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Fort Worth, Texas

June 2002


Working Together To Save Lives


Last month the WFO Lubbock staff put effective action to the words, "Working Together to Save Lives," with their excellent response to the tornado which struck Happy, Texas, on May 5. Sadly, two people were killed and four were injured, but the result might well have been so much worse if it hadn't been for the National Weather Service warning. Two tornadoes threatened the small town of 647 residents; the first dissipated before reaching Happy, but a second tornado developed from the same storm and soon became a killer. The damage survey determined that the F-2 tornado, which lasted 17 minutes, destroyed 12 mobile homes and structurally damaged 12 frame houses.

The integrated warning system worked well. WFO Lubbock forecasters combined radar data and a key spotter report from the South Plains Storm Spotting Team (who had been presented with a NOAA Environmental Hero Award just the previous week - see CWWD's section of this month's Topics) to issue a tornado warning 12 minutes before Happy was struck. Tornado sirens blared before the tornado entered the town, and residents took safety precautions when they heard the warning siren. The survey team learned from residents in the main impact area that a number of them evacuated their mobile homes and sought safety in neighbors' basements or shelters. Some of those same mobile homes were destroyed, and undoubtedly more casualties would have occurred in that area had residents not responded to the timely warning and taken appropriate action.

The Lubbock Avalanche-Journal later said in an editorial, "We are thankful that the residents of Happy had time to seek shelter from the tornado. The National Weather Service issued the first warning 12 minutes before the first reports of damage were made. Tornado sirens were activated at least five to six minutes before the twister struck the town."

Preparedness, forecaster expertise, spotter coordination, skillful use of the WSR-88D, and warning communication - all effective operations which prevented further casualties in Happy. Congratulations to the WFO Lubbock staff for demonstrating again the life saving role our Southern Region WFOs so often provide!

HURRICANE ANDREW COMMEMORATION. On May 20 NWS Director Jack Kelly and I, along with staff from WFO Miami, participated in the dedication of a plaque commemorating hurricane Andrew's impact on South Florida in August, 1992. Ceremonies were at the Biscayne National Park Visitors Center in south Miami-Dade County. Speakers included Jack Kelly, Miami-Dade Mayor Alex Pinellas and Columba Bush, wife of Florida Governor Jeb Bush. The text of the plaque is as follows:

On Monday, August 24, 1992, at 4:30 am, the eye wall of Hurricane Andrew passed over this point before striking Homestead, and southern Miami-Dade County. Andrew was one of the most powerful hurricanes in U.S. history, with wind gusts exceeding 175 mph and a local record storm tide of 16.9 feet. Fifteen people in south Florida were killed by the forces of the hurricane and at least 29 died in its aftermath; hundreds more were injured. The destruction left at least 160,000 people homeless. Tens-of-thousands of jobs were affected and economic recovery took more than five years. Losses in south Florida were estimated at $25-30 billion making Andrew the costliest hurricane disaster in U.S. history.


GFE/XNOW TEXT FORMATTER EVALUATION MEETING. Last month the NWSH Office of Science and Technology (OST) hosted representatives from Southern Region and the NWSH Office of Climate, Water and Weather Services to evaluate GFE/XNOW for producing text bulletins vice formatters developed by MDL. The evaluation assessed the ability of both systems to meet the Initial Operational Capability (IOC) date of September 2003 for IFPS. In addition, the evaluation considered XNOW capabilities for long-term (beyond IOC) for NWS operations.

The group concluded there is insufficient time to deploy GFE/XNOW to meet IOC, thus MDL formatters will be used. SR will use GFE/XNOW as a back-up capability at their WFOs. MDL will assist as necessary in providing SR developed GFE/XNOW formatters to other NWS regions for the purpose of using them as a back-up capability. Beyond IOC, it was agreed the GFE/XNOW approach is the path ahead and that future formatters will be developed in this manner.

We would like to thank Scott Plischke (WFO Amarillo), Jim Noel (WFO Atlanta), Charlie Paxton (WFO Tampa Bay Area), and Paul Kirkwood (SRH CWWD/DET) for planning and participating in this meeting, and for presenting an effective demonstration of GFE/XNOW capabilities. We also would like to thank MDL and OST for hosting this important evaluation of each of the formatter approaches. Minutes and action items from the meeting have been shared with all WFOs.


CWWD STAFF CHANGES. Congratulations to Matt Strahan, Tim Troutman, Mike Mach, and Paul Kirkwood on their recent transfers/selections. Matt has departed SRH to assume the MIC position at WFO Key West. Matt has been the team leader of the DET (Dissemination Enhancement Team) for the past one and a half years. Prior to his arrival, Matt served as AWIPS program manager in SOD. Paul Kirkwood, current AWIPS program manager, was recently selected as Matt's replacement. He will gradually assume DET duties while assisting with AWIPS responsibilities until the AWIPS position is filled. Tim Troutman, NWR program manager in MSB (Meteorological Services Branch), has departed to assume the WCM position at the soon to be WFO Huntsville office. Mike Mach, senior forecaster at WFO Fort Worth, has been selected as Tim's replacement. Mike officially assumed the NWR position the week of May 20. We wish all these individuals good luck in their new positions.


