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Fort Worth, Texas

April 2002


Working Together To Save Lives


I am pleased to welcome several new staff members who have joined the SRH team in the past month. They are:

John (Jack) Settelmaier - formerly the SOO at WFO Key West, is the new Techniques Development Meteorologist in SSD behind Ken Waters. Jack's previous NWS duties also includes work at the NWSH Techniques Development Lab (now MDL).

Michael Coyne - recently joined CWWD from WFO Corpus Christi where he served as a journeyman forecaster for the past three years. Mike replaces Rick Smith as the new Performance Evaluation Meteorologist. Mike, too, brings exceptional talents to the Branch, with a special focus on Web design. He will serve as the Region's verification specialist and manage day-to-day operations in the Regional Operations Center.

Walt Zaleski - joined CWWD as the new Regional WCM and External Affairs Meteorologist, replacing Larry Vannozzi. Walt was the WCM at WFO Tampa Bay Area for many years. He is a member of the region's Warning Improvement Team.

There have also been a number of selections recently for WFO senior management team members, including:

            Rick Smith - new WCM at WFO Norman.
            Jon Zeitler - new SOO at WFO Austin/San Antonio.
            Tom Bradshaw - SOO at the new WFO in Huntsville.
            Tim Troutman - WFO Huntsville WCM.
            Brian Burgess - new WFO Huntsville ESA.
            Jonathan Rizzo - WFO Key West WCM. 

I am also pleased to announce the selection of Matt Strahan as the new MIC at WFO Key West. For most of the past year Matt has headed the Dissemination Enhancement Team at SRH, primarily coordinating the development and operations of the SRH Web farm. Recent DET achievements include the city/ZIP search part of the NWS corporate image Web page, the national implementation of which was managed by Matt. Prior to joining CWWD to head the DET, Matt oversaw deployment and commissioning of AWIPS as the region's AWIPS program leader in SOD.



AMS BOARD OF CONTINUING EDUCATION. Southern Region employees serve on a number of boards and committees of the American Meteorological Society. At the January Annual Meeting of the AMS Brian LaMarre, senior forecaster at WFO Corpus Christi, was appointed to a three-year term on the Board of Continuing Education. Members of the board oversee and maintain the continuing education program of the Society and promote its future improvement

WFO CORPUS CHRISTI COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT. Journeyman forecaster Mark Lenz, ITO Jim Lane, and senior forecaster Brian LaMarre all volunteered to judge the 2002 Corpus Christi Independent School District Science Fair last month. A representative from the Texas Parks and Wildlife completed the panel of judges who reviewed over 150 science projects from the second and fifth grades. The selection process resulted in first, second and third-prize winning students from both grade levels, along with12 students selected for honorable mention in each of the grades.


New Orleans Boat Show. Five WFO New Orleans staff members, along with staff from the Tropical Prediction Center, and National Data Buoy Center participated in the 2002 New Orleans Boat Show in February. Space was provided free by the boat show organizers. The NDBC supplied the display with handout material from the WFO, NDBC and TPC. A variety of the standard NWS weather safety brochures were displayed along with other brochures and handouts on NOAA Weather Radio, marine forecast and warning products, and marine radio fax. Representing the WFO were Frank Revitte (WCM), Gil Barton (DAPM), forecasters Robert Ricks and Tim Destri, and Penny Parker.

A conservative estimate of 500 people visited the booth and spoke with NWS staff on a variety of marine related issues. There was significant interest in ways to access buoy data and marine forecasts, particularly via the Internet. The NDBC data buoy reference cards listing buoy access via Web site and phone were very popular. This event offers the best opportunity to interact with the greatest number of the local marine community in a relatively short period of time. All three organizations were happy to participate. Staffing assistance for NDBC and TPC were critical in our ability to have a booth at the boat show this year and will continue to be necessary for participation in next year's event.

Sailboat Captains visit WFO Miami. On March 7, WFO Miami hosted Randy Rickard and Bob Peters, two "cruiser" sailboat captains for the first of what hopefully will become a series of "user visits." Randy operates a 38 ft sailboat in the Florida coastal waters but has sailed all over the Gulf of Mexico and the eastern seaboard, as well as the South Pacific. Bob operates at 45 ft sailboat over the Atlantic, Gulf and Caribbean waters. Both captains use NWS products such as the coastal waters, offshore, and high seas forecasts extensively. WFO Miami MIC Rusty Pfost conducted a short tour of the WFO and TPC, and the captains participated in the WFO map discussion. Later they met with WCM Jim Lushine, marine focal point Roberto Garcia, SOO Pablo Santos, senior forecaster Jere Gallup, and Skywarn focal point Tom Warner, for a roundtable discussion of NWS forecasts. The captains provided a fresh and honest look at our products. They were briefed on the Maritel program as a way for the captains to provide reports from the Gulf Stream to the WFO and TPC. Email on demand options for NWS products were explored, and a single side band radio was suggested for the WFO in order to monitor marine radio traffic. The interaction was welcomed by both groups as a step toward better marine forecasts in the future.

WFO Miami WCM Jim Lushine Receives Award. WFO Miami WCM Jim Lushine received a "Significant Recognition Award" plaque from the Florida Beach Patrol Chief Association/United States Lifesaving Association Southeast Region (FBPCA) at their annual awards banquet on March 16. It read: "In appreciation and recognition for your contribution to public safety and the ocean lifesaving profession."

The award recognizes Jim's efforts over the past 13 years to promote beach safety and rip current information. Starting in 1989, Jim worked closely with the beach patrol in Florida and in other locations around the United States. They provided him with invaluable practical information about rip currents and have supported his efforts to publicize rip current danger. In 1990, Jim produced an educational video about rip currents, which was distributed to beach patrols across the country and has been used at beach patrol training sessions. In 1999, he contributed a chapter to a book entitled Drownings: New Perspectives on Intervention and Prevention. Fortunately, Jim's initiative on rip currents has spread to other WFOs around the Gulf and Atlantic coasts and even to the Pacific coast and Great Lakes.

One of Jim's most poignant moments came after the recent award's banquet, when Bill McNeely, this year's recipient of a "lifetime achievement award" from the FBPCA, called him "his hero." Congratulations, Jim, on this well deserved award!

Coast Guard Rescues Cuban Migrants. A press release from the Coast Guard in Key West noted an incident on February 27 when a strong cold front moved over the Keys and several people had to be rescued. Even accurate forecasts are of little use when they are ignored.

Here is part of the release: "With 30 knot winds and seas exceeding eight feet, twenty-five Cuban migrants made land fall at Marquesas Key on Feb 27. The Marquesas are a group of heavily vegetated islands located 18-miles west of Key West. The typical smuggling vessel makes the 90-mile trip from Cuba at high rates of speed in the cover of darkness, carrying little to no safety gear. The weather on Feb 27 was accurately predicted and well known yet the smugglers left the migrants on an unmanned island with no food, protection from weather, and no means of communications. In the past six months two alleged Cuban smuggling vessels have capsized in the Florida Straits claiming the lives of over 30 people. An HU-25 Falcon aircraft spotted the migrants during a routine law enforcement patrol. The Coast Guard were able to safely recover all twenty-five people and transfer them safely to Key West where U.S. Border Patrol agents assumed custody."


NWR expansion continued in March as 300 watt NWR sites were installed at Sweetwater, Texas and Atoka, Oklahoma. NWR sites pending installation include: Broken Bow, Oklahoma; Morriston, Florida and Tifton, Georgia.

