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

October 1, 1997

SOUTHERN TOPICS


REGIONAL DIRECTOR

KELLY REPORT DUE SOON. The much anticipated report being prepared by General Jack Kelly is to be presented to the Secretary of Commerce and NOAA Administrator by mid October. The report will recommend FY 98 and FY 99 budgetary requirements for the National Weather Service as well as recommendations on proposed consolidation of mainland regions.

NO BUDGET YET. The beginning of the new fiscal year has come, and our FY 98 budget is still unresolved. This being the case, we have entered October under a Continuing Resolution, which will be in effect until October 23. Specifically regarding the National Weather Service, our budget determination will be made in a Conference between the House and Senate. We will pass along results as soon as we become informed.

FIELD TRIP. Last week, I had the chance to visit with staffs at Birmingham, Mobile and Tallahassee. I enjoyed the meetings and appreciated the staffs sharing their thoughts on the future of the National Weather Service programs. While in Tallahassee, Steven Cooper, Paul Duval and I also met with the Chairman of the Florida State University Meteorology Department and the Florida Director of Emergency Services.

PERFORMANCE RATING TIME. For the next three weeks, I will be deeply involved in performance reviews for all Southern Region personnel reporting to me. With the elimination of Area Management, the span of control has become quite large requiring the commitment of three weeks to go through the process. Southern Region Supervisors need to complete their rating requirements by the end of October.

AWIPS UPDATE

THE LATEST NEWS. The Secretary of Commerce has decided to delay the decision to purchase the next 18 AWIPs systems, including NWSO Houston/Galveston, NWSO Melbourne, NWSFO Miami, and NWSO Amarillo, until after the Build 3.0 Operational Test and Evaluation(OT&E) is completed. This brings the decision point to sometime in either late November or December. At this point, we are not sure of the impact of this decision, but we will keep you updated as we get information.

AWIPS SITE SURVEYS. The AWIPS Site Surveys for NWSO Melbourne and NWSFO Miami were completed the week of September 15. Many thanks to each site on their hard work in preparing for the survey. NWSO Houston/Galveston and NWSO Amarillo are scheduled for the week of September 29.

DELAYS. With the delay in the decision to purchase the next 18 AWIPS systems, what does this do to the schedule? We don't know for certain, but for those offices not in the "next 18," this impact may not be too significant. When the decision for the full deployment is made, the NWS will have a limited amount of time to install AWIPS. The NWS has promised Congress that the implementation will be complete by the end of fiscal year 1999 (September 30, 1999). Any delays at the beginning of the implementation schedule will shorten the schedule, forcing the NWS to install more AWIPS per month than earlier planned. With this in mind, you may not see a significant slip in your deployment date from what it was.

BUILD 3.0 AND 3.1. So, what can we do with Build 3.0 and 3.1? Your AWIPS will be able to ingest satellite data, model data, and radar data for display and manipulation. You can generate your severe weather warnings using Warngen. Warngen allows you to create a polygon along the path of individual cells and will automatically produce a warning for you to edit or send. You can generate most of your statements, issue your public forecast, generate your TAFS and TWBS using the Interactive Forecast Preparation System (IFPS). The hydrologic applications will be the ones already developed and operational on the AWIPS system in Tulsa, which gather and display river stage and precipitation gages and generate river forecasts and warnings. Is it all working perfectly? No. Like any new system, there are bugs. Offices like Tulsa, Norman, Fort Worth and New Orleans, will be working to get these bugs out.

SO WHAT DOES IT LOOK LIKE? The workstation looks like three HP monitors together, so it covers a lot of table top. The graphics monitors operate, for the most part, on D2D or Display in 2 Dimensions. The display has five window panes, four small ones on the left-hand side and one large one. All the windows, large and small, animate and update. You will be able to animate; zoom and roam; toggle images on and off; overlay images; and change and create color tables. Gridded data can be displayed as contours, images, cross sections, time sections, and soundings. Finally, the text display uses multiple windows and the AFOS PILs. The system stores everything, but each site will have the option to display more versions of local products. The editor is like WordPerfect.

METEOROLOGICAL SERVICES DIVISION

TRAINING SPOTTERS LEADS TO HIGHER CAUSE. After transferring to NASA's Johnson Space Center as a lead forecaster in the Spaceflight Meteorology Group, Karl Silverman never thought his training of severe weather spotters would lead him to talking to spacecraft. Now, Karl talks directly to U.S. astronaut Mike Foale on the Mir Space Station several times a week using ham gear at the JSC amateur radio club's ham shack, located on the space center's grounds.

