SR/SSD 97-23 6-1-97
The 1997 DACFO meeting was held in early April with the national chairman, Bob Farrell of WSFO Honolulu, representing the entire committee. The NWS budget problems precluded the usual annual meeting of all regional representatives at NWS Headquarters. Each year at the DACFO meeting we are handed a large amount of information about various planned and on-going programs. In addition, we are always reminded that NWSH assumes field personnel read publications such as The Critical Path, AWARE, One Minute Weather (the ASOS newsletter), etc. Each office is encouraged to post or circulate such information to ensure that everyone has access to it.
NWS Headquarters relies on the DACFO for input on how things really work in the operational setting, and to determine what is of particular interest or concern for WFO and RFC forecasters, HMTs, interns, and others at the field offices. It is the only avenue for input from field personnel directly to NWSH. Although the DACFO presents items to NWSH only once a year, at the annual meeting, questions or recommendations can be raised at any time through the local and regional representatives of DACFO.
This year, 25 items from 11 Southern Region offices were submitted to me as part of the DACFO solicitation process. Twelve of these raised issues which were resolved within the region, and the other 13 were sent on to the national DACFO committee. Two were rejected at that point, and two others were combined into other items, making a total of eight items from the Southern Region that appeared in the preliminary report that DACFO submitted to NWSH.
There were a total of 82 items submitted nationally. Topics receiving the most attention included ASOS, public forecasts, severe weather, and verification. Task teams are being formed at NWSH to review and make suggestions for improvements in these and other areas, based on the concerns or questions raised by the field. DACFO members have been solicited to comprise the membership of some of these teams. Field forecasters and others have also been asked to participate.
The final report is in the final stages of preparation and is expected to be released by NWSH this summer. The report will be posted on one of the electronic bulletin boards and will be forwarded to each office's local DACFO focal point. A DACFO web page is also planned and should be up and running by this summer.
Here are the names of the current local DACFO focal points at Southern Region WFOs and the SMG:
SJU Ron Block MIA Bernie Esposito MLB Randy Lascody TBW Dan Sobien JAX TBD TLH Irv Watson ATL Shirley Lamback MOB Don Shepard BHM Jim Westland MRX TBD BNA Chris Darden MEM Joe Lowrey JAN Brad Regan LIT John Lewis LCH Roger Erickson NEW TBD SHV Matt Foster OUN Ken Gallant TUL Greg Patrick FTW Ed Calianese SAT Nezette Rydell HOU Greg Waller CRP Mark Lenz BRO TBD MAF Greg Murdock SJT Pat McCullough ELP John Chambers LBB Tim Tinsley AMA Edward Andrade ABQ Neil Haley SMG TBD
There is a focal point for each WFO area, all of whom are, by DACFO charter, in non-management positions. Focal points at the local WFO are asked to coordinate with the area CWSU. RFC staff are represented by a national RFC DACFO representative. After two years as the Southern Region DACFO representative, I was elected the national chairman for the coming year. In that capacity I will continue to solicit input from all of the Southern Region offices.
Each of the individuals who submitted items to me during the past year should have heard from me, through their DACFO focal points, in regard to their input. If not, then please let me know. Since I was not at this year's national meeting, I do not know exactly how the eight Southern Region items fared. I will of course let you know when and where the Final Report will be posted. If you have questions about any of the items, or the DACFO process in general, I will be happy to track down answers.