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

The state of Texas is planning to provide NWR coverage to all Texas counties to improve NWR coverage to 100 percent across the state. This will likely result in 50 NWR transmitters being added to the NWR network within the next year.

Work continues on installing NWR sites that have recently received USDA NWR grants. USDA grant sites to be installed during the spring through early summer will include: Lobelville, Centerville and Vale, Tennessee; Uvalde, D'Hanis, Dilley and Rio Grande City, Texas; and Broken Bow, Oklahoma. Twenty-one other potential NWR sites in the Southern Region are involved in the application process and are vying for the remainder of the USDA grant money.

WFO Lake Charles MIC Steve Rinard has been working with the fire chief and fire marshal of Beaumont, Texas, involving the establishment of a program to check the operational status of NWRs at hospitals, nursing homes and day care centers as part of their routine fire inspections. Previously the fire department had distributed NWRs to such facilities.

Voice Improvement Project (VIP) Update. WFOs across the region have received the Voice Improvement Processor (VIP) software and hardware to begin CRS Build 8.0 and VIP installation. All sites are encouraged to complete the CRS Build 8.0 and VIP installation, but wait until the next VIP software installation version 2.0 becomes available by mid-April. At this time, Southern Region beta test sites (WFOs Melbourne and Atlanta) have installed the VIP version 2.0 software and are testing it. If VIP software version 2.0 is acceptable, then all sites will be able to begin broadcasting the new NWR voices by the end of April.

AMBER Alert on NWR a Success! An agreement completed locally with the EAS community (media, emergency managers, NWS) resulted in the use of a Civil Emergency Message (CEM) by WFO Lake Charles. WCM Roger Erickson reports that the CEM was issued for the abduction of a child in the Beaumont, Texas area around 3:45 p.m. on March 26. The child was successfully found early on the 27th by local law enforcement. This program, developed in the local Beaumont area and supported by U.S. Congressman Nick Lampson, has already been deemed a success due to the cooperative efforts by the media, NWS and local law enforcement. Special thanks goes to WCM Roger Erickson and MIC Steve Rinard for their efforts with local customers in the Lake Charles CWA.


Boat Show in Tennessee. WFO Nashville WCM Jerry Orchanian and staff members manned an NWS booth at the Nashville annual boat show over a two-day period. Staff members at the NWS display booth highlighted and heavily promoted NOAA Weather Radio to the numerous boat show visitors.

Historical Weather Marker. WFO Miami MIC Rusty Pfost, WCM Jim Lushine and retired SMT Alvin Samet began initial coordination efforts to establish an historical weather marker with the "Orange Blossom Initiative" at the Miami Seaquarium on Virginia Key, Florida. They are seeking to establish a marker at the foot of Flager Street in Bayfront Park, commemorating the 1926 Category 4 hurricane that passed directly over Miami, resulting in more than 300 deaths, and tremendous property damage. The storm was also responsible for ending the Miami development "boom" of the 1920s and plunging the area into a prolonged "bust."

Nashville Newspaper Promotes Skywarn/Emergency Management Coordination Efforts. WFO Nashville WCM Jerry Orchanian conducted an interview with a weekly newspaper, the Review Appeal in Williamson County, Tennessee, which promoted how the NWS effectively coordinates the training and receipt of severe weather ground truth reports from emergency management and fire rescue personnel of the county to help improve the timeliness and accuracy of warnings.

NWS Amarillo Sets Up Shop at the Mall. WFO Amarillo staff kicked off Severe Weather Awareness Week by manning a successful booth display at Westgate Mall in Amarillo on March 2. The all-day booth display was coordinated and manned by several staff members of WFO Amarillo and visited by approximately 100 people eager to learn about the NWS and it's role in issuing timely and accurate warnings to the public. Numerous NWS severe weather and safety brochures were also distributed to the inquisitive customers.

Weather Merit Badges for Boy Scouts. MIC Jim Purpura and WFO Corpus Christi staff members John Metz, Larry Maifeld and Mike Buchanan conducted a two-plus hour "Weather Merit Badge" training program for 25 Boy Scouts from Round Rock, Texas. The program included a tour of WFO Corpus Christi followed by training that included basic weather concepts such as cloud formation and station plots. Other more complex topics were also covered, such as Coriolis force and pressure gradients. After the weather review, the scouts and parents were treated to the launch of a weather balloon and radiosonde, accompanied by a detailed explanation of the purpose of the launch from the WFO forecasters.

Severe Weather Success In San Angelo. In preparation for the severe weather season, the entire staff of WFO San Angelo participated in a successful severe weather awareness campaign. The staff issued a test tornado warning. Meanwhile, two NWS teams held media press conferences to alert the public of the ravages of severe weather. One press conference was held at Fort Concho Elementary in San Angelo and orchestrated by SOO Amy McCullough and senior forecaster Phil Baker. The second press conference was conducted at Bessetti Elementary in Abilene by WCM Hector Guerrero and senior forecaster Gary Petti.

Severe Weather Success at the Mall. WFO Lubbock staff manned a booth at the South Plains Mall and distributed numerous NWS severe weather safety brochures, Project Impact Safety Wheels, and information about the West Texas Mesonet. Well over 400 attendees stopped by the NWS booth to chat and learn about severe weather preparedness over a three-day period.


Three New StormReady Sites. The StormReady program continued to grow in the Southern Region last month. Florida added two more counties as WFO Miami recognized Dade and Collier counties as StormReady. Meanwhile WFO New Orleans added the community of Waveland, Mississippi to the StormReady list. WFO Lake Charles added their first two StormReady communities and the first in Southeast Texas, Beaumont and Nederland, Texas, during late February. There are now 23 new StormReady sites in Southern Region in FY02.

WFO Nashville Trains the EMs. WCM Jerry Orchanian and staff conducted their annual and well-received EMA seminar at WFO Nashville with attendees from state and local emergency management within their county warning area. The seminar covered topics such as StormReady, NOAA Weather Radio, EMWIN, Observational METAR coded data, Communications/Spotters, Hydrology, Radar Overview, and the AWIPS/IFPS (Interactive Forecast Preparation System).

56th Annual Interdepartmental Hurricane Conference. WFO Lake Charles WCM Roger Erickson impressed an astute audience at the IHC in New Orleans last month with an excellent presentation on the logistics, coordination efforts and working relationships between the local WFO and emergency management customers during a HAZMAT event following a hurricane.


Severe Weather Workshop a Hit. WFO Lubbock WCM Ed Calianese and SOO Loren Phillips organized a four-hour severe weather forecasting seminar and workshop for the WFO staff, the local media, and Texas Tech University graduate students and faculty. The seminar and workshop were conducted by guest speaker Alan Moller, senior forecaster at WFO Fort Worth and attended by 35 people. Al provided an outstanding and well received presentation on severe weather forecasting, conceptual models of severe weather, and the importance of properly diagnosing the atmosphere prior to attempting to compose forecasts. The workshop included a forecasting exercise based solely on surface and upper air data.

Severe Weather Workshop in Abilene. WFO San Angelo MIC Buddy McIntyre, WCM Hector Guerrero and lead forecaster Phil Baker participated in an all-day Severe Weather Spotter Workshop in Abilene, Texas. The event was sponsored by local amateur radio operators with about 90 enthusiastic and attentive people attending. Also, Abilene local television weathercasters partnered with the WFO San Angelo team and provided the audiences an excellent understanding of the teamwork required between the NWS and local media in getting the severe weather word out to the public.