Karl reports that talking to Mike is an illuminating experience, especially in light of how the media covers news about the space station. He says that hearing what is going on, right "from the horse's mouth," gives him an inside perspective on our space program. For example, one afternoon after hearing about a failed master computer that was causing the Mir to "tumble in space," Karl contacted Mike. He asked how things were going. Mike responded "Not too bad, how about you?" Karl was pleasantly surprised and asked about the computer. Mike responded that an interface box had failed and the MIR commander had trouble finding the spare as he had just come on board days earlier. They had powered down some of the equipment for a while, including navigation, but all else was okay. Karl also participates in "phone patches" where the ham gear is connected to a telephone. This setup allows Mike Foale to talk to his wife and family in Houston (other than the official communications), his sister in London, and other relatives around the country that don't have access to ham radio gear. The ham radio operator listens in and keys the microphone for the person on the phone. Mike Foale's family is thankful for the opportunities to talk to him on the Mir.

For every pass where Mike is awake, not working, and available, Karl says that the ham shack is usually filled with fellow astronauts wanting to talk to Mike and/or listen to what he has to say. These astronauts gathered in the JSC ham shack may someday have a long stay in space and want to know what Mike is going through. Karl says that a typical conversation centers around the weather in Houston and what's new at the Center. Family news, office gossip, and non official news is also passed up and down. Yes, Mike loves to talk about the weather all over the world. Of course, Mike has a very nice vantage point on that subject.

Mike will be coming home in early October after his four months in space. Mike has accepted Karl's invitation to visit the Spaceflight Meteorology Group and give a presentation on his view of weather from space. The folks at SMG are looking forward to that, as Mike has taken video and still photography of a variety of weather phenomenon.

LUBBOCK'S NWR-SAME INITIATIVE SUCCESSFUL. From December 1996 through July 1997, using 10 INH NWR-SAME receivers, NWSFO Lubbock conducted a demonstration project of the SAME technology to key area users. The goal was to document their reactions, opinions, and gain feedback on the Lubbock NWR broadcast from this select group. Survey participants included a radio station, two high schools, a sheriff's office, a university police department, a fire department, the Lubbock Emergency Management Office, and others. MIC Andy Anderson reports that the project was very successful. Some of the findings from the user survey responses were:

The SAME technology was overwhelmingly approved by the participants.

The SAME technology resulted in a perception by the users of fewer "false alarms," or less over-warning which is significant. Apparently, much of the perception of past over-warning on NWR resulted from "being bothered" by warnings for counties in which they had no interest. Once those warnings were eliminated, the users perceived fewer false alarms for the county or counties in which they were interested.

The key users gave good marks to the Lubbock NWR service.

This information further substantiates the need for NWR SAME and indicates the promising success in the marketplace for the NWR SAME receivers now becoming available.

Kudos to WCM Larry Vannozzi, Forecaster Jody James, and Intern Greg Shelton for the planning, work, and effort they and NWSFO Lubbock, put into this very worthwhile effort.

HYDROLOGIC SERVICES DIVISION

TECHNICAL ATTACHMENT. Included as a technical attachment in this edition of Topics is a memorandum to the NWSO Tulsa staff from service hydrologist Al Hong. The memorandum discusses preliminary results from the issuance of River Flood Watches based on QPF.

Concrete conclusions are not yet possible due to the small sample size of the study. Because part of the study took place during the winter/spring seasons, more stratiform rains were included in the sample, while the summer sample included mostly convective events. These lead to Al's statement, "At the end of May, I would have concluded that most Flood Watches were converted into Flood Warnings, and this did not save many unverified warnings. However, by adding summer data, I would have concluded that Flood Watches did significantly reduce the number of unverified warnings."

Al's study will continue this fall and winter so that an entire year's worth of data can be included in a more formal report.

PALMER DROUGHT INDEX. The most recent Palmer Drought Index reveals wetter than average soil moisture values exist for much of New Mexico, the Panhandle of Texas, northwestern Oklahoma, western Tennessee, northern Mississippi and northern Alabama. Areas registering drier than normal soil moisture values include much of Georgia, southern Florida and portions of Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana.

DEEP SOUTH TEXAS DROUGHT. An unusually wet spring brought South Texas some relief to their long term drought problems. August, however, brought record heat and very little rainfall. According to NWSO Brownsville hydrologic focal point, Freddy Vega, the average high temperature at Rio Grande City was 105.1 degrees -- exceeding the previous record of 104.6 set in 1996. The corresponding lack of substantial rainfall resulted in the Falcon Reservoir water level dropping two feet during the month. The typical rainy season for south Texas begins during the latter half of August and runs through the better part of the fall. Here's hoping the rains come heavy enough to provide reservoir rises without causing flood problems.

