UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE
NATIONAL OCEANIC AND ATMOSPHERIC ADMINISTRATION
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE
Fort Worth, Texas
November 15, 1996
SILVER MEDAL AWARDED TO SOUTHEAST RFC. We just received word from NWS Director Joe Friday that the Southeast River Forecast Center (SERFC) in Atlanta (Peachtree City, Georgia) has been awarded a DOC Silver Medal. The award recognizes the exemplary performance of the SERFC during the widespread flooding in Georgia, Alabama, and Florida by the remnants of Tropical Storm Alberto July 3-11, 1994. This protracted flood event produced 24-hour rainfall totals exceeding 21 inches at some locations and storm totals in excess of 27 inches. Throughout the event, the SERFC staff provided accurate river forecasts for flood crests that in some cases far exceeded any historical crests. The SERFC staff used extraordinary ingenuity to utilize WSR-88D precipitation data from the then newly installed PUP in their forecast operations, even though there was no way for that information to be routinely incorporated into the RFC operational models at that time.
We extend our congratulations to Hydrologist-in-Charge Dave Helms and his SERFC staff for this well deserved honor.
MISSING COOPERATIVE DATA. The National Climatic Data Center recently released the July and August 1996 missing data reports for the Cooperative Program. The Southern Region DAPM/HMT teams continue to manage this program in a manner that is the envy of the nation. The missing data percentage for July was 0.5 per cent; for August the rate dropped to 0.4 percent.
The missing data percentages for the Southern Region Cooperative Program continue to lead the nation. For five of the last six months, the missing percentage rate has been below 1 per cent. One other region has had a rate below 1 per cent over the same period, and then only for one month. The national missing data percentage has not dropped below 1.5 percent for over a year. The DAPM/HMT teams across the Southern Region are to be complimented on this exceptional accomplishment.
Further information may be obtained on the DAPM Southern Region home page:
AWIPS LATEST NEWS. AWIPS build 1.1 was sent to the AWIPS sites via the Network Control Facility (NCF) beginning October 31. This release corrects difficulties discovered during the past several months of AWIPS operations at the development sites and the compatibility of the WSR-88D Build 9. Another build, 1.1.1, will be released to the field the week of November 12 to correct additional deficiencies.
SITE SURVEYS. The first week of November was a busy one for Southern Region and AWIPS. A team consisting of PRC, GTE, AWIPS Program Office, and SRH representatives conducted site surveys at three offices.
The first site was SRH which poses its own particular difficulties as the satellite dish will have to be placed on the roof (14th floor) of the federal building in downtown Fort Worth. There were numerous questions about whether or not the structure could support such a large dish (3.7m) and so much weight (18k pounds with ballast) and whether or not there would be any interference from neighboring transmitters. Fortunately, the building can support the weight of the dish; and after thorough testing from GTE, no interference was found. Now SRH will just need to "shoehorn" in the equipment racks into the equipment room. (NOTE: In planning for your site survey, the equipment racks need 36-inch clearance in the front and back for maintenance!)
Next the team moved to NWSFO/RFC Fort Worth. The offices were ready to go with their floor plans and were easily able to accommodate the equipment in the equipment room. The WFO had a difficult time coming to a consensus on the layout of the workstations, but the floor plan they used is flexible enough that some changes can be made between now and delivery without too much difficulty.
The final site was NWSFO Norman. This site is unique and will be the next Southern Region site to receive their equipment. They will be receiving AWIPS hardware with the WFO advanced software; and the installation will be a joint effort between the NWS, FSL, and PRC. Norman has the advantage of having a floor plan already designed for a workstation environment, so few changes were necessary.
Next on the list--WFO/RFC New Orleans, December 2-3.
NATIONAL SCIENCE TEACHER'S CONFERENCE. Many thanks to the NWSFO Atlanta team--Barry Gooden, Patricia `Tish' Hart, Jim Noffsinger, and Don Silva--for supporting the National Science Teacher's Association (NSTA) conference in Atlanta from October 31 through November 1. With a great amount of energy and enthusiasm, they helped educate nearly 4300 science teachers from all over the country about NOAA. These staff members distributed thousands of publications and piqued the many teachers' interest in NOAA and its many scientific missions. The Peachtree City staff members exhibited great salesmanship throughout the conference and shared many ideas about how NOAA can improve the quality of its participation in future conferences.
