONAL IFPS TRAINING TEAM. The Training Division of the NWSH Office Of Climate, Water and Weather Services has reorganized to provide two additional trainers who will help accelerate the development of IFPS training, with emphasis in the coming year on science aspects of IFPS applications. The new trainers are Shannon White and Brian Motta. Shannon, who has been the focal point for the IFPS Gridded Forecast Editor (GFE) at WFO Wilmington, will relocate to NWSH to work closely with IFPS developers in MDL. Brian has worked as a Training Project Investigator at the Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere (CIRA) at Colorado State, and he has played a major role in the NWS Virtual Institute for Satellite Integration Training - VISIT - program through his work on VISITView teletraining. Brian will continue to work in Boulder collocated with IFPS developers at FSL. Both Shannon and Brian are well versed in forecaster needs and training development. They will join Sam Beckman and Bob Hamilton at the NWSTC, and Kevin Fuell at COMET to form a five-person IFPS training team.

LIGHTNING UPDATE. Global Atmospherics, Inc., the commercial vendor who provides lightning data we utilize via AWIPS, has begun work on a major upgrade to their National Lightning Detection Network (NLDN). When completed the NLDN will provide cloud lightning data across the U.S., in addition to improved cloud-to-ground lightning data. How our contractual arrangements with GAI may change to take advantage of this remains to be determined.

GAI has also announced the 17th International Lightning Detection Conference, to be held October 16-18, 2002, at Tucson, Arizona. The conference will cover new developments in lightning research and applications, with topics including lightning signatures, geographic and orographic effects on observed lightning parameters, global lightning detection, 3-D lightning mapping, forecasting improvements, aviation issues, developing safety recommendations, and others.

MetEd WEBSITE UPDATED. COMET's MetEd Web site (www.meted.ucar.edu) has been updated to improve usability and to reflect the site's use by a broad community of operational, research, academic, media and private meteorologists. Navigation is simplified and download times are speeded up. The changes were also made to complement the NWS Training Portal Web site (http://www.nwstc.noaa.gov/nwstrn) maintained by the NWS Training Center. The latter is specifically intended for NWS employees to access training resources related to their work areas. On the new MetEd home page you will see:

A new "Self-paced Learning" link (formerly "Web-based Modules") which leads to a list categorized by topics of self-paced training resources of various types (Web-based modules, archived Webcasts, CD-ROM modules, etc).

A "Courses and Teletraining" link which provides ready access to COMET course schedules as well as to other schedules for both classroom and teletraining offerings by COMET and others (NWSTC and the WDTB). This link will connect you to both in-residence courses and to virtual courses delivered over the Web.

A "Case Studies" link that provides links to COMET case study resources.

A new "Professional Curricula" link (formerly "Professional Development") where learning materials are grouped as curricula elements that address professional skills and knowledge required by operational forecasters as well as other professionals who use weather information.

"Resource Links," which were updated to reflect resources offered by the COMET sponsoring agencies, as well as resources available from other organizations.

On the MetEd home page you will continue to see a "splash" section for "What is New" and Program Notes. There are also links to other resource sites such as two which provide support materials for the SOOs and WCMs. A link to the COMET Multimedia Database provides a searchable resource for locating media objects used in COMET Web-based and CD-ROM modules. These media objects can be downloaded and used in locally developed education and training materials such as PowerPoint presentations.

UPCOMING CHANGES TO NCEP MODEL SUITE. A series of changes to the NCEP global spectral model are planned for this spring. A tentative date of March 5 has been set to increase the forecast length of all four of the AVN runs of the global spectral model to 384 hours (16 days). The model currently produces 126 hour (5 1/4 day) forecasts at 0000 and 1200 UTC and 84 hour (3 day) forecasts at 0600 and 1800 UTC. There will be no changes to the data on the AWIPS Satellite Broadcast Network (SBN).

A tentative date of April 23, 2002 has been set to terminate the 0000 UTC MRF run of the global spectral model. On AWIPS, model grids will still be available under the "MRF" menus out to 240 hours, but the source of the data will be the 0000 UTC run of the global spectral model.

