UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE
NATIONAL OCEANIC AND ATMOSPHERIC ADMINISTRATION
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE
Fort Worth, Texas
March 1, 1998
Congratulations to the 1996-1997 Service Enhancement Project Winners. This year the independent committee composed of Emergency Management Officials and Television Meteorologists chose the team from NWSO Melbourne for their submission of the Tropical Storm Josephine Tornadoes (October 7, 1996) as the best handled short-term event. The team members included: Scott Spratt, Bart Hagemeyer, Dennis Decker, Mike Turner, Jackie Cartwright, Tony Cristaldi, Steve Hodanish, and Bob Drummond.
NWSO Amarillo's submission of the Heavy Snow Event across the Texas and Oklahoma Panhandles (November 29 - December 1, 1996) was selected by the committee for the long-term event. Their team comprised Ed Andrade, Steve Cobb, David Copley, Christine Lopez, Rob Slattery, Steve Bilodeau, John Cockrell, Doug Crowley, Ken Schneider, Rich Wynne, Jim Caruso, Jeff Colton, John Holsenbeck, Tabatha Seymore, and Freddie Zeigler.
The team from NWSO Jacksonville was rated second with their submission of Severe Weather Outbreak in Northeast Florida/Southeast Georgia Including Jacksonville Downburst. NWSFO Jackson received third place with their team's submission of the Severe Weather Outbreak of May 2-3, 1997.
SPACEFLIGHT METEOROLOGY GROUP. STS-89 POST FLIGHT SUMMARY: The Space Shuttle Endeavour touched down at the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) Shuttle Landing Facility at 4:35 PM CST January 31, 1998 marking the completion of STS-89. Liftoff occurred as scheduled at 8:48 PM CST January 22, 1998.
The primary weather concern on the evening of the launch was the proximity of thunderstorm anvils to the launch site. Although showers and thunderstorms were well west of eastcentral Florida, the anvils were encroaching upon the region. Current launch commit criteria and flight rules state that the shuttle must avoid the non-transparent parts of thunderstorm anvils by 10 to 20 miles depending upon the launch or landing phase. The consensus among atmospheric electricity experts is that the thunderstorm anvil (especially the non-transparent part) can still contain enough charge for the shuttle to trigger lightning and so should be avoided. Radar, the National Lightning Detection Network, Lightning Detection and Ranging (LDAR), digital satellite imagery, and aircraft reconnaissance reports were critical tools in determining the presence, location, motion, and transparency of thunderstorm anvils moving into the Florida peninsula on launch evening. After thorough analysis by forecasters at the Spaceflight Meteorology Group (SMG) and USAF 45th Weather Squadron, the thunderstorm anvil issue was agreed to be safe for launch and for any possible abort landing.
Very few clouds and light winds greeted the return of Endeavour on the afternoon of January 31. Although the weather appeared ideal for landing, jet stream winds aloft prompted concerns over turbulence and which landing profile to use. The crosswind component of the wind at the altitude where the shuttle intercepts the Heading Alignment Cone (HAC) were the greatest ever observed during a shuttle landing. Observations from frequent KSC rawinsondes, pilot reports (PIREPS), dedicated weather reconnaissance aircraft reports, and the KSC 50MHz doppler radar wind profiler were of paramount importance in the upper wind and turbulence forecasts issued by SMG for landing. A comparison of wind direction and speed from the 16:47 UTC profiler (with significantly higher shears) versus the landing balloon released at 22:38 UTC is shown in Figure 1. SMG forecasters also contacted the Senior Duty Meteorologist Bill Kneas at NCEP to request a special rawinsonde release from Tampa with short notice (Figure 2). This was extremely useful in determining the strength, depth, and character of the jet stream over central Florida. No reports of turbulence were received from the crew.
SMG weather team lead for ascent and entry of STS-89 was Tim Garner. The TAL site forecaster for launch day and assistant lead was Dan Bellue. Preparation of briefing graphics, weather systems troubleshooting, and other meteorological assistance was the job of Tim Oram as Techniques Development Meteorologist. Other SMG staff meteorologists supported the flight. Systems analysts from the United Space Alliance monitored and managed the Meteorological Interactive Data Display System for STS-89. The next mission, STS-90, is currently scheduled for liftoff in April, 1998.