ADOPT-A-SCHOOL. Many staffs continue to be imaginative in their outreach efforts. The people at NWSFO Dallas/Fort Worth have made noteworthy commitment to support the teachers and students of an inner city school on a continuing basis through the adopt-a-school program. For more than eight years the staff has delivered a wide range of programs in the natural sciences to hundreds of students at Fort Worth's Morningside Elementary School. Most recently WCM Jim Stefkovich gave two presentations to 54 fifth-grade students about climatology (with the students participating in actual math) and how it is used in weather forecasting and how many industries rely on climatological information to get their jobs done. Thank you NWSFO Dallas/Fort Worth!
NWSO HOUSTON/GALVESTON MARINE EVALUATION PROGRAM. Attached are the minutes from the Houston/Galveston Marine Advisory Committee (MAC) meeting which took place on October 29. All coastal offices should be engaged with their marine users in a similar manner. The purpose of the MAC is to give the local office feedback on how to improve service to the marine users. NWSO Houston/Galveston has found the MAC to be very helpful in sensitizing them to the users' needs. For more information on what the MAC does for NWSO Houston, contact Robert Van Hoven at Houston via cc:Mail.
CALL FOR STAR APPLICANTS. We are accepting applications for the next STAR employee for January through March. Positions are available in Scientific Services and Meteorological Services Divisions. Please see the "Call for Applicants" memo dated November 5, 1996, for details and on the SRH home page under Special Projects.
WINTER WEATHER PREPAREDNESS. The chill in the air over recent weeks is a sure sign that winter is on its way. This is prime time for offices across the region to gear up their winter weather preparedness campaigns. Below are a few highlights.
Renee Fair (WCM, NWSFO Little Rock) reports that Arkansas Winter Weather Awareness Day has been scheduled for November 21. Governor Mike Huckabee has joined the NWS and the Arkansas Office of Emergency Services for the 1996 campaign. Governor Huckabee has encouraged citizens to use the day to review winter weather safety rules and the hazards posed by winter weather. NWSFO Little Rock has prepared a winter weather home page for the upcoming season.
Bruce Burkman (WCM, NWSO Shreveport) conducted a winter and severe weather safety workshop for a 17-parish area in northern Louisiana. Attendance included school directors, emergency managers, city officials, media representatives, and atmospheric science students from Northeast Louisiana University. After the workshop, Bruce spent time with the local television weather personalities who were in attendance, addressing their specific questions and needs.
Ed Andrade, Jim Caruso, Steven Cobb, and Freddie Zeigler of NWSO Amarillo conducted a winter weather workshop for the NWSO staff and the broadcast media. The workshop was a general overview of winter weather terminology, phenomena, and forecast procedures. The presenters assembled packets with various winter-related research papers and other information for the attendees. The weathercasters were appreciative of the NWSO's efforts and indicated a desire for the staff to expand their workshop series.
SAFETY FAIRS. Several offices have participated in recent safety fairs in their areas.
Jeff Raberding and Doug Cain of NWSFO Fort Worth staffed a booth at the Natural Disaster Preparedness and Safety Fair held in Denton, Texas. The fair was sponsored by the Denton Fire Department and Alpha Phi Omega fraternity at the University of North Texas. Other exhibitors included FEMA, the American Red Cross, and local law enforcement agencies. Approximately 100 people representing a broad age cross section visited the booth. Jeff and Doug reported that there was a great deal of interest in the Wichita Falls tornado of 1979 and the damage it caused.
NWSO Amarillo staffed a booth for eight days at the Tri-State Fair in Amarillo. The fair drew nearly 200,000 people from Amarillo and the surrounding area. WCM Doug Crowley reported that there was lots of activity at the booth, including a good deal of interaction with their customers from across the area.
TEXAS EMC TRAINING. NWSFO Austin/San Antonio WCM Larry Eblen conducted an NWS Orientation for 22 local Emergency Managers and their staff members. Larry covered a wide range of topics including the ongoing changes in NWS services across the state, NWS forecast products, and preparedness and education efforts. Larry provided a short overview of spotter training activities and described the assistance in other areas which the NWS can provide (conducting drills, assisting with awareness weeks, etc.). The attendees were also provided a sample of our educational/preparedness brochures.