NOAA AND WFO LUBBOCK HONORS ENVIRONMENTAL HEROS. The Texas South Plains Storm Spotting Team was recently awarded a NOAA Environmental Hero Award, one of only eight such awards presented to individuals or groups who support NWS operations. The award recognizes the team's critical severe storm spotting efforts in support of WFO Lubbock. Under the leadership of Kendall Stanaland, the South Plains Storm Spotting Team comprises 30 volunteer amateur radio operators who spend their time, money and energy identifying severe storm characteristics throughout most of WFO Lubbock's 24 county warning area. Team members are based mainly out of Lubbock, and distinguish themselves by traveling throughout most of the South Plains region providing reliable spotter reports. The team has served the NWS forecast office for 20 years. Their assistance has been vital to our timely and accurate warnings, and truly we are "working together to save lives." The award was presented to the group in a ceremony held in the WFO operations area and was advertised by a press release. Representatives of all four Lubbock TV stations participated.


During the next few weeks, several new NWR sites will be installed under the USDA grant process. This includes 1000 watt transmitters at Uvalde, Texas; Crossett, Arkansas; and Lobelville, Tennessee. Another 300 watt site will be installed at Centerville, Tennessee.

Preparations continue in locating and installing 18 NWS NWR sites using funds appropriated for the Southern Region fiscal year 2002 budget. Locations include: Harrison, Arkansas; Muskogee and Stillwater, Oklahoma; Hickman, LaFollette and Spencer, Tennessee; Natchitoches and Bogalusa, Louisiana; and Milano, Mineral Wells, Plainview, Barksdale, Breckenridge, Friona, Atlanta, Timpson, and Coleman, Texas. Another addition is the Spanish-language site at El Paso.

VOICE IMPROVEMENT PROJECT (VIP) UPDATE. WFOs across the Southern Region are in the process of completing the installation of the new NWR voices. In addition, each office is completing CRS dictionary improvements as part of the VIP implementation initiative.

MIAMI OCEAN FEST. Ocean Fest 2002 was a great success last month. Information was disseminated on the hurricane and marine programs as well as other NOAA programs. Thunderstorms threatened the show on Saturday and Sunday and WFO participants relied on contacts with the WFO to provide lead time to protect tents and exhibits. Show events were postponed or canceled to protect divers and exhibitors from lightning. The WFO staff responded in a very professional manner. Many announcements were made over the PA system commending the staff and meteorologists "down in Miami." Booth staff from the WFO and NHC included Robert Ebaugh, Robert Molleda, Wally Barnes, Martin Nelson, Jim Lushine, Bob Pifer, Wayne Colin, William Locke, Guy Rader, Tom Warner, and Dan Brown.

During that evening presentation Jean-Michel Cousteau made presentations. Mr. Cousteau serves on the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation Board of Trustees, and was accompanied by several NOAA contractors from Washington, D.C., using NOAA displays. Many other celebrities including world free diving record holders Pipin Ferreras and Audrey Mestre-Ferreras were in attendance.


P-3 Gulf Coast Hurricane Awareness Tour. The week of May 6-10 capped off another successful Gulf Coast Hurricane Awareness Tour across Southern Region. Led by regional director Bill Proenza, the hurricane awareness tour included participation from WFOs Corpus Christi, Lake Charles and New Orleans, including the SERFC in Atlanta. Also, several partners in the hurricane awareness program (FEMA, Red Cross, etc) participated in the five stop, bi-annual

"P-3 Gulf Coast Hurricane Hunter Awareness Tour." The primary goal of this year's tour was two-fold; to make as many people as possible aware so they understand, respect and respond to the risk of tropical cyclones; and to get the public to respect and respond to NWS inland flood warnings.

The P-3 tour included stops at Corpus Christi, Texas; Lafayette, Lake Charles, and New Orleans, Louisiana; and finally, Atlanta. At each leg of the tour, hundreds of fourth and fifth grade students were allowed to board and learn about the Hurricane Hunter aircraft and its data collection mission from several of the flight crew. More than 2,000 students were provided in-depth and comprehensive weather briefings about hurricane preparedness from the meteorological staffs of each participating WFO. Nearly 30 television and ten press groups from the five media markets conducted hurricane preparedness interviews with the SR director and NHC director Max Mayfield. FEMA directors Ron Castleman (Area 6) and Ken Burris (Area 4) were also provided goodwill familiarization seats on two of the P-3 flight legs.

Governor's Hurricane Conference. Spearheaded by SR director Bill Proenza, CWWD chief Steven Cooper, regional WCM Walt Zaleski, and with personnel representing WFOs Tallahassee, Jacksonville, Tampa Bay Area, Melbourne, Miami, Key West and the SERFC, the region actively participated last month in what is considered the nation's premier hurricane conference, the 16th annual Governor's Hurricane Conference in Tampa. The conference was attended by dignitaries such as Florida Governor Jeb Bush and hurricane researcher William Gray, along with over 1,700 partners from federal, state and local emergency management, the military, media, and academia. The Southern Region hosted an NWS booth which was manned by personnel from the Florida WFOs, SERFC and SRH.