FLORIDA TORNADOES. The State of Florida experienced the worst tornado outbreak in its history during the late night and early morning hours of February 22 and 23, 1998. A vigorous upper-level low pressure system triggered a broken line of severe thunderstorms that moved rapidly across central and eastern portions of the state. At least three supercells were identified on radar, each of which spawned tornadoes that tore a 75-mile wide path of destruction and took 39 lives across Osceola, Orange, Seminole, and Volusia Counties. At the time of this writing, 11 people were still missing. In addition to the fatalities, over 250 people were reported injured.
A preliminary investigation of the damage path indicate the hardest hit areas to be the South Daytona Beach and Ormond Beach areas in Volusia County, Winter Garden in Orange County, Sanford in Seminole, and the Kissimmee area in Osceola County. Amazingly, the vast Walt Disney World Complex near Lake Buena Vista was spared any major damage.
Estimates of the damage may top the $40 million mark, with over $30 million reported in Osceola County alone. More than 400 homes, including at least 100 mobile homes, were either damaged or destroyed as a result of the storms. Several commercial establishments and boats were damaged as well.
In addition to the numerous warnings issued by the staff at the NWSO in Melbourne, which provided lead times that ranged from 15 to 43 minutes, excellent use was made of the Hazardous Weather Outlook earlier in the day to heighten the awareness of the impending situation. Local news outlets were apparently quite proactive in relaying warnings and information as the storms moved across the area. Overall, initial indications are that, despite the tragic outcome, the NWSO performed well and received superb cooperation from the media and external agencies.
The National Weather Service has organized a disaster survey team to examine the devastation and assess service response in the aftermath of the event.
FIRE WEATHER COURSE. The National Fire Weather Forecasters Course will be held at the National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC) in Boise, Idaho from March 17-20, 1998. Program leaders from seven Southern Region NWSFOs/NWSOs will participate in this year's course. They include:
The course provides a comprehensive overview of the fire weather program and includes such topics as development of a local fire weather program, meteorological applications in complex terrain, preparation of spot forecasts, coordinating with and briefing fire management personnel, general fire behavior, assessing fire danger, and familiarization with the various fire weather information systems.
SPOT FORECASTING. The staff at NWSFO Albuquerque passed along some positive information from a recent meeting with members of the U.S. Forest Service's Southwest Coordination Center. Fire management personnel in the zones covering the Gila and Lincoln national forests are extremely pleased with the quality and timeliness of the spot forecasting service provided by NWSO El Paso. They liked the idea of receiving spots from an office closer to their operations area. It seems that we have another satisfied customer. Good work El Paso!
COASTAL FLOOD WATCH/WARNING. Effective Wednesday, April 29, 1998 at 0500 UTC, coastal NWSOs will assume responsibility for the preparation and issuance of Coastal Flood Watches and Warnings (CFW). A generic Public Information Statement (PNS) has been sent to the affected offices for adaptation to their specific County Warning Area (CWA). Periodic issuance of the PNS, along with various local outreach activities, will serve to notify our customers of the impending change in service.
TAFCHECK TIP. Many offices have commented on the usefulness of TAFCheck in their TAF quality control efforts. Steadily declining error rates are a testimony to its utility. Tom Hicks of CWSU Fort Worth, the author of the program, is planning to release an improved version of the program soon that incorporates a number of suggestions submitted by field forecasters.
One tip offered by Jim Sweeney, aviation focal point at NWSO Lake Charles, helps in the error diagnosis process, especially for those cases when the error detected by the program is not immediately obvious. The TAFCheck program runs until it detects an "=" (equal sign). Each line that is error-free passes through until the equal sign is reached. So, by systematically moving the sign line-by-line through the forecast, you will eventually encounter the offending line.
Thanks for the tip, Jim!
SERVICE HYDROLOGIST CONFERENCE. We received approval to conduct a regional service hydrologist conference this fiscal year. We will coordinate with all the HSA offices and RFCs to determine the best date and location, and to solicit topics for discussion at the conference.
JANUARY RAINS. Numerous record monthly rainfall totals were established throughout the Southern Region in January. These were the result of a progressive series of storms moving west to east across the southern tier of states. Ten to 12 in of rain were reported across the Houston and Shreveport HSAs with Jackson, Mobile and Lake Charles HSAs reporting some locations registering from 10 to 16 in of rainfall for the month.
In the Tampa Bay HSA, December and January rainfall totals tallied 20.01 in at New Port Richey, 20.21 in at the Tampa International Airport and 24.60 in at Sarasota. All rivers reached record January levels except for the Alafia and Withlacoochee, whose January records were set in 1948.