Media Coordination Roadtrip Nearly Complete. WFO Miami MIC Rusty Pfost, WCM Jim Lushine and retired SMT Alvin Samet traveled to WINK-TV (CBS) in Fort Myers, Florida, and met with Dave Roberts, their chief weathercaster, to discuss severe/hurricane coordination and reporting protocols. The successful mission has nearly completed WFO Miami's annual media coordination efforts prior to the start of the busy Florida convective and hurricane season.

DAPM Tees Off in San Angelo. WFO San Angelo DAPM Les Heisler delivered a NOAA/PGA lightning safety poster to every country club and golf course in the San Angelo CWA. A total of 41 posters were delivered. Since lightning ranks as a top killer the colorful yet informative poster will help to spread awareness of the dangers of lightning in west-central Texas to those often most vulnerable.

Tennessee Civil Air Patrol Gets the Word on Aviation Weather. WFO Nashville forecaster Mark Rose provided an informative and thought provoking aviation weather presentation to ten young Civil Air Patrol cadets from Smyrna, Tennessee.


RFCs STAFF INFORMATION BOOTH AT THE NHC. The Southeast and West Gulf River Forecast Centers jointly sponsored a "Hydrologic Services and Information Booth" at the National Hurricane Conference in Orlando. Cyndie Abelman, Jack Bushong, John Feldt and Jerry Nunn staffed the booth during the conference early this month. Maps, brochures and other visual aids were distributed to illustrate the coastal Southern Region RFC service territories, and the products and services offered. RFC participants used the opportunity to expand contacts, receive feedback from customers and partners, and discuss the perils of inland flooding with tropical systems, and also discuss with other participants how the RFCs can serve their needs during land-falling storms.

NEWS RELEASE. In our efforts to market and increase the visibility of the Hydrologic Services Program, HSB chief Ben Weiger, in collaboration with SR public affairs officer Ron Trumbla, worked closely with the Lower Mississippi RFC and WFO Jackson to draft a news release about a new forecast service along the Pearl River in Mississippi. The release was issued in mid-March and was used by local press which included an article about the new service in their newspaper. We plan to integrate this notification process into our supplemental directives dealing with hydrologic product and service changes and share this best practice with our field offices.

SLOSH DOCUMENTATION. The Lower Mississippi RFC documented procedures to interface SLOSH model forecast output with the NWS River Forecast System hydraulic models. They shared these procedures with the Southern and Eastern region RFCs affected by tropical systems. This should help these RFCs improve their river forecast accuracy for river forecast point locations affected by tropical system storm surges. Thanks to the LMRFC for sharing this information with the other RFCs.

RIVER FLOOD CLIMATOLOGY. John Schmidt and James Paul, senior hydrologic forecaster and senior HAS forecaster, respectively, at ABRFC, developed a river flood climatology for the Arkansas and Red River basins based on river stage and pool elevation data archived since 1984 at both ABRFC and the COE district offices in the ABRFC service area. The river flood climatology graphics and documentation about the procedure used are available online at

ABRFC is currently working with us to publish a related technical memorandum. Nice job, John and James!

WGRFC OUTREACH. HIC Jerry Nunn and hydrologic forecasters Billy Finn, Mike Shultz, and Greg Waller visited with the Brazos River Authority in Waco, Texas on March 7. Topics of discussion included possible AHPS activities for the Brazos River system, data exchange, and office operations.

On March 6, Tommy Hill from the Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority visited the WGRFC to discuss interagency data and forecast exchange, flood operations, and possible AHPS activities for the Guadalupe River basin.

AHPS PROPOSALS. SR HSB submitted nine proposals to NWSH for review by the AHPS Review Committee meeting in May 2002. These proposals include funding requests to calibrate hydrologic and hydraulic models at the RFCs, set up the ESP system to generate probabilistic river forecasts, and test and evaluate a commercial small watershed site-specific model at several WFOs. We also submitted a funding request for gauge network enhancements. We will provide you with more details after the ARC meeting in May.

SR HYDROLOGY VISION REPORT. The Hydrology Vision Team completed its work on a SR Hydrologic Services Vision for the future. Members of the team include:

Dave Reed, HIC                                                    Lower Mississippi RFC - Team Leader
Rusty Pfost, MIC                                                  WFO Miami
Brad Gimmestad, DOH                                          Southeast RFC
Brian Peters, WCM                                               WFO Birmingham
Cyndie Abelman, senior HAS forecaster                 West Gulf RFC
John Schmidt, senior hydrologic forecaster              Arkansas Red Basin RFC
Steve Bays, service hydrologist                               WFO Little Rock
Joel Lanier, senior service hydrologist                     WFO Tallahassee

Their report includes recommendations for (1) improving and enhancing existing hydrologic products and services, (2) science and technology infusion into hydrologic operations, (3) developing new products and services based on customer feedback, and (4) developing a better trained and better informed workforce. It also provides some long-term recommendations for the NWS Hydrologic Services Program.

We plan to establish a Hydrologic Council to assist us in the implementation of the vision team's recommendations. We will keep you posted. Thanks to all the team members for their contributions to this very important vision report.


UNIVERSITY OUTREACH. WFO Austin/San Antonio SOO Jim Ward provided an evening seminar in mid-March for the Texas A&M Student Chapter of the American Meteorological Society, at College Station. Jim's subject was NWS severe weather operations, and he covered the history of the watch/warning program along with present AWIPS, WARNGEN, and WSR-88D operations. Utilizing the Weather Event Simulator (WES), he was able to capture screens from a significant weather event last November, and use that to demonstrate the ways NWS forecasters can display important data, including use of WARNGEN. Of particular interest to the meeting participants that night was an ongoing severe weather episode, as severe storms entered the San Antonio area. Using a live Internet feed Jim was able to display severe weather in real time, and show actual warnings to demonstrate the bullet form of warnings, including pathcasts. All-in-all, a well received presentation by about 40 students and faculty.

That accomplished, Jim decided to retire! Actually, the decision had been made, of course, but Jim's dedication and tremendous accomplishments over a long and successful NWS career will be missed. On behalf of his fellow SOOs (including the ladies) in the Southern Region, we wish Jim a long and happy retirement. Thanks for all you've contributed to the SOO program, Jim.

NEW CONTRACT HOTEL AT NWSTC. As of April 1 the Homewood Suites is the new contract hotel for use by students attending classes at the NWS Training Center in Kansas City. Previously, the contract hotel had been the Hilton. Homewood Suites is within convenient walking distance of the NWSTC and offers several new amenities for students, including easy access to several nearby eating locations. Transportation services will be provided as usual. The NWSTC will provide students with more details concerning the new hotel when they send the usual logistics information prior to classes.

SNOW TECH ATTACHMENT. WFO Norman senior forecaster Mike Branick is an expert on winter storm climatology, and he provided one of this month's tech attachments which documents the frequency and distribution of heavy snow in Oklahoma. While the study is restricted to Oklahoma, this is an excellent summary which can serve as a template for other offices considering similar studies of their own. Incidentally, note how well critical information is described with graphics and bar charts using grey shades. Since color reproduction in the Topics can be an expensive proposition, we encourage everyone to make full use of more easily reproduced figures, as Mike has done.

This month's (April 2002) edition of National Geographic Magazine contains an article by Gary F. McCracken and John K. Westbrook titled "Bat Patrol" which describes the work on bats and insects done by scientists in the central Texas area, relying heavily on data from the Austin/San Antonio WSR-88D.