HURRICANE SUPPORT. MIC Paul Trotter and WCM Frank Revitte represented NWSFO New Orleans/Baton Rouge at the recent meeting of the Southeast Louisiana Hurricane Task Force. Topics at the meeting included the upcoming tabletop exercise to test evacuation plans, efforts between the City of New Orleans and the NWSFO to further the hurricane preparedness campaign, and an update on a storm surge study being undertaken by Louisiana State University.
ALERT PROGRAM REVIEW. A summary of the recently held SAAS Conference is included as a technical attachment to this issue of Topics. It also includes useful information regarding other ALERT User Groups.
WASHINGTON BOUND. Glenn Austin (Deputy Chief, HSD) will be leaving SRH at the end of November. Glenn has accepted a position at NWSH Office of Hydrology where he will assume the responsibilities of the Deputy Chief, Hydrologic Operations Division, under Dr. Ed Johnson.
Glenn has spent the last 15 months in HSD and has helped administer the HSA Transition, supported RFC modernization, and coordinated hydrologic training (among other things). He has also been the Regional QPF Program Leader and ALERT/Hydromet Project Coordinator. Prior to his tenure in HSD, Glenn worked for two years in SSD as the Technology Transition Specialist. For the past three years Glenn has served as Group Leader for the Computer Management and Internet Team in SRH.
Glenn's talents will be missed in HSD, and we wish him the very best in his new assignment.
Texas Drought. NWSFO Lubbock Service Hydrologist Steve Drillette reports that Lubbock has received about 79 per cent of their normal rainfall through October. Says Steve:
It appears from a climatological standpoint that Lubbock remains in a drought. For the last three out of four years, annual precipitation totals have been well below normal. The exception was in 1995 when near normal precipitation was recorded. Looking at the big picture, Lubbock's four-year drought continues.
A newspaper article in the November 8 Fort Worth Star-Telegram described the 1996 cotton crop as disastrous along the perimeter of the cotton-belt. The article noted the area between Wichita Falls and south of Lubbock as "a total disaster." A paymaster at a cotton gin in Snyder, 80 miles southeast of Lubbock, remarked, "There will be no profit this year." Most Texas cotton is grown in the counties surrounding Lubbock, where midsummer rains and a relatively warm early autumn have prompted record production in some fields and an overall better outlook than in the spring, according to the article. However, the showers that fueled cotton growth there rarely moved south and east, leaving crops farther away left to wither. The cotton crop along the Red River near Vernon was called, "as bad a crop as we've ever had" by Wilbarger County agricultural extension agent Korky Wise.
SIGNIFICANT HYDROLOGIC EVENTS
Tropical Storm Josephine. The following summary was composed from numerous reports sent to HSD by our northern Florida HSAs. On October 7 Tropical Storm Josephine moved across northern Florida and southern Georgia from the Gulf of Mexico. The storm dropped heavy rains on top of already saturated grounds. These saturated grounds were the result of a stalled-out frontal boundary draped across northern and central Florida for much of the first week of October. Here is a sample of rainfall totals for the first eight days of October, including the rains from Josephine: St. Simons Island, Georgia, 13.67 inches; NAS Cecil Field, Florida, 12.43 inches; NWSO Jacksonville, 11.46 inches; and NAS Jacksonville, 10.88 inches. Two-day rain totals from Josephine included 8.60 inches at Cecil Field and 8.44 inches at St. Simons Island, Georgia. NWSO Tallahassee received 7.79 inches for the 24-hour period ending at 1200 UTC on the 8th, but then received only 0.02 inches the rest of the month.
The Jacksonville office issued four River Flood Warnings, 17 Flood Statements, 20 River Statements, and six Flood Warnings as a result of Tropical Storm Josephine's passage.
Flooding in the Texas Hill Country. John Patton (Service Hydrologist, NWSFO San Antonio) and Amy McCullough (Hydrologic Focal Point, NWSO San Angelo) provided details on the following flood event in the San Antonio and San Angelo HSAs. Rainfall of 12 inches was reported near Harper, 11 inches at Rocksprings, and 10.55 inches at Doss (all near the Kimble/Kerr/Gillespie county line) late Sunday night and early Monday morning, October 27-28. The deluge, associated with an approaching cold front, abundant low and midlevel moisture, and a passing upper level disturbance resulted in record flooding and flash flooding.