In the Jackson HSA, nine stations registered all-time January rainfall records (12-13 in). NWSO Mobile recorded 16.92 in of rain establishing a record and eclipsing the January normal by 12.61 in.
Impressive rainfall totals were not limited to the Southeast. NWSFO San Antonio service hydrologist John Patton reveals the following 1997 rainfall totals: 63.03 in at Halletsville (2nd greatest on record), 67.11 in at Victoria (greatest all-time), and 68.64 in at Yoakum (thought to be greatest annual rainfall ever).
The rainfall for the month of January region-wide led to widespread minor and moderate river flooding.
USGS/NWS WORKING GROUP MEETING. The USGS and NWS have established a working group to review the areas where enhanced coordination and data exchange is possible. NWS Southern Region representatives on the working group are Dave Reed HIC LMRFC, and Dave Smith senior service hydrologist and Wayne Hall ESA NWSFO New Orleans Area. The team met in late September and established its goals and brainstormed ideas that could enhance coordination and data exchange between the two agencies. A second meeting was held February 12 at USGS headquarters in Reston, VA. A draft report is expected to be completed and available for review in April. The final draft of the report is due in June. The final report will be used by both agencies to develop national NWS/USGS guidelines for the sharing of equipment/resources at streamflow measuring locations. If you have any specific items pertaining to coordination, you may provide them to any of the three NWS Southern Region members.
DATA MEETING IN FLORIDA. On February 12, Ben Weiger, Deputy Regional Hydrologist attended a Florida statewide meeting held at the Southwest Florida Water Management District Headquarters in Brooksville. Frank Alsheimer, service hydrologist at NWSO Tampa Bay Area, facilitated the meeting. Attendees included representatives from NWSOs Tallahassee, Jacksonville, Melbourne and Tampa Bay; NWSFO Miami; the Suwanee River, St. Johns River, Southwest Florida, and South Florida Water Management Districts; United States Geological Survey (USGS) offices in Miami, Orlando, Tampa, and Tallahassee; Jacksonville U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE); the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission project; and the state emergency management meteorologist. The meeting was held to discuss ways to share hydrometeorological data available in real-time from agencies in the state of Florida.
Considerable progress was made during the meeting. The Jacksonville USACE and the Miami USGS offices agreed to let other agencies use their servers as primary and secondary data collection repositories, with each agency in the state having its own directory on each of the servers. The data providers would put data in their agency's directories and data users would access data from other agency directories. It was also agreed that the data would be encoded in Standard Hydro-meteorological Exchange Format (SHEF) or a modified version of SHEF already used by the Miami USGS, South Florida Water Management District, and Jacksonville USACE. Each agency also agreed to provide station reference information about their data locations. Another statewide meeting will be held in approximately 6 months to review the progress made on this effort.
NEW HYDROLOGIC CORRESPONDENCE COURSE. The new hydrologic correspondence course titled Operations of the NWS Hydrologic Services Program was sent to all field offices last May. To date, only a small number of individuals in the Southern Region have completed the course. At this time, only meteorological and hydrological interns are required to take the new course. Since the course has been thoroughly updated, we strongly encourage everyone to take it, even if you completed the old course which quite likely was several year ago.
HSA HYDROLOGIC INFORMATION ON THE INTERNET. As many of you are aware, many of our users and the general public are using the Internet to acquire hydrometeorological information from the NWS. The World Wide Web is also a vital component in the education and outreach segments of our mission. As we look into the future, this trend will continue as access to the Internet increases and technology makes it easier to receive information from the Web. With this in mind, we strongly encourage our HSA offices to continue to place hydrologic information on the office home page. Examples could include but are not limited to E-19 information for hydrologic forecast point locations, hydrologic forecast and warning products, and data products. We also encourage the HSA offices to point to other sources of hydrologic information such as RFCs, other water resource agencies, Southern Region HSD home pages, etc. When pointing to home pages outside the NWS, please provide attribution on the Web for the information provided by the other agency. We recommend that the HSA office work closely with the office's webmaster(s) to create a direct link to hydrologic information on the office home page and to enhance the presence of hydrologic information on the website.
One caveat: as with all information on NWS web sites, every attempt must be made to ensure that products are current and updated regularly. Out-of-date information is worse than none.