WES APPLICATIONS. WFO Norman MIC Mike Foster provided the following report which emphasizes how the Weather Event Simulator (WES) can be quickly applied to enhancing an office's approach to severe weather training:

Severe thunderstorms struck central Oklahoma on Sunday evening, March 24. By noon the next day pertinent data were loaded into the WES and forecasters were able to replay and postmortem the event. With a couple of hours of effort, SOO David Andra and ITO Steve Nelson pulled the data from the WFO archive system (built on the design of Paul Kirkwood, AWIPS program leader at SRH) and moved it to the WES. From a process and technology perspective the staff demonstrated the capability that was only a dream a few months ago. We believe the ultimate benefit, improved warning performance, will follow from using this capability routinely so all the forecasters can "experience" the event soon after it occurs.

And from Amy McCullough, SOO at WFO San Angelo, this report on an office severe weather seminar they scheduled on March 21:

Thanks to Mother Nature, we had a very interesting tornado event two days earlier, with an F1 on the southeast side of town. I was able to get the archived case over to the WES and use it in our seminar. Part of the seminar dealt with near storm environment, and it happened this particular case was a great example of using NSE in the warning process, since the radar was showing very little on the nearby storm. The shift on duty at the time issued a tornado warning with about 11 minutes lead time, based more on the storm environment than weak radar indications. With the Weather Even Simulator we were able to see a good example of using NSE for a warning decision which was handled well. The WES was much more effective in helping us bring home the point of paying close attention to the near storm environment, than by using a few slides from storms in another part of the country. Congratulations to Bernard Meisner in SSD for the easy instructions on setting up local cases.

NEW WEATHER EVENT SIMULATOR CASES. The NWS Office of Climate, Water and Weather Training Division, COMET Branch, has announced the availability of four new Weather Event Simulator (WES) cases. One is a complete training case with accompanying Simulation Guide. The other three include the WES-compatible data with some supporting materials.

During the evening of April 10, 2001, severe weather associated with a rapidly developing low-pressure system moved through the county warning area (CWA) of WFO Hastings, Nebraska. A squall line formed in southwest Kansas and moved through the CWA. Within the squall line were embedded supercells that transitioned into bow echoes. This case addresses identifying supercells within the squall line, challenges of distinguishing tornadic activity in a squall line, recognizing the transition of an embedded supercell into a bow echo, and monitoring features associated with rapid cyclogenesis.

This case is now available for the NWS Weather Event Simulator. To order the case study data, please send your name, FedEx address, and phone number to The accompanying Simulation Guide is available at: The NWS Training Division plans to update the Simulation Guide based on feedback from the field. Please send your comments to Liz Page (

Data for three cases from the NWS/COMET Case Study Library have been converted for use with the Weather Event Simulator. These cases are:

        Fort Worth Tornado - March 28, 2000

        East Coast Explosive Cyclogenesis - January 24-25, 2000

        Winter Severe Weather - November 9, 1998

To order the case study data for any of these cases, please send the case name/date, your name, FedEx address and phone number to Although Simulation Guides have not been developed for these cases, support materials are available at:

MOS (MODEL OUTPUT STATISTICS) NEWS. On April 2, the Meteorological Development Laboratory (MDL) Web pages were moved to the newly upgraded NWS server. This server will provide better security and availability. For the most part this move will be transparent to users, but if you have bookmarked or linked to any pages that start out or, you will need to change the URLs to

Warm Season starts April 1. On April 1, at 0000 UTC, the warm season equations took effect for most elements in the MOS system. One notable exception is the thunderstorm and severe weather guidance, where the spring season equations went into effect on March 16 at 0000 UTC. Details on the seasonal boundaries of the MOS equations are available at:

Experimental Eta-based MOS Guidance. The MDL has begun posting experimental Eta-based model output statistics (MOS) guidance on their Web site


New MOS Graphics Pages. The MDL has begun producing graphical images of the new AVN, MRF and experimental Eta forecasts. Links to these images can be found at: As these graphics are new, there may be some kinks in the system. If you have any questions or comments on the graphics, please contact us at:

Obsolete AVN-based MOS Products. The obsolete AVN MOS products listed under AWIPS ID FANxxx and WMO Headers FEXE40 KWBC through KEXW61 KWBC, and KEAK20-24 KWNO, will be removed from production. The alphanumeric and Web graphics products will no longer be available on or about April 30, 2002. The GRIB files will also be removed from the ftp server. These products have been replaced with the improved AVN MOS (AWIPS ID MAVxxx) guidance. See for the complete change notice.

For more complete details on all these changes, see

RUC MODEL UPGRADE. The NWS Committee on Analysis and Forecast Technique Implementation (CAFTI) has approved the upgrade to the Rapid Update Cycle (RUC) model which will be implemented at 1200 UTC on April 16. The primary changes to the model include:


            *          An increase in the resolution from a grid spacing of 40 km on 40 vertical levels to a grid spacing of 20 km on 50 vertical levels,

            *          A major revision in the mixed-phase microphysics cloud routine, and a new version of the Grell convective parameterization to improved quantitative precipitation forecasts,

             *          Assimilation of GOES cloud-top data,

            *          Better use of near-surface observations in the analysis,

            *          Improved land-surface physics, which should improve forecasts of surface temperature, moisture and precipitation.

            *          More frequent updates of the lateral boundary conditions from the Eta model, and

            *          Improved post-processing for parameters such as shelter temperature and dew point, 10-m winds, helicity, visibility, convective available potential energy, and convective inhibition.

There will be no change in the forecast grids being disseminated via AWIPS or Family of Services. A draft Technical Procedures Bulletin outline the model improvements is available at:

CONVECTIVE SEASON REFRESHER TRAINING. To prepare for convective season and flood forecasting, COMET has compiled a list of the related materials available from the MetEd Web site (

Mesoscale Convective Systems: Squall Lines and Bow Echoes. Covers conceptual models and physical processes associated with MCS morphology. Includes case study applications, such as using the MARC signature to anticipate the onset of damaging winds.


Anticipating Convective Storm Structure and Evolution (CD). Contains a hodograph tutorial, as well as other concepts covering isolated severe convective storms.


Predicting Supercell Motion Using Hodograph Techniques (Webcast). Matthew Bunkers presents a statistically superior method for predicting supercell motion. His technique (adopted by the NWS/SPC) is based upon the method presented in the COMET "Anticipating Convective Storm Structure" CD, but suggests modified values. (

A Convective Storm Matrix: Buoyancy/Shear Dependencies (CD). Valuable information on determining likely isolated storm structure and evolution and the severe weather threats associated with each type. (

An MCS Matrix (CD). Explores the relationship between a squall line and bow echo environments and their structure and evolution. (

How Models Produce Precipitation & Clouds. Explores the role, characteristics, and impacts of precipitation and cloud parameterization, as well as convective parameterization schemes used in

operational NWP models. The information is applied to operational situations. (

Hydrology for the Meteorologist: The Headwater Forecast Process. Covers the basic procedures for evaluating a potential headwater flooding situation to determine if the public needs to be alerted. The various types of products needed to make these decisions are introduced, and interactions provide practice using them. (

Hydrology for the Meteorologist: Basic Hydrology for Headwater Forecasting(CD). Basic introduction to hydrology principles and the use of a hydrologic model in headwater forecasting. Become familiar with the basic components of the hydrologic cycle and apply hydrologic reasoning as you work through the interactive case studies.