At Center Point in Kerr County, the Guadalupe River rose 8 feet in 18 minutes. In Kimble County, an observer at Telegraph on the South Fork of the Llano River reported a 20-foot rise by 7:30 a.m. on the 28th. This flood wave rapidly inundated the South Llano State Park, with low parts of the park under 15 feet of rapidly moving water. A dangerous flood wave moving down the Nueces River at Barksdale trapped a man in his truck. The man, having driven around a barrier according to witnesses, perished as his truck was swept away. The West Nueces River was estimated to be a mile wide northeast of Bracketville. The Nueces at Uvalde 9SW crested at a height of 20 feet and a width of a half mile. The observer could not access the gage because of the high water which would indicate a flow of near 100,000 cfs. Evacuations of residents by helicopter were necessary in Crystal City. In Kimble County alone, damage to county roads was estimated at $1.79 million with private property losses near $1 million.
The Llano River at Llano crested at 30.92 feet with a flow of 207,298 cfs! Amazingly, much of the area southwest of San Antonio remains in drought stress. Uvalde received 0.00 inches of rain during this event. And, though major flooding occurred along the Upper Nueces River, almost none of the runoff was expected to reach Lake Corpus Christi. The estimated 100,000 cfs flow at Uvalde 9SW translated to a downstream flow of 10,300 cfs at Asherton. The overbank storage of the flood consumed 90,000 cfs, or 90 per cent of the flow, in the 73 river miles between Uvalde 9SW and Asherton. The same is true of the Frio River into Choke Canyon Reservoir.
NEWS FROM OUR HYDROLOGIC SERVICE AREAS
Backwater Flood Problems. NWSFO Little Rock Service Hydrologist Steve Bays visited the Arkansas State Highway Transportation Department (ASHTD) Hydraulics Section to obtain high water highway closure information. His primary interest was Highway 37 at Elgin Ferry, an often flooded major connection between western Independence County and eastern Jackson County. Steve says that when the Little Rock Corps of Engineers regulates the White River reservoirs to a 21-foot stage at Newport, the highway can be overtopped by the backwater. A site visit revealed, "The bridge is high and dry, but both approach roads are not built high enough out of the flood plain." Steve suggests that other Service Hydrologists consider using their state's Highway and Transportation Department Hydraulics Sections as a possible source for high water data.
Updated Manual in Midland. NWSO Midland Hydrologic Focal Point T.J. Turnage has printed the new version of Midland's Hydrologic Service Manual. T.J. spent several months adding recently transferred E-19 information. He also included information regarding the operation of the office's Hydro computer.
T.J. reports that stages near bankfull were observed along the Rio Grande at the Presidio 5SE site from October 10-15. This was due to a large volume of water being routed down the Rio Conchos from Luis Leon Reservoir in Mexico to Lake Amistad at Del Rio. The Midland NWSO issued two River Statements in coordination with the release.
Other Manual Labor. NWSO Shreveport Service Hydrologist Craig Ross has also been busy working on backup issues. Craig recently completed a first draft of his station's HSA manual with an expected completion date of late November. He also has been coordinating with Jackson Service Hydrologist Tom Thompson regarding Shreveport's role as backup to the NWSFO in Jackson.
Hydro Conference in Jacksonville. A one-day hydrology conference was held at the NWSO Jacksonville completing the hydrologic conference held last spring. Speakers included Dr. Chris Herbster, a COMET post-doc working at NWSO Tallahassee. Chris shared his expertise on sea breeze effects over northern Florida. Members of the Suwannee River Water Management District gave a presentation on the coarse topography and associated problems inherent in predicting flooding on North Florida rivers. Officials from the St. Johns River Water Management District presented a study on flooding on Black Creek. Also in attendance was Bob Carle (Service Hydrologist, NWSO Tallahassee) who helped NWSO Jacksonville Hydrologic Focal Point Kent Kuyper install the SHIMS program.
Updating E-19s in Lake Charles. Ray Sondag (Hydrologic Focal Point, NWSO Lake Charles), accompanied by WCM Roger Erickson and DAPM Ellie Pittman, surveyed two flood sites--one at Old Town Bay on the Calcasieu and the second along the Vermillion River through Lafayette Parish. Ray took photographs and gathered other information he plans on adding to the E-19 data already on-station to better enable forecasters make their warning decisions.