HYDROMET INSTALLATIONS IN THE SR. HSD staff and Pat Sneeringer, HYDROMET focal point for the region, met recently to discuss HYDROMET issues. Discussion focused on travel required to continue efforts to implement HYDROMET region-wide, and documentation required by our field offices to support forecast operations. It was agreed that Pat will plan three region-wide trips in the next 2-4 months. He will continue his efforts to install and configure HYDROMET systems and provide local training for the staff. We plan to merge all the documentation that Pat has developed and distribute a HYDROMET handbook as a resource document to all Southern Region offices.
IMPACT STATEMENTS IN RIVER FLOOD PRODUCTS. Sometimes overlooked when producing river flood products are the impacts that occur due to floods. Inclusion of statements related to the impacts of an event provide more information on which to base decisions. Impact information need not be extensive or overly detailed to be effective. Impact information is often not readily available and NWS offices must often be pro-active in order to obtain such information. For example, a call to a law enforcement official or an emergency manager may be all that is needed to get impact information. Another mechanism to obtain impact information would be to talk with local citizens along the affected river reach during site visitations. HSA offices are encouraged to include impact information in their river flood products for all categories of flooding. With the continued deployment of AWIPS and the capabilities associated with the WFO Hydrologic Forecast System, now would be a good time to review and update, if necessary, the impact information and flood category information contained in your SHIMS or AWIPS databases. HSA offices should be aware that impacts may change as increased urbanization and related factors change the characteristics of the stream drainage.
NEWS FROM OUR HYDROLOGIC SERVICE AREAS
HYDROLOGIC CONFERENCE. NWSO Jacksonville played host to a hydrologic conference in late December. The meeting, attended by NWSO Tallahassee senior service hydrologist Bob Carle and Corps of Engineers and Suwannee River Water Management District personnel, was held to coordinate actions and responses to various hydrometeorological scenarios by government water resource agencies involved with flooding.
WHFS COURSE FEEDBACK. NWSFO Tulsa service hydrologist Al Hong attended a pilot version of the WFO Hydrologic Forecast System (WHFS) course at the NWSTC in Kansas City. Al thought the course was very educational. In particular, he thought the section dealing with troubleshooting was very beneficial to all attendees. He also thought the opportunity to share experiences with other class members on WHFS would assist him in making better use of WHFS capabilities in his hydrologic service area.
SEMINAR IN SAN ANGELO. NWSO San Angelo hydrologic focal point Amy McCullough hosted a hydrologic seminar for the San Angelo staff on January 7. The seminar, attended by Midland MIC Ray Fagen and hydrologic focal point T.J. Turnage, was videotaped for staff members who could not attend. The main topics covered were data sources, hydrologic products, dambreak procedures and flood problem areas in the HSA.
RAINFALL INFORMATION ON THE WEB. NWSFO Atlanta service hydrologist Gary Butler has placed monthly rainfall data and rainfall climatology information for 105 northern and central Georgia sites on the Web at: http://www.srh.noaa.gov/ftproot/ffc/html/bubbalast.htm
EL NIÑO/LA NIÑA COMPARISON STUDY. NWSO Tampa Bay Area service hydrologist Frank Alsheimer and forecaster Ron Morales have placed the results of an El Niño/La Niña comparison study they completed on the Tampa Bay Area NWSO home page. To see the study, which suggests that winter flooding is 4 to 8 times more likely over central Florida during El Niño winters, search the following URL: http://www.marine.usf.edu/nws/elnino.htm
NEWS FROM OUR RIVER FORECAST CENTERS
WGRFC AND LMRFC ENTER AWIPS ERA. AWIPS was installed at WGRFC the week of January 26 and LMRFC the week of February 2. On-site user training (OUT) was completed by PRC personnel for both RFCs. Many thanks go to the installation teams who performed the installations in a professional manner with minimal disruption to WGRFC and LMRFC operations. WGRFC and LMRFC are actively working to implement their existing operational forecast systems onto the AWIPS workstations.
SAMEX '98: THE 1998 STORM AND MESOSCALE ENSEMBLE EXPERIMENT. The Center for the Analysis and Prediction of Storms (CAPS) at the University of Oklahoma (OU) is coordinating a multi-institutional numerical modeling experiment focusing on mesoscale predictability over the central and southern Plains. A technical attachment to this issue of Topics provides more details.
The experiment period will run from mid-April through early June and will allow both operational and research meteorologists to evaluate the utility of intermediate- (10 km) and high- (2-3 km) spatial resolution numerical models and somewhat lower resolution (30 km) ensemble forecasts in anticipating mesoscale weather events. Model output will be made available to participants via the World Wide Web.