ABUNDANT RAINS IN NEW MEXICO. New Mexico has been receiving abundant summer rains. NWSFO Albuquerque senior service hydrologist, Ed Polasko, says that August saw several stations register near (and even greater than) two times the monthly normal rainfall. Among them, Stanley received 5.44 inches of rain (227% of August normal), with Capitan registering 4.55 inches (198% of August normal) and Canton measuring 4.93 inches (197% of August normal). On the 6th, three separate flash flooding events washed out a bridge between Santa Fe and Espanola, isolating the town of Arroyo Seco for 12 hours; washed out a bridge near La Mesilla; and caused a mudslide that closed a stretch of highway 68 near Pilar.

NEWS FROM OUR HYDROLOGIC SERVICE AREAS

Melbourne Training. NWSO Melbourne hydrologic focal point, Peggy Glitto, plans to implement hydrologic/heavy rainfall training for the Melbourne staff in the coming weeks. Her training regime will include a COMET module, QPF, data acquisition from external sources and Melbourne area rainfall studies. It is recommended that hydrologic training of a WFO staff occur at least annually.

Data Collection. The Miami NWSFO continues its progress in drawing together shared rainfall and hydrograph data for south Florida into a composite for access and analysis by its forecast staff. Hydrologic focal point Jere Gallup says that the office is locally "merging" NWS data with that from the South Florida Water Management District and the USGS gained via the InterNet and over AFOS. The data are then sent to a PC located in the operations area which is set up to run various analysis applications.

Have You Converted? NWSO Tallahassee senior service hydrologist Bob Carle has converted the E-3 and E-5 forms into WordPerfect Eight templates. Any Southern Region service hydrologists or hydrologic focal points using WordPerfect Eight and wanting the templates should contact Bob at his office.

Coordination Trip. NWSFO San Antonio senior service hydrologist, John Patton, and DAPM Bill Runyon visited Jerry Brite, the Corps of Engineers project manager at the Canyon Dam office. They showed him some of the COE funded gage sites and discussed the status of the network along the Guadalupe River. John and Bill were asked by Jerry if they would help him convince the USGS to repair the Spring Branch gage, and to help him obtain more rainfall data below Kerr County. Concerns regarding the development along the Guadalupe River between Canyon Dam and New Braunfels were also discussed. The meeting concluded with Bill setting up a PC-ROSA training session for the COE staff.

NEWS FROM OUR RIVER FORECAST CENTERS

SERFC/UAH KARST Study. Recently, a project between COMET, the University of Alabama at Hunstville (UAH) and the SERFC was completed. The goal was to develop an approach for predicting losses from streams in karst (caves and limestone) areas. These losses reduce the accuracy of river stage predictions. The project involved UAH developing the model and SERFC ensuring it was compatible with the NWS River Forecast System (RFS).

Benefits of the project, according to UAH, included making students aware of work being done by the SERFC and the NWS. The work was also instrumental in helping develop approaches that are being used in other investigations relating to karst hydrogeology. Additionally, the karst hydraulics information will be used to help protect the endangered Alabama cave shrimp.

According to the SERFC, the CLG model (named after the three authors of the resultant research papers, including SERFC senior hydrologist Reginna Garza) is a first step (and perhaps first model ever developed) for handling losses from karst streams. The model should improve river stage predictions in karst areas, allowing less conservative predictions to be possible.

Louisiana USGS Visits NWS. On September 16, George Arcement and Brian McCallum of the Louisiana District of the USGS visited LMRFC and the NWSFO Slidell to discuss river gaging in Louisiana. Brian presented the USGS work on Louisiana Hydrowatch, a state-wide data collection network. Discussions also included the Amite River Basin ALERT system and communications between the NWS and USGS.

Initial USGS/NWS Working Group Meeting Held. The USGS and NWS have formed a working group of field representatives to study sites of mutual interest to the two agencies. The NWS is represented by hydrologists and electronics staff from each of the NWS regions. The Southern Region members of this group are Dave Smith (Service Hydrologist, NWSFO Slidell), Wayne Hall (Electronics Systems Analyst, NWSFO Slidell), and Dave Reed (HIC, LMRFC). The working group held its initial meeting at the USGS Headquarters in Reston, Virginia, September 25. The group will prepare a white paper containing a set of mutually agreeable and supportable recommendations on gaging networks and other areas of mutual interest.