Rain Gauges: Are They Really Ground Truth? (Webcast). A reminder of the many potential problems with rain gauge performance (particularly the ASOS rain gauge) that forecasters need to consider when interpreting reports. (

A Social Science Perspective on Flood Events (Webcast). The presentation raises important issues of how floods and other disasters and their related warnings affect public attitudes and actions. (

Urban Flooding: It Can Happen in a Flash! (Webcast). An audio-visual tour of sites affected by the Fort Collins, Colorado urban flood (28 July 1997). This interactive virtual field trip module summarizes many of the important common aspects of flash floods occurring in urban environments. (

Quantitative Precipitation Forecasting Overview (Webcast). Wes Junker, senior branch forecaster at NCEP/HPC, covers the broad scope of considerations involved in making precipitation forecasts. (

The MetEd page also has links to Warning Decision Training Branch modules related to convection. For example, the Case Studies on Severe Weather and Floods is at:

TELETRAINING IN MAY. Below are VISIT teletraining sessions scheduled for May as part of the Integrated Sensor Training Professional Development Series (ISTPDS). VISIT is the Virtual Institute for Satellite Integration Training. Offices can register for these sessions by sending an email to: Go to to access the teletraining calendar.

            - What can you expect from the Eta-12? (Intermediate)        May 1, 2

            - Fog Detection and Analysis with Satellite Data (Basic)       May 8, 22

            - Ensemble Prediction Systems (Intermediate)                      May 1, 7, 23, 29

            - Lightning Meteorology II (Advanced)                                May 15, 16, 17

            - Lightning Meteorology I (Intermediate)                              May 14

            - Mesoscale Analysis of Convective Weather Using

                  GOES RSO Imagery (Basic)                                         May 7, 15

            - Enhanced-V: A Satellite Severe Storm Signature

                  (Basic)                                                                           May 8, 23

The second session above (Fog Detection...) is new and was developed in coordination with NESDIS (Gary Ellrod). The objective of the training is to better understand and utilize techniques for the detection and analysis of fog and low clouds using data from GOES and other satellites. The lesson emphasizes nighttime detection by means of a bi-spectral (11-3.9 mm) IR image product. It also addresses daytime techniques using visible, near-infrared, and shortwave IR channels. Experimental products such as fog depth and low cloud base height will be discussed, along with additional satellite products useful in the prediction of fog formation.

Contact via email if you are interested in a session that has not been done recently, and they will try to meet your request.

NWA ANNUAL MEETING. The National Weather Association will hold its Annual Meeting this year in Fort Worth, October 19-25. The Program Chairperson is WFO Fort Worth SOO, Michael Vescio. Information about the meeting has been included as a technical attachment this month, and additional details, including instructions for abstract submission, can be found on the NWA's Web site at Note the deadline for submission is June 1.



AWIPS. Almost all of the Southern Region WFOs and RFCs have installed the two new Linux AWIPS machines. So far all comments are favorable and the systems seem to work well during active weather. The one thing noted as a problem is the radar mosaic, which loads extremely slow.

The first of this month SRH will begin alpha testing the next phase of the Linux migration as we install the Linux version of the CPs and DS preprocessor.

AWIPS Build patch and will be released to the field to fix problems with WWA and decrease the number of spontaneous logouts seen on the Linux boxes.

All offices have received the Linux 5.1.2 and GFE 15.1, and most have installed the software with few if any problems. We are continuing to work on activating the ISC (Intersite Coordination) features of RPP 15.1, but are awaiting further instructions from NWS Headquarters.

All offices should have received the instructions for setting up a stand alone D2D and GFE Linux machine for immediate playback and/or research. If you have not received a copy of these instructions, please let Paul Kirkwood know via email and the instructions will be resent.

IT. Kudos to the staff at WFO Jackson for not falling victim to one of the oldest tricks in the book. This past month someone called the WFO in Jackson and asked one of the staff members for the root password to their AWIPS. They were told that the person calling was from the NCF and needed the password to access the system. This is a classic attempt of social engendering to gain access to a system, and is one of the hardest things to protect against in IT security because this intrusion technique seeks to exploit the human trait of submitting to personal pressure.

It might be very hard for some to resist giving this type of information out or perform some simple task. For example: suppose you know the director is coming to visit your office the next day. You are on the late shift and someone calls and tells you that he is Mr. Smith from the director's staff. He asks you to ftp a critical file the director will need when he comes in the next day. All you have to do is ftp and execute it. You recognize the person's name, but you are very busy. He says it will only take 5 minutes to do, and it is very important. What would you do?

We will be putting out the current version of the TS200 program to send out to all IT officers in the region. It will include the program and the updated security plans for each office. We will be working with each office to include any local modifications in their plan.

We were very pleased to see the CIO's recent announcement to move toward a standard for Linux operating systems in the NWS. We have completed our own migration to Red Hat Linux in the Southern Region Headquarters this month. Red Hat is the operating system the OCIO is recommending for NWS use. We recently upgraded our ftp servers from a Turbo Linux cluster to a Red Hat high availability system. These systems are critical to our data exchange with external partners.

ASOS. Our involvement with the ASOS Dewpoint Sensor beta test has shown us that more testing and evaluation are needed in this critical area before any further deployment is made. Thanks to the staffs at WFO Austin/San Antonio and WFO New Orleans for their time and involvement in this evaluation.

UPPER AIR. Regional system specialist Charlie Lake assisted the ET staff at WFO Little Rock in addressing the intermittent problems with their upper air system. The lower wiring harness was chaffing and exposing the wiring. The problem was remedied by elongating the mounting holes to get a better separation of the slip ring assembly.

WSR-88D. The Open RPG deployment continues to run smoothly in the region. This month we noted only one minor hardware problem with a new system at WFO New Orleans. We are now at 24 systems installed with eight left to install. Southern Region is scheduled to have the deployment completed in May.

TELECOMMUNICATIONS. The move of WFO Tallahassee is complete. All communications circuits for the office have been installed and are operational at this time, except for the Hurricane Hotline. The Hurricane Hotline circuit will be installed early this month. All NOAA Weather Radio (NWR) circuits for this office are also operational. The telephone system and voicemail has been programmed and set up accordingly. Disconnect orders for the old circuits and telephone lines have been submitted and are currently being processed. The transition to the new location went smoothly with no major setbacks.

NWR continues to be a major focus at SRH. We are holding weekly NWR team meetings to update status on NWR issues, and discuss and resolve any problems which impact the new and old installations. Southern Region has accepted five new NWR circuits within the past month. We also conduct bi-weekly meetings with MCI to update status on circuits of concern for the NWR program.

A major effort will be undertaken soon to review and certify all billing and invoicing of FTS2001 services from MCI. Issues over billing and incorrect billing of services need to be addressed with MCI and, if appropriate, credits issued to reconcile incorrect billing. Each circuit will be reviewed, dating back to when the circuit was installed, to determine if we are being charged the correct amount. This review will correct discrepancies not only in billing, but in accounting codes, hierarchy codes, and circuit identification numbers that are being used. As an example, a recent routine billing review showed that Southern and Eastern Region were getting billing information for the same NWR site in Georgia. It appears that MCI is billing both FMCs for the same service. We are working with Eastern Region on this issue now, but feel compelled to do a total review of all MCI billing.

The T3 service to support the Corporate Web Image has been installed at SRH and is undergoing testing. The circuits will be operational the first of this month. This will allow all NWS pages to point to the database in SRH for their city/zip forecast pages. We will be monitoring the utilization of the circuits to help size the services needed at the other regional offices.