SOO NEWS. NWSO Mobile SOO Jeff Medlin arranged for Jim Keeney (OSF/OTB instructor) to conduct an afternoon seminar on WSR-88D Build 9.0 at his office. Jim focused on upcoming significant changes to the PUP graphics tablet, product display features, and algorithms, such as the NSSL SCIT algorithm, the new hail algorithm, and the cell trends 4-panel display. Details of the new User Selected Precipitation (USP#31) product were also discussed. Twenty meteorologists (including SOOs, WCMs, and MICs) and one NEXRAD ET from NWS offices at Mobile, Tallahassee, Jackson, and Slidell participated.
Prior to the seminar, Jim conducted a WSR-88D mini-workshop for the NWSO staff, covering product acquisition and display, basic UCP functions, and an overall introduction to the radar. The workshop included adequate time for interaction among instructor, meteorologists and HMTs. Text-book situations were brought to light in a real-life context and confirmed through past experience as topics progressed from one to the next. This method of training was found to be very effective, and the HMT response was overwhelmingly positive. Good work, Jeff, and thanks for a job well done, Jim.
Jim Ward, NWSFO Austin/San Antonio SOO, sent us an article from the journal BATS (Fall 1996 issue) titled, "Bats Aloft: A Study of High-Altitude Feeding," by Gary McCracken. Dr. McCracken credits Jim and the NWSFO staff--and the WSR-88D--with being instrumental in his research which demonstrates clearly the economic importance of bats as scavengers of insects. Mexican free-tailed bats abound in central Texas caves and may well consume over a million pounds--that's 500 tons!--of insects in a single night. Combined with other data related to major insect pests, the Doppler radar provides evidence that the bats fly higher and farther than previously thought in order to eat enormous quantities of migrating corn earworms (also known as cotton bollworms), the number-one agricultural pest in America.
It's well known that bats are important to local farmers, but McCracken's research provides the first demonstration of their value on a much larger regional scale than earlier thought.
Dave Sharp, NWSO Melbourne SOO, and forecaster Steve Hodanish are co-authors of the paper "A Real-Time Examination of the Incremental Value of Lightning Data in Diagnosing Convective Storm Characteristics," which will be included in the preprints of the 7th Conference on Aviation, Range and Aerospace Meteorology, part of the AMS Annual Meeting in Long Beach next February. Their paper is also included as a technical attachment to this week's Topics.
INTERESTING WEB SITES. The list of interesting and useful web sites is fast becoming endless. Here are several that forecasters may want to check out. We've added links to these in SSD's section of the SRH homepage (http://www.srh.noaa.gov).
For tutorials on C/C++, UNIX, HTML, e:Mail and VI, try
The USAF Air Weather Service homepage provides a variety of information useful to our programs and training, plus links to many other related USAF sites. Start with
NCEP's Environmental Modeling Center (EMC) posts their annual report on their homepage. It contains information about operational models, development activities, as well as recent and planned changes in models. If you want to know about the models, start with http://nic.fb4.noaa.gov:8000.
NESDIS has archived satellite precipitation estimates (SPEs) that forecasters or satellite focal points may find very interesting. To reach the site, use the following address: http://hpssd1en.wwb.noaa.gov. Once there, click on "online data" to find the precipitation estimates under "Precipitation Data." Note some of the high-resolution GIF images of the estimates and delve into the 30-day archives for events that may have affected your area.
The Mesoscale Applications Group at NSSL has announced the NSSL Bibliographic Database (NBD) at this address:
The NBD helps forecasters and researchers locate references on hazardous weather quickly and easily. Currently, there are over 900 references related to hazardous winter weather in the NBD. References on tornados, lightning, and meteorological uses of satellite data will be added in the near future.
NCEP MANAGEMENT CHANGES. Bob Derouin, who for many years served as Deputy Director of NMC's Meteorological Operations Division, and most recently in the same capacity for MOD's successor, the Hydrometeorological Prediction Center (HPC), will retire at the end of this year. His position will be filled by Dave Olson, who is well known to forecasters for his many years at NMC/NCEP, and particularly for his work toward improving QPF guidance.
Dave's position as Chief of HPC's Forecast Operations Branch will be advertised soon. This is an excellent opportunity for a forecaster or field manager to join the NCEP/HPC team and continue the record of steadily improving centralized guidance for the modernized NWS.