The only differences between the current MRF and 0000 UTC AVN runs of the global spectral model are that the MRF run starts about four hours later (waiting for additional data to arrive from around the globe) and continues to 240 hours (decreasing resolution from T170L42 to T62/L28 at 168 hours [Day 7]). Since remotely-sensed data now comprise the vast majority of those used to initialize the model, it is no longer necessary to wait the additional time to have sufficient information from around the globe before starting the MRF global model run. Rawindsonde data are still important and will continue to influence the model initialization through the Global Data Assimilation System used by every run of the global spectral model.

In early May the resolution of the NCEP global model will be increased from T170L42 to T254L64 (a change in equivalent horizontal grid spacing from ~75 to ~50 km). There will be no changes to the data on the AWIPS SBN.

By the end of March the experimental version of the Eta model, which is used to produce the HiResWindow nested forecasts, will be changed to a non-hydrostatic version and the grid spacing will change from 10 km to 8 km. The model will continue to use essentially the same physics packages (i.e., Betts-Miller-Janjic convection and Ferrier's gridscale-microphysics scheme which was implemented last November) as the operational model. The output from these daily parallel runs can viewed at: http://www.emc.ncep.noaa.gov/mmb/mmbpll/nestpage.test/

An upgrade to the Rapid Update Cycle (RUC) model has been tentatively scheduled for April 9 at 1200 UTC. A real-time test and evaluation of this 20 km RUC will begin the first week of March. WFOs Lake Charles, Little Rock and Miami have volunteered to participate in the test and evaluation. There will be no change in the forecast grids being disseminated via the AWIPS SBN or the Family of Services.

The next NCEP quarterly backup test has been tentatively scheduled for the 0000 UTC cycle on April 4. If the weather situation prohibits this test, it will be attempted on April 11. This test, originally scheduled for February 14 was delayed due to ongoing computer upgrades at the Air Force Weather Agency.

The Coastal Ocean Forecast System (COFS), which has been running in a real-time parallel mode, will be operationally implemented on March 12.

A list of the major model implementations planned for 2002 can be found at:

http://www.ncep.noaa.gov/NCO/PMB/changes

As additional information about each implementation becomes available, links will be added on the change summary page.

ELECTRONIC DISCUSSION GROUPS FOR NWP MODELS. The new Eta-Discuss and AVN/Global-Discuss news groups have been established to supplement the current selection of online numerical weather prediction (NWP) materials with direct interaction among NWP users. NCEP COMET meteorologists Stephen Jascourt and Bill Bua will answer questions about the NCEP Eta model (both the operational version and the experimental version used for the HiResWindow runs) and the NCEP global spectral model used in the AVN and MRF runs. These news groups are intended to facilitate two-way communication between the field and the model developers.

Insightful, specific questions from the entire COMET community are encouraged. The news groups are available from the MetEd home page (http://meted.ucar.edu) or can be accessed directly from the NWP News groups home page (http://meted.ucar.edu/nwp/newsgroups/index.htm). Additionally, these news groups are accessible from the NWP PDS Web site (http://www.nwstc.noaa.gov/nwstrn/nwp_met.htm).

The NOAA Forecast Systems Laboratory continues to maintain an on-line forum on the Rapid Update Cycle (RUC) model. This forum is for discussion, questions and some answers on the 20-km RUC, which is scheduled to replace the 40-km RUC-2 in early April (see above). The URL is: http://maps.fsl.noaa.gov/forum/eval20/

ETA-12 OUTPUT AVAILABLE TO FIELD OFFICES. Bernard Meisner (SSD) and Paul Kirkwood (SOD) recently distributed scripts and instructions to download and display on AWIPS a limited number of fields at the full resolution of the Eta model. The available fields include two meter temperature and dew point, 10 meter wind velocity, MSLP and Eta MSLP, CAPE, precipitable water, total precipitation and convective precipitation.

The fields are extracted from GRIB files posted to the NCEP ftp server. Those files are downloaded to SRH where they are converted to the AWIPS netCDF format. To improve transmission speed over the regional Frame Relay network, data for a Southern Region sector are extracted from the full model domain and the file is compressed before being placed on our model output server. At the moment we're only decoding output through 60 hours from the 0000 and 1200 UTC runs (although output through 84 hours is available). Recall the 0600 and 1800 runs only extend to 48 hours.

Note that the delivery of these files is not "operational." Currently, output from the 0600 and 1800 UTC model runs is the most reliable, appearing on the NCEP file server soon after the end of the model run. Files from the 0000 and 1200 UTC runs are more spotty, although NCEP expects to activate a new server sometime this year to improve their timeliness.