POTENTIAL USE OF WSR-88D FOR HOMELAND DEFENSE. SRH continues to work with NWS Headquarters, the Radar Operations Center (ROC), and the U.S. Army Soldier and Biological Chemical Command at Aberdeen Proving Grounds regarding the possible use of the NWS Key West (KBYX) WSR-88D as a test site for detecting the emission of stimulants released by an aircraft during the week of April 15. The test would simulate chemical/biological aerial line source releases. The KBYX WSR-88D would be kept at a special 0.5 degree only scanning strategy during the test. WFO Key West will be heavily involved in the testing process having operational control of the WSR-88D.

KEESLER AFB WSR-88D RELOCATION. In conjunction with the ROC, WFO Jackson and the MASC Property Division, SRH continues to work toward relocating the current DOD WSR-88D located at Keesler AFB in Biloxi, Mississippi to its new permanent location in Brandon, Mississippi. Site location and acquisition efforts are currently underway. NWS expects SRI, Inc. to complete the expanded site survey by May 1, with direct negotiations with land owners immediately following.

WFO HUNTSVILLE RADAR COVERAGE. In coordination with the ROC, SRH has created an implementation plan for WSR-88D radar coverage at Huntsville, and for northern Alabama and southern Tennessee.

OPEN RPG BUILD 1.2. The ROC successfully installed the Open RPG Build 1.2 at WFO Little Rock this month. In conjunction with the installation the ROC verified the accuracy of the accompanied Mod Note prior to production release. National implementation of the ORPG Build 1.2 will start in early April. The biggest benefits of ORPG Build 1.2 will include the TCP/IP interface to AWIPS that will enable the existing RPG and PUP cabinets to be removed, as well as the creation of new digital base reflectivity and base velocity data.

ASOS COMMISSIONED AT NAPLES, FLORIDA. In order to meet an FAA requirement, an FAA sponsored ASOS from NWS Pacific Region was relocated to Naples, Florida in the fall of 2001. Both NWS and FAA commissioning requirements have been met, and the ASOS was officially commissioned on March 26. From an NWS perspective, the ASOS will provide a continuous means of surface weather observation data for the rapidly growing population of southwest Florida to enhance NWS forecasts and warnings.

ASOS RELOCATIONS CONTINUE. With the continued expansion of airport runways, taxiways, and construction of new hangars, there continues to be a need for the relocation of ASOS combined sensor groups. SRH is currently facilitating the relocation of commissioned ASOS sites in Tallahassee, George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston, and College Station, Texas.

TRANSFER OF ASOS AUGMENTATION/BACKUP FUNCTIONS. SRH continues to coordinate with FAA Southwest Region and FAA Southern Region the transfer of ASOS augmentation/backup responsibilities at Service Level A and B airports. As of late March, four of the eight sites have successfully seen the FAA Contract Weather Observers (CWO) assume this duty from FAA leased office space. At the remaining four sites, the FAA CWO is still working in NWS WFO office space, pending the installation of telephone circuits to the new CWO location.

TEXAS DEPT. OF TRANSPORTATION AWOS INITIATIVE. In conjunction with local airports around Texas, the Texas State Dept. Of Transportation (TxDoT) has installed 16 state owned Automated Weather Observation Systems at airports throughout Texas, with 16 more scheduled for installation this summer. SRH is working in partnership with TxDoT, local airports, and private vendors to ensure that longline dissemination of the surface data from these state owned systems is achieved at no cost to the NWS. At present, four of these sites have already begun routine longline dissemination via the FAA NADIN/WMSCR into the NWS GATEWAY and eventually to field WFOs. These data can then be used to enhance WFO forecasts, warnings, and services at the local level, as well as be used for inclusion in the running of local forecast models.

SURFACE OBSERVATION PROGRAM. Southern Region received 59 requests from the aviation community for new certificates, cancellations, or changes in type of surface certificates during March.

NWS Headquarters indicated they are having difficulty supporting the F-312 wind gust recorders at both NRC and at the commercial vendor. They would like to discontinue this product from NLSC and request regions survey the field offices to see which sites are still utilizing this system. Very few units have been used since ASOS was commissioned. After sending out a query to Southern Region WFOs for feedback on this issue, SRH has received information from a few sites that still utilize their F-312 wind gust recorder for local use. Most offices indicated they no longer use a gust recorder in their operations.

The first Data Acquisition Operations class was held at NWSTC in Kansas City, on March 8. Regional program managers and DAPMs from each of the six regions were represented at this class. Representation for Southern Region included WFO Little Rock DAPM Jimmy Russell, WFO Lake Charles DAPM Richard Gravitt, and SOD upper air/surface program manager Alton Abernathy. It was a very spirited class with a wealth of information discussed by instructors and students.

UPPER-AIR OBSERVATION PROGRAM. Southern Region's top performer in March was WFO San Juan, with a performance score of 296.27. In addition, WFO Amarillo received a performance rating over 295 with a 295.62. Ten Southern Region offices received scores over 290 with 16 of the region's 23 sites higher than the national average. Over the past 12 months WFOs Lake Charles, Corpus Christi and Nashville have consistently received excellent performance numbers which place them in the top ten nationally.

WFO Tallahassee upper air program remains at the airport location. This will continue until the helium transfer system is installed and operational, the test target signal tower and equipment is installed, the stairs up to the UAIB platform are installed, and the vents are put in the UAIB dome. The target signal tower is scheduled to arrive around mid-April. Work to install the stairs and railings was expected to begin the first part of this month and should be completed by April 5. Once the helium transfer system is installed during the first week of April, SR will begin testing the new balloon release system from the roof of the new building.

Radiosonde Replacement System (RRS) activities continue. Southern Region reviewed and commented on the proposed plan to transition from the existing surface equipment to the Radiosonde Surface Observing Instrumentation System (RSOIS). Phase I RSOIS is 50% complete with WFOs Atlanta and Albuquerque equipment installed. WFOs Tallahassee and Midland are scheduled to be installed in early spring.

RSOIS Phase II sites are defined as locations that need a new tower and associated electrical power. Phase II sites include all remaining Southern Region WFOs. NWS Headquarters has requested Southern Region to install the remaining towers and equipment to compress the RRS installation schedule and reduce contract costs. Information on recommended towers that can be used for RSOIS will be provided by NWSH. To help jump start Phase II installations, NWSH has asked Southern Region to provide a list of stations that can install the tower and equipment by the end of the fiscal year.

NWSH received a request from NASA for WFOs Miami, Tampa Bay, and Key West to support a major field campaign that will take place in southern Florida in July. Specifically, they are seeking special radiosonde launch support for the Cirrus Regional Study of Tropical Anvils and Layers - Florida Area Cirrus Experiment (CRYSTAL-FACE). This request seeks a special flight each day at 1800 UTC with additional soundings on ten intensive field experiment days at 2100 UTC and 1500 UTC or 0300 UTC (dependent on conditions) over a 28-day period.

FACILITIES COMPUTERIZED MAINTENANCE MANAGEMENT SYSTEM (CMMS). In the previous 30 days, 39 work requests have been submitted, 81 work orders have been issued, and 43 work orders were completed and closed. There are 218 facility work orders open.

TRANSITION POWER MAINTENANCE SHELTERS (TPMS). The installation of Transition Shelters and Static UPSs at the remaining radar sites has resumed. Southern Region will receive two new TPMS sites in April.