NSSL WINTER WEATHER SEMINAR. Dr. John Cortinas of the NSSL's Mesoscale Applications Group presented a seminar at NWSFO Jackson last week on winter weather activities and research at NSSL and the NCEP Storm Prediction Center (SPC) in Norman. John's talk highlighted current activities of the SPC and plans for the future, as well as work by the mesoscale applications group in developing a freezing rain climatology and bibliographic database for the entire country. His talk also included reasons and encouragement for WFOs to send local storm reports (LSRs) for winter weather and a suggestion for an "ingredients based" approach to winter weather forecasting. The bibliographic database will be available on the web.
NWSFO forecasters, faculty from the Jackson State University meteorology program, and a student from Mississippi State attended the seminar, which was videotaped. In the afternoon, Dr. Cortinas visited JSU where he gave a brief talk on research meteorology careers and advanced degrees in meteorology for the students there.
PC APPLICATION PROGRAM UPDATES. We recently updated the information on PC applications programs on the SRH home page on the Internet. To view the lists of PC Applications available from SSD, begin with the SRH home page, and then click sequentially on Divisions, SSD, Local Applications Development, and then either Applications from Southern Region or Applications from other regions.
Note that the most recent versions of some important programs are available on the Southern Region server by either FTP or by dial-in menu selection (see the last issue of Topics for details). If you have any questions or want to request one of the listed programs, please call Gordon Hammons in SSD (817-978-2671).
AFOS APPLICATION PROGRAM STATUS. We recently updated the information on AFOS applications programs on the SRH home Page. Many of the programs on the list have recently been updated, and we have added version numbers accordingly. To view the Table of Contents for AFOS Applications available from SSD, begin with the SRH home page, and then click sequentially on Divisions, SSD, Local Applications Development, and then AFOS Applications. The Table of Contents is now complete with all 174 programs listed. We will attempt to keep this list more current as programs are updated so that you can easily refer to the latest updates. This is especially important since the Quarterly Report on Local Applications is no longer available in hard copy form. The Techniques Development Laboratory plans to place relevant information on applications programs (and programming) on the TDL home page on the Internet. We will keep you informed as the plan develops.
TEXAS A&M MEETING. SOOs George Wilken (Little Rock) and Andy Patrick (Corpu Christi) joined Bernard Meisner and Dan Smith (SSD) at the Cooperative Institute for Applied Meteorological Studies (CIAMS) last Friday to help plan for the annual meeting of Southern Region SOOs and cooperative institute faculty and students. Prof. Kevin Kloesel from the Cooperative Institute for Tropical Meteorology (CITM) at FSU also participated. The next SOO/CITM/CIAMS meeting is being planned for the coming spring at Texas A&M.
Dr. Kloesel was also the invited speaker at the monthly CIAMS seminar series later in the day. He discussed projects under way at CITM, and in particular emphasized the close links that have developed among the institute faculty and Florida SOOs (and Mobile). SOOs Jim Ward (Austin/San Antonio), Felix Navejar (Lake Charles), and Steve Allen (Houston) participated in the seminar, along with Nezette Rydell from NWSFO Austin/San Antonio. Nezette and Dr. Kloesel are collaborating on a COMET Partners project involving convection initiation along the Balcones Escarpment in Texas, and Kevin's next stop was the NWSFO the next day.
A FREE LESSON FOR SOUTHERN REGION. The following was submitted by a Southern Region MIC:
A couple of PCs at an NWSO recently became infected with virus(es). It seems the office did not have an internet connection, but one of the employees had an ISP account which he used at work, and allowed coworkers to use, and they have been downloading files onto office PCS. Voila! A virus of the Stoned.Empire Monkey/Monkey-B variety was found on an office machine today. Of course there has been a lot of diskette swapping from machine to machine, so at least two machines are thought to be infected.
The Stoned.Empire Monkey/Monkey-B strain of virus infects the boot sector, master boot sector of the first physical hard drive. Once resident in a computer, these viruses infect any 1.44Mb, 1.2Mb, 720Kb, or 360Kb floppy in drives A: or B: when that drive is accessed, but doesn't infect EVERY time a diskette is placed in a drive unless the virus has been loaded into memory.