Meeting on the Mississippi. On September 23 and 24, members from all the RFCs that forecast the vast Mississippi River drainage met to review forecast requirements for the Mississippi River. Representatives from the LMRFC, OHRFC, NCRFC, MBRFC, and ABRFC met in St. Louis with the objective of developing the requirements for data and information that must be passed from an RFC that is forecasting the upper reaches of the river and must "handoff" forecasts and information to an RFC forecasting downstream. The meeting proved to be a valuable forum to exchange information and should result in better coordination between these offices.

Three Days, Three Towns. WGRFC DOH Bob Corby recently visited the Trinity River Authority (TRA) and the NWSO Houston/Galveston office. At the TRA Southern Region Headquarters in Huntsville, Bob installed software allowing the TRA access to WGRFC products and enabling the authority to better make informed and timely decisions regarding the management of the Trinity River. Bob also installed the software at the project office at Lake Livingston. While at the lake, he toured the dam and the spillway structure.

In League City, Bob attended a hydrologic training workshop arranged by service hydrologist Dave Schwertz. Members of the TRA, Lower Colorado River Authority, Brazos River Authority, San Jacinto River Authority and Harris County Emergency Management were also in attendance. During the morning session, Bob briefed the group on mainstem river flood forecasting procedures of the WGRFC with a focus on flash flood and headwater guidance tables presented in the afternoon session.

SCIENTIFIC SERVICES DIVISION

NEW COMET CBL. All offices should have received copies of the latest COMET CBL module on Marine Meteorology. This is an all digital retooled version of the original two volumes of the videodisk marine module. It contains additional material related to forecasting visibility and superstructure icing. There are two CDs. The first contains information for the opening expert overview, interviews with marine forecast users, and interactive case studies. The second has information for the conceptual sections of the module.

The CBL focuses on the basics of forecasting coastal and deep ocean wind and waves, visibility at sea and superstructure icing. Topics include boundary layer differences, primary wave generation mechanisms, wave modeling, and sources of restrictions to visibility and icing conditions. Reliable marine forecasts are possible only if the forecaster has adequate data and knowledge about forces contributing to marine weather. This module is designed to provide that through examples and interaction. For example, the case studies use actual weather data and coaching from experienced marine meteorologists. The module should equip forecasters to function adequately in an environment characterized by complex interrelated forces and limited data.

Among the principle advisors for this module were Steve Rinard (MIC, NWSO Lake Charles) and Dr. Steve Lyons (NCEP/HPC, formerly SRH/SSD). Both have been actively involved in the marine forecast program -- and training -- for many years.

ACARS EVALUATION. At the requst of NWS Headquarters, several Southern Region offices will be participating in an operational evaluation of the utility of ACARS (aircraft) wind and temperature observations. In mid-September Carl Weiss (NWSH/Office of Meteorology) and Rich Mamrosh (NWSFO Chicago) visited the CWSU and NWSFO in Fort Worth, and NWSFO New Orleans to provide seminars on ACARS data. For some time, these data have provided NCEP with valuable input for models, and they are now easily available from the FSL web site (see the May 15, 1997 issue of Topics). In his seminar, Rich showed several examples of the ways in which ACARS data assisted in local forecast operations.

Ken Graham and Steve Listemaa will be the New Orleans focal points for evaluating the data during the coming year, and CWSU MIC Tom Hicks will lead the effort in Fort Worth. This evaluation is part of a larger effort, the North American Atmospheric Observing System (NAOS), which is examining all sources of upper-air information with any eye toward what 21st Century observations will comprise.

SOO NEWS. Steve Allen (SOO, NWSO Houston) has arranged for Prof. John Nielsen-Gammon from the Cooperative Institute for Applied Meteorological Studies at Texas A&M to provide a lecture at the NWSO on October 3. The subject will be Coastal Fronts and Density Currents, which is the same topic John has taught at COMAP courses in Boulder. Other area offices have been invited to participate.

On September 25, NWSFO Austin/San Antonio SOO, Jim Ward, conducted an afternoon seminar for the staff covering the following topics:

As part of the same session, Bernard Meisner and Susan Beckwith (SSD) conducted an introductory teletraining session for the NWSFO staff, using the recently delivered Audiographics equipment. About 15 staff members were involved. In part, the demonstration was to ensure that the office is ready for the first national teletraining effort which will begin soon (see the following item).