NEW TECH MEMOS. The following new Southern technical memoranda have been distributed to all offices.

SYSTEMS OPERATIONS DIVISION

SYSTEMS INTEGRATION BRANCH

SECURITY. Essentially all Southern Region personnel completed the NOAA IT Security Awareness course as of February 28, 2002. There are a few who were unable to take the course due to military commitment, long term sick leave, or long term personal leave. They will be required to complete the course upon their return to work.

NETSCAPE MAIL. A Netscape server problem last month required use of the SRH backup system. This was the first time all the pieces were in place for a smooth transition. Replication was working and all mail was updated real-time on the backup server. The total down time was 20 minutes while reconstruction was taking place, then the system was brought on-line with no loss of electronic mail.

UPPER AIR. A team was dispatched to Tallahassee to help install the ART-1 system at the new WFO's location on the FSU campus. Three problems needed to be resolved before installation could begin. First, the Rhone tower for the target antenna had to be installed. A free standing tower has been purchased that will withstand the State requirement of 110 MPH for three seconds, however, it will be another nine to ten weeks before it can be delivered. Second, the dome had been ordered without any ventilation, therefore the dome will have to come down and ventilation will be installed before it is put back in place. Third, the stairs giving access to the dome had not been installed, nor was there a system for hoisting heavy equipment up to the dome.

NWR CIRCUITS. This continues to be a hot topic of discussion, so much so that weekly team meetings are now held at SRH to discuss NWR issues, and an NWR program database has been established as an information source for all parties involved with the program. We are focusing on getting everything installed on time and together. One main phone circuit problem continues to be addressing issues with telephone providers. These issues must be worked on a case-by-case basis to iron out any discrepancies. We are committed to providing the best service to our customers in the most efficient manner possible.

The initial effort to assess the communications needs for WFO Huntsville is gaining momentum. We will report more detail on this project as it progresses.

WSR-88D. ORPG installations are going on at a feverish pace in the region, with great results. We are now approximately three-quarters of the way done with the installation.

AWIPS. Build 5.1.2 installation is going smoothly across Southern Region. Two patches are available to fix problems with the 5.1.2. The 5.1.2.1 patch fixes some minor problems with the new wind chill program. The 5.1.2.2 patch fixes problems with the spontaneous logouts with Linux systems.

Installation of the new Linux boxes started the first week of March. We are working to have four sites installed per day.

Instructions and scripts have been provided to offices by Bernard Meisner (SSD) and Paul Kirkwood (SOD) to allow AWIPS to ingest the new Eta12 model at the full 12km resolution.

Southern Region Headquarters has updated and fixed the AWIPS to allow for the ingest of all METARS that come down the SBN to enhance the data for the Web. The additions to the files required have been submitted to NWS Headquarters to have the files updated. These files should be available from the NOAA1 server in the middle of March.

All Southern Region sites will begin upgrading to RPP 15.1 during March, which will help improve our forecasting techniques.

SRH will also be alpha testing the new Linux CPs and Linux DS-Preprocessor by the end of March into early April.

OBSERVATIONS AND FACILITIES BRANCH

KEESLER AFB WSR-88D RELOCATION. Stanford Research International (SRI) has been tasked by the Radar Operations Center to prepare a comprehensive site survey and environmental assessment for the primary and secondary relocation sites in Brandon, Mississippi. Representatives from MASC Real Estate, MASC Environmental Compliance Office, SRI, SRH, and WFO Jackson convened the week of February 25 in Jackson, located a new secondary site, and met with local officials in Brandon.

NAPLES, FLORIDA ASOS RELOCATION. Southern Region Headquarters has completed all necessary tasks needed to commission the FAA sponsored ASOS located in Naples. Once the completion of some FAA installed interfaces is in place the site can be commissioned. Tentative target dates are for mid- to late March.

ASOS AUGMENTATION/BACKUP TRANSFER. The FAA has relocated 4 FAA Contract Weather Observer (CWO) contractors into FAA owned/leased space. However, at the remaining four sites (Mobile, Jackson, Albuquerque, Corpus Christi) we are still awaiting the FAA order and installation of telephone circuits to the new CWO location. Property sites have been identified in all locations and secured at most locations. It is still the goal of both agencies to not have FAA employed CWOs working from NWS WFOs beyond March 31.