Participants in SAMEX '98 include CAPS, the OU School of Meteorology, NCEP--including AWC, SPC and EMC, NCAR, the Air Force Weather Agency, NSSL and NWS offices in Kansas, Oklahoma and North Texas. Future plans for SAMEX include adding other models and evaluators and the prediction of cold-season weather systems.
HAVE LAPTOP, WILL TRAVEL, WIRE MEISNER, SSD. Bernard Meisner (SSD) presented an overview of El Niño, with an emphasis on effects of the current event on Texas weather, to the 37th Annual Texas Emergency Management Conference for State and Local Officials in San Antonio, February 15-17. Bernard then traveled to Houston where he gave seminars on Recent and Imminent Changes to the NCEP model suite to the Spaceflight Meteorology Group and NWSO Houston, followed by a talk on TPC guidance models to the Houston Chapter of the American Meteorological Society. Bernard will be converting these presentations for teletraining later this month.
AMS AWARDS. It is time again to carefully consider Southern Region employees for appropriate awards provided by the American Meteorological Society. The significant accomplishments and major weather events of the past year has demonstrated that we have many individuals and groups who have earned recognition. More information about relevant awards can be found in any recent copy of the AMS Bulletin and the same information has been sent to all offices. All nominations should be sent to the SRH Acting Regional Director by April 20. Contact SSD for more information about these awards.
DISCOVERY CHANNEL INTERVIEW. Dan Sobien (NWSO Tampa Bay Area) recently assisted the BBC/Discovery Channel which was seeking information about weather conditions over the southwest Atlantic - or more specifically, the Bermuda Triangle. He discussed the nature and frequency of common marine weather events which could explain some recent reports of damage to boats in the region, including waterspouts, downbursts and gust fronts. Dan also provided a copy of a recent local study dealing with a resonant wave along the Florida Gulf Coast, which the interviewer may use as part of the report. The interview stems from collaborative work that is underway between the NWSO and marine science faculty at the University of South Florida, who referred the BBC to the NWS for meteorological assistance.
LYONS IN LUBBOCK. Dr. Steve Lyons (NCEP/NHC) recently visited NWSFO Lubbock to provide two seminars on satellite interpretation and numerical models. Both seminars were well attended, with about 40 participants overall. Attendees included forecasters from the NWSFO as well as NWSOs Amarillo, Midland and San Angelo. Also participating were several graduate students and three professors from the Atmospheric Science Department at nearby Texas Tech University, as well as visitors from three local television stations. Most will recall that Steve was formerly part of the Scientific Services Division staff at SRH, and his "Forecaster Notes" are still often requested. Great job, Steve, and thanks for your continuing assistance to forecasters.
GOES-TAPS GOING. A decision has been made to terminate the GOES-Tap lines on June 1 of this year. Since the advent of the first GOES satellite, the NESDIS Satellite Field Services Stations - and their contractor-staffed successors - have reliably provided satellite data to all forecast offices. SWIS and microSWIS (at WSOs) evolved from the original hard-copy receivers that were about the size (and shape) of refrigerators. Now, the AWIPS Satellite Broadcast Network (SBN) provides more and better data, and SBN will allow us to discontinue the expensive GOES-Tap land lines. At sites yet to receive AWIPS we will rely on the regional Frame Relay Networks. Much work remains to be done, however, to ensure the SBN/FRN distribution system is reliable and fully operational.
NEW HYDRO TRAINING MODULE. COMET has completed the second of two hydrology training packages, Hydrology for the Meteorologist: The Headwater Forecast Process. This web-based module may be accessed via the Meted Website at http://meted.ucar.edu. The module builds on topics covered in the first CD-ROM, Hydrology for the Meteorologist: Basic Hydrology for Headwater Forecasting.
The new module provides a basic procedure to follow when approaching a possible flood situation, similar to the way COMET's Forecast Process module outlined procedures for developing a weather forecast. Since flooding is not a problem addressed by forecasters everyday, this training can be viewed as a continuing resource of hydrologic information. Forecasters can review the material as needed to stay current on procedures and concepts.