HOUSTON/GALVESTON PROJECT. On February 6, Bay City Architects, Galveston County Office of Emergency Management, and the National Weather Service completed a preliminary design for the new Emergency Management and Communication Center (EMCC). Total cost of the new facility is approximately $3.5M. The county has passed a bond for $2.2M and plans to sell other land assets to raise the remaining funds. Tenants of the new EMCC would include the Office of Emergency Management, County 911 administrative offices, and the NWS. NWS would continue to maintain the NEXRAD RDA and storage shed at the old site. The county is planning to award the construction contract by late October 2002 and occupy the new facility in November of 2003. They would be solely responsible for all the construction costs associated with the new EMCC. NWS Southern Region will fund the move cost (less than $150k).

POWER CONCERNS AT WFO TULSA. Over the last several months the Tulsa WFO/RFC has experienced above normal computer equipment failures which include power supplies, disk drives and CRTs. Most of these failures appear to occur during or immediately after the relocation of equipment, furniture or installing new data cables. Actions are underway to enhance and improve the electrical distribution and grounding systems to improve performance and eliminate system failures. These actions include but are not limited to, correcting grounding deficiencies at the generator, tightening loose electrical connections in the operations and equipment rooms, and closely monitoring the electrical power that serves all electronic equipment.

KEY WEST FOC REVIEW FOR DP3. The Facility Oversight Committee composed of Bill Proenza, Ted David, John Jones and John McNulty met March 18 to review the Key West Decision Point 3 (DP3) package leading to approval of the initiation of architectural and engineering design. The NEPA Environmental Assessment for the new Key West WFO was completed just prior to this meeting with a Finding Of No Significant Impact (FONSI). This FONSI determination by environmental consultant SRI has been forwarded to the NOAA Office of Policy and Strategic Planning for concurrence. The FOC voted unanimously to move forward with the project design phase leading to a DP4 review in December just prior to initiating construction. If DP4 is approved, the construction will begin in 2003 and be completed in the spring of 2004.

ENVIRONMENTAL COMPLIANCE AND SAFETY (ECS) FUNDING. The NWS Corporate Board has approved $341K in funding to support ECS activities in the Southern Region. This amount will be augmented by approximately $40K of regional funds for dedicated materials and projects, such as personal protective equipment, emergency eyewash units, ladder safety devices, spill plan updates, CO2 meters, and an ECS focal point training workshop, to name a few. All field purchases require prior approval in order to maintain the ECS spending plan.

ECS TRAINING SCHEDULED. Environmental training for ECS focal points was conducted in February and March, and Safety Training (EHB-15) will be held in April and May for focal points who have not attended. Fall protection training is scheduled for May and June with additional courses recently added for September. However, most Southern Region personnel with a requirement for climbing in their job descriptions will be fully trained after June 2002. Fall protection re-certification courses may be added to the NWSTC syllabus in FY03.

NOAA ECS ASSESSMENT/ASSISTANCE VISITS. The NOAA Tier I assessment visits are now scheduled for July 14-20 in Miami, Jacksonville, New Orleans, Lake Charles, Houston/Galveston, and Austin/San Antonio. In addition, MASC Environmental and Safety personnel are planning assistance visits to Little Rock and Memphis in mid-April and Nashville and Knoxville in mid-May. The assessment visits are a more formal inspection by an environmental consultant, and the assistance visits are a less rigorous but still thorough review of office ECS activities by MASC.

RAISED COMPUTER FLOOR REPLACEMENTS. Wood core computer flooring is being replaced at several sites in the Southern Region due to warping, which creates a trip hazard. This warping is typically caused by the janitorial contractors wet-mopping the raised computer floors. If a prohibition against this practice has not been added to the standard contract language it should be communicated to the contractor as soon as possible. If it is in the contract and the practice is observed by NWS personnel the contractor could become liable for floor panel replacement costs. The wood core raised computer floor panels should be cleaned with a damp (not wet) mop only.



OUTREACH PROJECT. WFO Fort Worth, SRH meteorologists, and local teachers are working on an outreach project to assist teachers with the weather section of their physical science classes. The team members are working on various modules with the subject matter varying from the global to mesoscale. Additionally, a section on the NWS will be included with listing and links to additional information concerning careers in meteorology, hydrology, and electronics. These modules will be self-contained with lesson plans, and available on the Web for teachers and instructors anywhere.

In March, WFO and Regional Office staff members served as facilitators for eighth graders at a local middle school. This allowed the facilitators to gauge the level of their materials and to solicit feedback from both the students and teachers and will be incorporated into the training materials. The team expects to complete the modules during the summer months with the materials available on-line in early September 2002. Team members working on this project include from WFO Fort Worth - MIC Bill Bunting, SOO Mike Vescio, WCM Gary Woodall, and forecaster Dennis Cain; from SRH - Steven Cooper and Tim Troutman, CWWD, and Bernard Meisner, SSD. Marie Dixon and Rebecca Ferguson are the teachers involved.

WFO AMARILLO was recognized by the Amarillo Independent School District with a 2002 Community Partnership Award for their work with the Amarillo Area Center for Advanced Learning (AACAL). AACAL is an educational center that concentrates on studies in math and science. The center draws high school students from all Amarillo area schools. WFO Amarillo is a founding community partner with this program. Staff have been involved in job-shadowing and mentoring opportunities with AACAL students since its inception in 1995. Job-shadow students have worked with meteorologists, electronic technicians and computer specialists to get hands on experience in these areas. The WFO was nominated for the award, along with several other community businesses, by AACAL students and faculty.

WFO BROWNSVILLE. DAPM Jim Campbell and WCM Jesse Haro attended the Perkins Middle School Career Fair. Jim made two PowerPoint presentations on operations at the WFO and Jesse was introduced as the new WCM. Career paths in meteorology were discussed after each presentation. HMT Sam Martinez returned to Perkins the following day and gave the PowerPoint presentation to four classes of science and math students.

SOO Shawn Bennett, HMT Alfredo Vega and senior forecaster Kurt Van Speybroeck attended the meeting of the International Boundary Water Commission at Falcon Dam. Attendees included representatives from several municipalities along the Rio Grande, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services, National Park Service and their counterparts from northern Mexico. Shawn gave a presentation on climate and drought conditions with a question and answer session following the presentation. Shawn skillfully answered all questions, using English and Spanish without the assistance of the translator. Bien hecho, Shawn!

Senior forecasters Kurt Van Speybroeck and Timothy Speece staffed a booth and display at the Outdoor Spotlight Sporting Show near Rio Hondo. Many visitors to the NWS Severe Weather display related personal stories of severe weather encounters and listened to NOAA weather radio. Numerous pamphlets and handouts were available for severe weather and marine weather education.

WFO EL PASO. MIC Max Blood and met intern Heather Orow participated in a "Women in Science" Career Day sponsored by the El Paso Insights Science Museum. Heather talked about careers in meteorology, weather safety, and NWR.

WFO JACKSON. Forecaster Doug Butts gave a talk to two fourth grade classes. He talked about weather instruments and clouds and attempted to get his pet tornado spinning. Doug also covered how tornadoes form and basic severe weather safety rules.

Forecaster Latrice Maxie judged about 15 science projects at a science fair for fourth through sixth graders. There were about 150 students participating.

The WFO hosted and Jackson State University (JSU) co-hosted the first Severe Weather/Media Expo in Jackson. Six of the nine local TV weathercasters participated in the Expo, along with the news director of a large radio station in Jackson. A representative from the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency gave a presentation about storm safety and storm shelters. The head of the JSU meteorology department made a presentation on the university's meteorology program. The ABC-TV participant discussed how their weather equipment handled the November 24 tornado and what their station did to get the warnings out to people. SOO Alan Gerard discussed Doppler radar interpretation. WCM Jim Butch gave a presentation on customer service and customer feedback. MIC Jim Stefkovich discussed storm formation and storm safety. The WFO felt the Expo was a success, yielding some very good ideas and feedback.