WSR-88D OPERATIONS COURSE/TELETRAINING. Names of those who still require the WSR-88D Operations Course were provided to the Operations Training Branch of the OSF, and they have now distributed to all offices and students the information necessary for conducting teletraining sessions (modules) as part of the new distance learning version of the course. The first module, requiring three hours on each of three successive days, will be offered in several sessions from October through January. Students have been asked to select the session of their choice.

National teletraining involving so many individuals and offices has not been tried before. Complexities of staffing, shift work, weather interruptions, and so on, may make this a challenging exercise -- at least until we determine the best procedures to use. As noted in the Regional Director's recent memo to all offices on the subject of teletraining:

Your support for this effort is critical. There is much to be learned as we begin, but I know you will do what is necessary to adapt it to your local operations and training needs. Working together we can get the most from it.

SCIENCE IN SAN JUAN. The season may have been slow so far for tropical storms in the Caribbean, but a visit to the NWSFO San Juan Web site (http://www.upr.clu.edu) will reveal that the staff has been very busy lately. The following papers have been (or will be) presented at national AMS meetings. All are available as Web documents.

An overview of Hurricane Hortense and its aftermath (Shawn Bennett). Preprints, 22nd Conf. on Trop. Meteor., Fort Collins, CO, Amer. Meteor. Soc., May 1997.

WSR-88D observations of bow echoes in the outer rainbands of Hurricane Bertha (John Wright and Shawn Bennett). Preprints, 22nd Conf. on Trop. Meteor., Fort Collins, CO, Amer. Meteor. Soc., May 1997.

Meso-vortices observed in the eye of Hurricane Bertha by the Puerto Rico WSR-88D (John Wright and Shawn Bennett). Preprints, 28th Conf. on Radar Meteor., Austin, TX, Amer. Meteor. Soc., September 1997.

Gravity waves, rainbands, and deep convection induced by trade wind flow past Puerto Rico (Shawn Bennett, V. Grusbisic and R.M. Rasmussen). Preprints, 12th Conf. on Numer.Weather Pred., Phoenix, AZ, Amer. Meteor. Soc., January 1998.

UPDATE ON CLOSURE OF SPECIAL EXAMINING UNIT. Attached to the Topics this week is a memo from MASC which calls attention to the closure at the end of this month of the Special Examining Unit at Norfolk, Virginia. Students and others have asked what this means in terms of their applying for NWS positions. Basically, there will no longer be a standing meteorologist register. Applicants must apply to the appropriate ASC for specific jobs, in response to vacancy announcements. The ASC's personnel will evaluate the qualifications of all applicants for each job, and refer the top-ranked applicants to the selecting official. Just as the SEU determined, from an initial application, what grade(s) an applicant might be qualified for, the ASCs will now make that determination. We encourage all potential new-hires to contact MASC for more information.

SYSTEMS OPERATIONS DIVISION

SYSTEMS INTEGRATION BRANCH

WATCHDOG. Although we know AFOS will not recognize the year 2000, a short deadline is approaching. Watchdog does not recognize dates after December 31, 1998. Programmers are working on a fix.

DUMP FILES FROM TDL. SMCC and TDL have decided to send AFOS dump files during the midnight shift. This alleviates a lot of the traffic problems that are caused by shipping large files through the AFOS distribution network. If you don't receive the dump files, please contact either your node site or SRH for a resend.

YE' OLD 10387 MAKING A COMEBACK. We were well on the way to getting all of the Texas offices under FTS2000 for intra-LATA and in-state calls until about 30 days ago. Carla Tull (ASA, NWSFO Lubbock) discovered that charges for these calls had begun appearing on her phone bills again. We discovered that Southwestern Bell Telephone is once again catching the majority of these type of calls and charging rates almost three times more than those charged by FTS2000. We are working with FTS2000 to rectify this situation as quickly as possible.

Each office should check with their local telephone company (again) to ensure that the intra-LATA PIC code is still set to 387 and that any toll or long distance call is charged under FTS2000. If you discover that the local telco is picking up these toll calls again, you will have to ensure that the FTS2000 access code, 10387# is used before dialing any intra-LATA toll calls. Any office that has not sent a letter freezing the long distance PIC code with your local telephone company should send them a letter as soon as possible to prevent any form of "slamming." Copies of a sample letter are available through Gene Witsman at (817) 978-2367 ext. 129.

To add to the problem, we have learned today that a nation-wide change will occur in the very near future which will directly impact our operations and communications costs. The access code for long distance will be expanded by two digits (i.e., 10387# will become 1010387#). You should begin checking all systems that use auto-dialing to make sure they have the capability to handle the extra two digits.