KEY WEST FOC REVIEW. The Facility Oversight Committee (FOC) review of the Key West Decision Point 3 package is tentatively scheduled for March 18, pending receipt of a Finding of No Significant Impact as part of the NEPA environmental assessment. Once the environmental contractor, SRI Inc., has compiled local input from the public comment period now in progress, it will be forwarded to SRH for the regional director's signature. At that point the FOC can recommend moving forward with the Design Phase of the new WFO Key West construction, or seek additional information if needed.

WIRE WEIGHT SAFETY SURVEY. Requests to service hydrologists and hydrology focal points for additional information on wire weight river gauge locations has resulted in new information being provided to supplement the CSSA co-op river gauge database. When all Southern Region sites are accounted for, an actual on-site visit will be necessary to determine the hazard level of site access for both co-op observers and NWS employees. Following this, modifications to some sites are expected where permissible, and if not, some alternate method of data collection will be required to comply with recent OGC opinions on meeting OSHA regulations at river gauge sites.

SURFACE OBSERVATION PROGRAM. Southern Region received 37 requests from the aviation community for new certificates, cancellations or changes in the type of surface certificates during January 2002.

NCDC contractors are now completing a project to scan, index and make available on-line all of NWS cooperative station history forms dating from the 1800s to present. As this project approaches successful completion, NCDC is preparing to have the contractors repeat the process for the non-cooperative surface observing stations, generally reported on forms A-1 and A-3.

To help ensure NCDC has a comprehensive archive of the information, the Southern Region surface program manager has requested each office to review their non-cooperative surface observing site files, and send a copy of each of their A-1, A-3, and other related non-cooperative surface observing station history forms for each of their stations to NCDC. These forms will be combined with NCDC files, then imaged, indexed and made available via a Web-based search, retrieval and presentation system.

UPPER-AIR OBSERVATION PROGRAM. Southern Regions upper air sites have started the year off extremely well. Fifteen of the 23 sites in the region had their station averages coming in well above the national average of 283.71. For January, WFO Miami was the highest in the region with an average of 297.97. WFO Lake Charles rated second with a score of 297.03

Phase I Implementation Plan for the Radiosonde Surface Observing Instrumentation System (RSOIS) has begun in Southern Region. On February 12, RSOIS was delivered to WFO Midland for installation. Within four days the system was inspected, measured and installed. Several comparisons were completed and RSOIS was reported to be working as advertised.

The second RSOIS has arrived in Albuquerque and is scheduled to be installed this week. The remaining two Phase I RSOIS sites, Tallahassee and Atlanta, will have their RSOIS installed in early spring.

CSSA MANUAL. Representatives from each of the NWS regions met the week of January 28, to do a rewrite of the Cooperative Station Service Accountability (CSSA) manual. This manual contains all the reference material needed to update station metadata related to the co-op program. The Web-based software for archiving the station meta-data has been available for use since January 2001, but the CSSA manual was still a working draft. The manual has been submitted to NWSH for approval and distribution.

PROGRAM PERFORMANCE. Several Southern Region offices have done an excellent job of managing the Cooperative Program within their CWA. For FY02, 15 of the 31 offices have reported zero missing data. The regional average for missing climatological data (CD) is 0.85% with a performance standard established at less than two percent. The regional average for missing hourly precipitation data (HPD) is 1.41% with a performance standard established at less than three percent. The offices with zero missing data (CD and HPD) are Birmingham, Corpus Christi, Little Rock, Lubbock, Melbourne, Miami, Morristown, Nashville, New Orleans, San Angelo, Austin/San Antonio, Shreveport, Tallahassee, Tampa Bay and Tulsa.

ADMINISTRATIVE MANAGEMENT DIVISION

DIVERSITY/EEO AND COMMUNITY OUTREACH ACTIVITIES

WFO BROWNSVILLE continued it's efforts in EEO Outreach activities by participating in Career Days, attended by every fifth grade student in the city, over a two-day period. ASA Rachel Gutierrez, DAPM Jim Campbell and HMTs Tony Abbott and Alfredo Vega represented the NWS at the event, which was held at the Jacob Brown Auditorium on the University of Texas, Brownsville Campus. Over 1,700 fifth grade students from 16 schools took part in the Career Fair.