WFO MIDLAND. The following was received by the Southern Region Webmaster regarding the WFO Midland Spanish Web page.

I was looking for weather data to use in my presentations, as a Natural Resource Scientist, and came across a Spanish translated site.

The Midland/Odessa office should be commended for their efforts in meeting the needs of the Hispanic population in the SW...are there other sites which I missed in the western states?

I will use the translated data in presentations to our Hispanic clients. It will fit most local dialect variations, from Arizona to Nebraska and into Texas, once edited to cover the non-translated words.

Please forward my "Kudos" to your agency management in progressing to meet the needs of the Hispanic population with the Midland/Odessa site.

Herman Garcia
State Rangeland Management Specialist
USDA - Natural Resources Conservation Service
Lakewood, CO

MIC Ray Fagen credits Perry Martin, currently a senior forecaster at WFO Albuquerque, with doing a superb job in developing and implementing the Spanish Web page while at Midland. The Spanish Web page addresses a service need for the most rapidly growing demographic segment in West Texas.

WFO SAN ANGELO. WCM Hector Guerrero spoke to 400 students in San Saba County ranging from elementary to high school age. He discussed the severe weather safety to the younger crowd and touched a little on tornado spotting with the older crowd.

Senior forecaster Gary Petti and WCM Hector Guerrero, along with local KTAB-TV weatherman Randy Turner, a local emergency manager, and a Red Cross representative provided a talk to around 175 Bessetti third and fourth graders. They discussed how a warning is transmitted to their TV, and severe weather safety.

SOO Amy McCullough mentored a high school student who has aspirations of becoming a meteorologist. The student hopes to volunteer at the WFO this summer.

Hector Guerrero spoke to 20 persons at The Rio Concho Adult Day Care Center in San Angelo. He discussed severe weather safety with the residents. He demonstrated the NOAA Weather Radio tone alert signal and showed off a radiosonde to the group.

WFO SAN JUAN. MIC Israel Matos visited the San Jose school in Caguas and conducted a presentation on Science and Technology Applications for 150 elementary school students.

DAPM Francisco Balleste, ESA Bert Gordon, and WCM Rafael Mojica participated in a full day seminar on how to setup and manage a portable weather station. Around seventy school science teachers from K-12 attended the seminar, which was sponsored by the Arecibo Ionospheric Observatory Outreach program and WIPR-TV meteorologist Ada Monzon. The NWS conducted two sessions on how to configure and calibrate a typical station. The goal of this program is to create a network of stations across the island of Puerto Rico for educational and emergency management purposes.

Forecasters Brian Seeley and Hector Rivera visited Robinson School to conduct a presentation on general weather and hurricanes for 60 high school students.

WCM Rafael Mojica participated in a Job Fair at the Universidad del Este in Carolina, Puerto Rico. The NWS booth was visited by over 100 graduate students during the four-hour period the fair was held. Students were briefed on summer programs, internships, and career opportunities with NWS, NOAA and DOC, and were provided with a list of available vacancies. Brochures on the different agencies within the Department of Commerce were also distributed. The university is a minority serving institution and offers one course in general climatology.

Senior forecaster Miguel Sierra conducted a hurricane preparedness presentation for 165 junior high school students at the Claret Academy in Bayamon.

HMT Robert Cari conducted a general weather presentation at the Antilles Middle School in Fort Buchanan as part of the Science Discovery Week activities.

Two meteorologists from the neighboring Island of Antigua Meteorological Services office visited WFO San Juan on a one-day familiarization trip. The Antigua Met Services office is part of WMO Region IV. The visitors had the opportunity to work with senior forecaster Scott Stripling who demonstrated AWIPS, NWS programs, and offered some tips on marine forecasting.

The WFO San Juan staff was recognized with the Gold Award of the Puerto Rico Federal Campaign at their annual closing and award ceremony. This was the fifth year in a row that WFO contributions reached and surpassed the office goal. ASA Lucy Monett, the WFO campaign coordinator, was instrumental in the success of this campaign.

WFO SHREVEPORT. Senior forecaster Bill Murrell and met intern Glen Carrin were judges at the 2002 Louisiana Region I Science and Engineering Fair held at the Bossier Civic Center in Bossier City, Louisiana. Glen also judged a science fair at Marthaville High School in Marthaville, Louisiana.

DAPM Marion Kuykendall and ESA Mike Waddell participated in career day at Wiley College in Marshall, Texas, a predominantly black college. Job opportunities in various NOAA fields were presented along with Internet addresses on government jobs.

Forecaster Bill Parker and ASA Lisa Farrar talked to 100 students in grades two through five at Fairfield Magnet School in Shreveport, about NWS modernization, meteorology and science careers, weather safety, and preparedness.

WFO TALLAHASSEE. Last month WFO Tallahassee remained active in EEO/Outreach activities.

Senior forecaster and EEO focal point Ron Block participated in a weather presentation at the Big Bend High School Brain Bowl at Tallahassee Community College. Teams representing the best and brightest students from north Florida and south Georgia competed for scholarships in the annual event. Ron also lectured on severe weather at Tallahassee Community College and led an office tour for the Tiger Cubs scout troop of Tallahassee.

The recent NWS relocation to the campus of Florida State University (FSU) continues to present new outreach opportunities. Ron initiated contact with the Black Graduate Student Association jointly sponsored by FSU and Florida A&M Universities, with the goal of providing literature and information on careers in the National Weather Service. He also presented similar information to the FSU Women Center which hosted a "Women's Extinguishing Barriers" workshop in honor of Women's History Month, and to the Hispanic/Latino Student Center.

CWSU ALBUQUERQUE. Meteorologist Alberta Vieira participated as a judge in a science fair at McArthur Elementary school. About 150 students, K - 5th grades participated. Judges were free to judge projects in any science.

CWSU MIAMI. MIC Stan Holland made weather presentations at Silver Bluff Elementary and Carlos Findlay Elementary, which were predominantly Hispanic schools in the Miami area.

MARCH 1 - 31, 2002

Southern Region Losses


From (Office)


From Title/Grade

James Nelson



PMO, GS-10

Alan Denniston


Promotion to CR

El Tech, GS-11

Wayne Presnell


Reassignment to NWSH

WCM, GS-13

David Floyd


Promotion to CR

Forecaster, GS-12

Southern Region Gains


To (Office)


To Title/Grade

Kenneth Widelski


New Hire

Met Intern, GS-5

Jeffrey Dobur


Reassignment from ER

Forecaster, GS-12

Helen McCall


New Hire


Pearline McCauley


New Hire


Within Region Transfers/Actions


To (Office)


To Title/Grade

Roy Pimentel


Reassignment from SJU

El Tech, GS-11

Lloyd Hill


Reassignment from FFC

El Tech, GS-11

John M. Coyne


Promotion from CRP

Perf. Evaluation Met, GS-13

John Settelmaier


Reassignment from EYW

Technique Dev. Met, GS-13

Michael Garrison


Reassignment from HSV

Met Intern, GS-7

Christopher Darden


Promotion from MEG

Senior Forecaster, GS-13

Randy Mitte


Promotion from FWD

El Tech, GS-12

Shawn Ellis


Promotion from LUB

Forecaster, GS-11