CELLULAR TELEPHONE CLONING. We have had an instance of cellular telephone cloning raise its ugly head. Annagret Cornell (ASA,WFO Tampa Bay) received a phone bill for one of their office cell phones with over $2,000 in charges. The latest bill was again over $2,000.

Annagret handled the billing exactly right by calling the cellular service provider and alerting them to the situation. This kept the government from supporting someone's illegal business and cellular telephone habit.

Cellular telephone bills should be scrutinized for any excess charges and/or use that might indicate that a cell phone has been compromised (cloned). If cloning is suspected, you should contact your local cellular provider immediately and inform the SRH Telecommunications Manager as soon as possible. Any billing irregularities which cannot be resolved with the local telephone company should be brought to the attention of Gene Witsman.

INFORMS 4.2 UPDATE. All of you are wondering when Informs 4.2 will be hitting the streets. We have ordered CD-ROMs for each office that has a licensed copy of the software originally purchased by SOD about two years ago. All offices should at least be running the Informs 4.1 version. We plan to distribute it within the next three weeks. WARNING! Follow the installation instructions exactly. Please call Gene Witsman or David Blake prior to installing Informs 4.2 and prevent a little grief.

All of this activity with Informs is due to a coming change in the way Southern Region will do business. Electronic transfer of forms is the operative. We will start with a package of six forms and begin expanding after all offices come on line. We expect to have the NOAA 37-1, B-29, and B-85 forms available very soon to add to this group. A working group at SRH is preparing guidance to assist with the installation of the new procedures for electronic transfer of forms. Stay tuned!

NOTE: Informs 4.2 and all older versions of this software are licensed for only one (1) computer. There should be no copies of this software posted on any NWS office LAN. The copies purchased for each office by SRH are to reside on the ASA's computer. Any other copies of this software must have a license for each computer.

OBSERVATIONS AND FACILITIES BRANCH

B-29 AND B-85 FORMS. Elite Federal Forms made up the first edition of the B-29 and B-85 forms to use under Informs 4.2 or 4.1. We have done some preliminary testing and the forms look pretty good for a first cut. We have given a copy of these forms and their associated database files to Sue Melisano (DAPM at the NWSFO Miami), and company for a test drive. We're looking for two more volunteers to test drive these forms for the next month to see if we can get any and all of the glitches out of the forms as soon as possible. The volunteers will have to provide written feedback on problems and recommendations to the Upper Air Program Manager. The plan is to make these forms mandatory after December 1, 1997 and possibly sooner. Please call Gene Witsman at (817) 978-2367 ext. 129 if you want to try out the new forms.

SUBMISSION OF B-29 FORMS. It is no longer necessary to send two copies of the B-29 form to SRH. We are no longer forwarding the second copy to NWSH. The Upper Air Program Manager is now responsible for monitoring equipment usage reported on the B-29. Each upper air site must ensure that the form is accurate and complete. This will be extremely important once the electronic submission of forms begins. The B-29 should reach SRH no later than five working days after the reporting period.

UPPER AIR STATISTICS. The upper air statistics for August will be in the next issue of Southern Topics.

DIGITAL BAROMETERS. DRT experienced a failure of the digital barometer. We believe it resulted from having the barometer plugged into a power strip that was turned off when the contractors left the office after the sounding, thus causing the battery to reach a point that it could not recharge. All offices need to ensure the digital barometers are plugged into a constant and steady power supply.

UPPER AIR CONTRACT SITES. We would like to recognize Suzanne Melisano (DAPM, NWSFO Miami) and Bill Runyon (DAPM, NWSFO Austin/San Antonio) for their efforts in supporting the Key West and Del Rio upper air contract sites. They have gone over and above helping the SRH Upper Air Program Manager monitor and support these two upper air contract sites. Both Sue and Bill have solved many problems over the past months to keep these two sites running smoothly. Thanks.

ONLY ONE TO GO. Leon Minton worked with his interim replacement David Blake to bring up the 29th cc:Mail Post Office onto the Frame Relay/Internet using the NTROUTER program. This leaves only one office that has not yet implemented the program. At present, there are plans to decrease the number of dial-in phone lines since the number of incoming calls to cc:Mail have drastically reduced. David was also responsible for adding the remaining three bulletin boards used to reduce the amount of traffic to ESA in-boxes. The NTROUTER program and additional bulletin boards have been well received by all who benefit from them.

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