In a separate event, Jim, Rachel and Fred participated in the first annual "Central Middle School Career Pathways Fair" attended by 1,100 sixth, seventh and eighth grade students. Jim and Fred each did interviews (Fred's in Spanish) with KMBH-TV, the local PBS Affiliate. The station plans to run the interviews during it's local educational programing hour, year round, to promote career paths.

Twenty-four members of "Leadership Brownsville" from the University of Texas, Brownsville Campus, toured the WFO for the seventh consecutive year. The goal of Leadership Brownsville is to establish constructive interactions with public schools, community colleges, universities and other relevant organizations and individuals. Jim Campbell gave an introduction as well as a brief history of the Weather Service in Brownsville. Senior forecaster Tim Speece gave a real-time weather briefing using the Multi-media Projection System in the operations area. Jim continued the tour through the office then led the group to the inflation building for a discussion of the station's upper air observations.

Jim Campbell was invited to be a presenter at the Port Isabel Junior High 2002 Career Fair. Jim gave a presentation on WFO Brownsville operations focusing on hurricane safety with emphasis on inland flooding to three seventh grade math classes. Also included were aspects of severe thunderstorms including lightning, damaging winds, flash floods and hail. Many of the students recalled the severe thunderstorm that ravaged Port Isabel and South Padre Island on May 3, 2000, with winds that peaked at 126 mph.

WFO JACKSON. Met intern Doug Cramer spoke to two pre-algebra classes at Brando Middle School. Doug put together a very nice presentation giving a thorough explanation of duties and responsibilities at the NWS. Senior forecaster Eric Carpenter gave a one hour presentation to a second grade class regarding NWS operations and severe weather safety.

Senior forecaster Lynn Burse and Doug Cramer gave an office tour for a Girl Scout troop from the Mississippi School for the Blind and Deaf. There were ten girls and three house mothers. MIC Jim Stefkovich also gave a weather talk for eight students and four teachers from the Mississippi School for the Blind. Jim was very impressed how much they knew about many aspects of meteorology.

MARDI GRAS IN ARKANSAS? Last month, the staff at WFO Little Rock celebrated Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday). Salvador Gutierrez and Newton Skiles, co-team leaders of the WFO Little Rock EEO/Diversity/Ethnic Awareness Team organized a pot-luck luncheon for the staff. The response was overwhelming and very positive. Several good cooks came forth with their favorite Acadian (Cajun) dishes for all to sample. During the luncheon, several discussions highlighted the history and traditions of the Cajuns. Festive Mardi Gras music was enjoyed by the group during the luncheon. Several people tried to dig deep into their roots to see if there were any Cajun connections. A good time was had by all.

WFO MIAMI. During Florida Hazardous Weather Awareness Week, WCM Jim Lushine spoke to a group of 40 middle and high school students and their teachers at Sunset School in Davie, Florida. Sunset School is a Special Education School for grades K-12 with 160 students and a high teacher-to-student ratio. The students were keenly aware of hazardous weather, having been involved in a school-wide tornado drill the day before, and they participated in a lively question and answer session on lightning, tornadoes, hurricanes and other weather hazards. The talk was followed by cookies and drinks.

WFO MORRISTOWN participated in Job Shadowing Day by inviting six students from schools in the Morristown/Greenville, Tennessee area to shadow WFO employees. There were three tenth graders, two eighth graders, and one seventh grader.

WFO SAN JUAN. WCM, Rafael Mojica visited the University of Puerto Rico Environmental Science Department and conducted a presentation on Meteorological Science and Research Issues in Puerto Rico. The talks emphasized local WFO research projects, potential research studies for summer students at the WFO, NWS SRH initiative with the University of Puerto Rico, and NWS and NOAA career opportunities. The talk was attended by around sixty junior and senior environmental science majors.

Rafael also visited the Inter-American University in Barranquitas and conducted a general weather presentation for sixty students of the Upward Bound Program. This program targets low income high school students who may also be among the first in their family to consider going to college. The project provides academic and personal support designed to motivate and prepare the students for college. Careers in NWS and NOAA were also discussed.

DAPM Francisco Balleste, ESA Bert Gordon, and Rafael Mojica, participated in a full day seminar on how to set up and manage a portable weather station. The seminar, sponsored by the Arecibo Ionospheric Observatory Outreach program, and WIPR TV meteorologist Ada Monzon, was well attended by local science teachers from K-12. The goal of this program is to create a network of stations across the island of Puerto Rico for educational and emergency management purposes.