From what we have been able to learn, this is a very tricky virus to remove. And, that's what the NWSO has learned. Their first attempts to remove the virus probably made things worse. They tried to do a high-level format, and that causes the virus to be unremovable by virus protection software. They finally had to do a low-level format and lost all data/software on the drive(s). They had no recent backup so all the work and data were lost.
To make things worse, there's a possibility they got the virus onto their AFOS. They were installing the Hawk upgrade and had trouble getting the 2.+Mb floppy to work, so they installed a 1.44Mb to see if the Hawk could talk to it. It could talk to some of the 1.44Mb diskettes (where did they come from????!!). There's no sign the Hawk was infected, but one has to worry.
Also, their ET swapped a lot of diskettes between machines as he tried to diagnose the PC trouble this morning.
This incident is going to cost the NWSO a lot of time to recover from. We can avoid duplicating their loss by tightening our security. All employees need to be cautioned about a) downloading software (regardless the source) onto NWS equipment; b) checking all downloaded software for viruses BEFORE installing/ running on NWS equipment; c) copying/moving software from one machine to another without checking for viruses before loading onto the destination machine.
The travails of our neighbors and colleagues are good examples of the fruit of indiscriminate downloading/swapping. Let's not wait until we're infected. Let's be careful from the beginning.
NWSO HAWK UPGRADE. Nearly all Southern Region NWSOs have upgraded with the new Hawk system for their AFOS. A few sites had some difficulties; but overall the implementation has been successful. Thanks to all for your hard work!
ABTS IN THE OFFICE. We have had a few questions in recent months about the fate of the ABT and how it would be nice to get rid of them. Believe it or not, there has been recent discussion at NWSH on the removal of ABTs from the offices. We do not have any definite answers yet. NWSH is still discussing this and, if approved, how the removal would take place. We will keep you posted.
BUILD 9.0 DEPLOYMENT. All Build 9.0 kits for Southern Region were distributed during the October 28 through November 6 time frame (Build 9.0 is the software upgrade for the WSR-88D system) which adds several new capabilities, products, and algorithms. As of now we have had no major problems with the upgrade. A shout of "Thank You," goes out to the Electronics Staff at each site for their hard work and diligence in getting this upgrade installed in such a timely manner. This is a major software upgrade which required hours of preparation.
The Operational Support Facility (OSF) at Norman was a major player in the effort to get the kits out to the field sites. A well-deserved "Thank You" goes out to their staff also.
CONTRACT MAINTENANCE. Lockheed Martin is scheduled to perform ECP 4260-33, Gear Box Seal Replacement, and ECP 4260-040, Waveguide Heliax Cable Support Nuts Retrofit (Mod Note 33) at nine sites in the Southern Region starting November 22. The sites include Tulsa, Oklahoma City, Amarillo, Dallas/Ft.Worth, San Angelo, Austin/San Antonio, Brownsville, Corpus Christi, and Houston. Each site will receive the Gear Box retrofit, whereby only Oklahoma City, Amarillo, and Houston will receive the Mod Note 33 retrofit. A schedule has been sent to all sites mentioned. Any questions concerning this maintenance should be referred to Cecil Tevis at 817-978-2644 x142.
JEFFERSON AND HOLM AWARD NOMINATIONS. The 1997 Jefferson and Holm award nomination packages are being prepared and should be forwarded to the RCPB in January. The nominations will be reviewed and forwarded to NWSH in February. As in the past, the national committee will make the selections and notify the region in the spring. The awards would be presented next fall. Extra time on your part now will greatly improve the chances of your observer being selected for one of these prestigious awards.
PC-ROSA UPDATE. The Black-Box DTMF-ASCII converters are still being tested to determine a cause for frequent failures. The unit will operate as expected for several hours and then stop accepting data. Warren Sunkel, the Central Region ROSA expert, is working closely with the Black-Box Corp. to determine the cause of these failures. We still plan to begin installation of the PC-ROSA systems in January and have all four computers (San Angelo, Shreveport, Jacksonville, and San Juan) operational by spring. This plan will require adjustment if the cause of the failures is not corrected in the near future.
Training materials, code sheets, and telephone directories are in the final stages of development. This information will be distributed at the training sessions that are planned as part of the systems installations. It is hoped that a minimum of one member from each DAPM/HMT team will be able to travel to an installation site to receive training when the new systems are put in service. If this training opportunity is not fully utilized, additional sessions may be scheduled as needed.
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