The module runs using the IconAuthor Net Edition Present program plug-in that must be downloaded. Detailed instructions on how to accomplish this are available from the Hydrology for the Meteorologist home page. This Web module has been tested in both Netscape (3.02, 4.0) and Internet Explorer (3.01, 4.03) and may be accessed by any multimedia PC connected to the Internet. The module will not run on Unix machines, however. COMET welcomes comments regarding the content, instructional approach or use of this Web module. Please contact the developers, Elizabeth Page or Dwight Owens, via the "Send Your Comments" link from the Hydrology for the Meteorologist home page, or use firstname.lastname@example.org, or email@example.com.
TECHNICAL ATTACHMENTS. The following studies are included as tech attachments this month.
SAMEX '98: The 1998 Storm and Mesoscale Ensemble Experiment, by SAMEX Work Group.
Seasonal Thunderstorm Study at Little Rock, Arkansas, by Barbara Shea NWSFO Little Rock.
Floods on the Lower Mississippi: An Historical Economic Overview, by Paul S. Trotter, G. Alan Johnson, Robert Ricks, David R. Smith, NWSFO New Orleans/Baton Rouge and Donnel Woods, WSO/COE, Vicksburg.
The Role of Dynamic Cooling in the Snowstorm on the Eastern Highland Rim and Cumberland Plateau of Tennessee, by Henry Steigerwaldt NWSO Nashville.
BACKUP SERVER TO THE RESCUE. Another office, this time NWSFO Little Rock, found that having a backup server on their Local Area Network saved the day. They had a backup NT Domain Controller that also contained a current backup of the cc:Mail database files. When they lost their Main Domain Controller, the backup Domain Controller took over the task of logging in users, and a quick address change at Southern Region Headquarters kept the cc:Mail messages flowing to the office through the backup system. Many offices now have a backup system set up and it really comes in handy if the main system goes down.
NTROUTER VERSION 6.10.01.2. By the time this is published, all WFOs should be using this latest NTROUTER.EXE program for routing their cc:Mail messages. This completes Phase 1 of the migration to the DB8 cc:Mail post office structure. Southern Region Headquarters will have completed all three phases by the end of February, which means that all workstations have been upgraded to the Release 6 Client software and the post office databases have been converted to the newer DB8 structure. By accomplishing these phases ahead of schedule at Southern Region Headquarters, it allows us to better serve the field offices when they prepare to complete these phases.
BUDGET TRACKING UPDATE. The second round of Budget Tracking tests will begin the first week in March. While the first round of testing was successful, several offices tested with only one or two forms. This time around, the plan is to ask each office to exercise every form found on the latest budforms.wpf menu. A note of thanks to everyone involved for making a special effort to get this program off the ground!
DON'T GET CAUGHT WITH YOUR DISK DOWN. Just think about how much work you have done since your last system backup. All those Word Perfect files, cc:Mail archives, databases, spreadsheets... Just when you finally got your computer set the way you wanted it, along came a lightning strike that cooked your system.
Don't think it won't happen to you. A recent disk drive crash at Southern Region Headquarters resulted in a user having to completely reconstruct a system from scratch. The real shocker came when the user realized that backups of a couple of locally developed applications simply did not exist. OUCH!!
You can prevent this disaster from ever happening to you by simply following a few basic backup procedures:
HOLM & JEFFERSON AWARD NOMINATIONS. The Holm and Jefferson Award nominations are due at Southern Region Headquarters by the end of March. If there are deserving cooperative observers in your CWA, please submit a current rating sheet and supporting documentation to the RCPM.
MISSING DATA PERCENTAGES. The missing data percentages shown in the graph below continue to reflect an alarming trend for 1997. During most of 1996 and early 1997, the percentage of missing data for the Southern Region was at or below 1%, but as we progressed through the year that percentage has risen to nearly 2%. This is a very undesirable trend.
COOPERATIVE NETWORK EXPANSION. The NWSH is continuing to push for a minimum of one temperature/precipitation reporting cooperative observer per county. Each of these observers would be required to report daily using the PC-ROSA system as well as submit the monthly form. These observers may be a part of the current "a" or "b" networks or may be a new station specifically established to support this need. These stations would be part of a "c" network since they would be in support of the meteorology functions of the National Weather Service. Please review your current networks and let me know how many MMTS units you would need to complete the project.
TRAINING MANUAL. Dale Rodda, surface observational specialist, from the Lake Charles, LA, office has been working closely with NWSH to develop a training paper aimed at providing assistance to SAWRS and LAWRS observers. He has spent a great deal of time developing this manual and it is in the final stages of review. It is hoped this manual will go to print shortly.
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