WFO SHREVEPORT. DAPM Marion Kuykendall and forecaster Bill Parker, along with Bill's son Trey and wife Mel, participated again this year in the annual African American History Parade. The parade was televised locally, and a short write-up was read to the viewing audience about the NWS diversity and outreach efforts to the African American community in Shreveport. During the parade the participating staff handed out NWS pens, rulers, Severe Weather Preparedness Brochures, and candy. This year the WFO was recognized in an award ceremony for their participation in this annual event. The parade is a big event in Shreveport, with over 200 organizations participating.

The Shreveport staff had a power lunch in recognition of African American History Month. Byron McCauley, the Editorial Page Editor of The Times, a local newspaper, and his wife Jill McCauley, the Racial Justice Director for the local YWCA, led the staff in discussion on the theme for the year, "The Color Line Revisited: Is Racism Dead?." The discussion focused on racism in the Shreveport community, which brought out thoughts and feelings about racism while remaining a positive discussion.

Jason Bobo, a seventh grade student from Haugton Middle School in Haugton, Louisiana, worked with met intern Jason Hansford, as he participated in the local Ground Hog Job Shadowing Program. Jason was shown how to interpret satellite imagery, decode METAR observations, how CRS and AWIPS worked, observed the launching of a weather balloon, and how to use the upper air equipment, as well as how to decode the data. Jason plans to become a meteorologist and attend the University of Oklahoma.

Zachary Bartley of Greens Acres Middle School in Bossier City worked with Bill Parker, as he participated in the local Ground Hog Job Shadowing Program. Zachary worked seven hours with Bill on the swing shift. During the shift Zachary assisted in the upper air release, learned how to analyze surface maps, and learned to interpret radar, satellite and model data. Zachary watched the video "Forecast for the Future," and was surprised by all the responsibilities the NWS has. Zachary finished up the evening assisting Bill in the evening zone forecast update. He said next year he would like to work a midnight shift.

Forecaster Bill Murrell participated as a judge for the Science Fair at Eden Gardens Elementary School located in Shreveport. He judged several projects dealing with different aspects of science.

WFO TALLAHASSEE. Senior forecaster and EEO focal point Ron Block represented the NWS as a judge at the Big Bend regional science fair. He discussed severe weather and weather warnings as part of a Black History Month festival at the Walker-Ford Community Center, and distributed literature and/or discussed minority opportunities at the Gadsden County Black Heritage Educational Foundation, Florida A&M Black Research Center, the Palmer-Munroe Community Center, and the Tallahassee Urban League's Unity in the Community multi-cultural festival. Ron also represented the NWS at the North Florida Hispanic Association Valentine's Fiesta.

SOUTHERN REGION WORKFORCE TRANSACTIONS

February 1-28, 2002

Southern Region Losses
Name From (Office) Action/Transfer From Title/Grade
Steven Taylor WFO LUB Reassignment to ER Forecaster, GS-12
Joel Schexnayder WFO LIX Retirement Senior Forecaster, GS-13
Robert Cavaco WFO LIX Transfer to DOD El Tech, GS-11

Southern Region Gains
Name To (Office) Action/Transfer To Title/Grade
Jesus Haro WFO BRO Reassignment from WR WCM, GS-13
Terry Barron WFO OHX Reassignment from WR El Tech, GS-11
Jonathan Brazzell WFO SJT Reassignment from WR Forecaster, GS-11
Within Region Transfers/Actions
Name To (Office) Action/Transfer To Title/Grade
Robert Mobbs CWSU ZJX Reassignment from JAX Meteorologist, GS-12
James Harmon CWSU ZME Reassignment from ZJX Meteorologist, GS-12
Angela Broyles WFO JAX Reassignment from BMX Forecaster, GS-7
Terrie Sabato WFO JAX Reassignment from EYW ASA, GS-7
Steven Jenkins WFO SHV Reassignment from ABQ El Tech, GS-11
John Gordon WFO HUN Promotion from OHX MIC, GS-14
Todd Lindley WFO MAF Reassignment from TSA Forecaster, GS-7
Arthur Wildman WFO JAX Reassignment from JAX ITO, GS-13

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