New Inland Flooding Brochures. Southern Region has produced two new inland flooding brochures. These informational guides document the hydrometeorological challenges facing the region. These awareness guides highlight specific Southern Region tropical and inland flooding events and also includes unique call-to-action statements. This was true a collaborative effort by team members from across the region: SRH hydrology program manager Kandis Boyd, SRH regional WCM Walt Zaleski, WFO Fort Worth senior forecaster Dennis Cain, WFO Austin/San Antonio SOO Jon Zeitler, and SERFC senior hydrologist Rick Ullom.

A total of 30,000 copies of the brochures where produced and they were introduced at the five stops along the Gulf Coast tour last month of NOAA's P-3 Hurricane Hunter airplane, and at the annual Florida Governor's Hurricane Conference. In addition, copies of the brochures were sent to all RFCs and WFOs in Southern Region.

Chamber of Commerce Learns about Floodwaters. WFO Nashville forecaster Mark Rose provided a flood safety and preparedness presentation to 14 members of the Centerville, Tennessee Chamber of Commerce. The group was particularly interested in the new NOAA Weather Radio transmitter slated for Centerville, the signal footprint of which is expected to cover a large portion of middle Tennessee.

Pre-Rainy Season News Conference. WFO Miami WCM Jim Lushine, forecaster Roberto Garcia and DAPM Suzane Cawn conducted a "pre-rainy season" news briefing which was actively attended by four southeast Florida emergency managers, all four weathercasters from the local network television affiliates, two Spanish-language television stations, two radio stations and all three major newspapers. The rainy season outlook, the NWS Cooperative observer program and the marine "Maritel" initiative were all discussed with the media.

Hurricane Hunter Aircraft Goes to Houston. WFO Houston/Galveston hosted over 400 sixth grade students from the local area on a tour of the USAF Reserve WC-130 Hurricane Hunter aircraft at Ellington Field. Students were first provided a weather briefing from WFO meteorologists prior to boarding the aircraft. They then learned the mission and importance of the airplane from the seasoned crew of the WC-130.

Lightning Safety and Awareness Week. WFO Austin/San Antonio kicked off Lightning Safety and Awareness Week with avid enthusiasm. WFO senior forecaster Larry Peabody and ET Dale Lining mailed and hand delivered hundreds of the Vijay Singh and Rocco Mediate lightning posters to school athletic offices, universities, amusement parks, golf courses, tennis ranches, sport stores, grocery stores and hardware stores across south-central Texas. Also, the dynamic duo delivered copies of the Rocco Mediate 30-second lightning public service announcements to television and radio stations in Austin and San Antonio.

Water Safety Day in Florence, Alabama. WFO Huntsville staff members manned a booth and provided public safety presentations at the inaugural Water Safety Day in Florence. MIC John Gordon, WCM Tim Troutman, and senior forecaster Chris Darden provided the 100 plus attendees presentations on the dangers of flooding, lightning, severe weather, and WFO customer service in North Alabama. HMTs Kurt Weber, Daniel Harty and student employee Brian Carcione manned the NWS booth and provided customers with the most current preparedness and safety brochures.

Severe Weather Seminar. WFO Jackson MIC Jim Stefkovich participated as one of six featured speakers for a Severe Weather Seminar, hosted by Chicago's WGN-TV chief weathercaster, Tom Skilling, at the FERMI labs in northern Illinois. Jim's topic, presented to an audience of about 2,000, centered on a major tornado outbreak which impacted the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex. Jim emphasized damages incurred to the Metroplex and the preparedness lessons that were learned.


Two New StormReady Sites. The StormReady program continued to grow in the Southern Region during May. Florida added one more county as WFO Jacksonville recognized Hamilton County as StormReady. Meanwhile, WFO Birmingham recognized Cleburne County, Alabama as StormReady. There are now 27 new StormReady sites in Southern Region in FY02.

North Texas WFOs Go Back to School. WFO Lubbock WCM Ed Calianese and WFO Amarillo WCM Steve Drillette attended and participated in the Texas DEM "Principles of Emergency Management (G230) Course" in Lubbock. The 36-hour course was attended by several county judges, emergency managers and emergency response personnel from the South Plains and Panhandle regions of Texas. The course gave Ed and Steve the opportunity to interact with a major customer group through participation in emergency management scenarios and discussion about the four phases of emergency management. The class also received of tour of WFO Lubbock where NWS field operations where demonstrated and promoted to the group.

Texas EM Associations Link up for a Weather Brief. WFO Austin/San Antonio WCM Larry Eblen and service hydrologist Nezette Rydell co-hosted and provided a severe weather workshop at the first cooperative meeting between the Capitol Area Emergency Manager's Association and the South Central Emergency Manager's Association. Both groups serve 31 counties in the Austin and San Antonio umbrella of emergency management support. Larry and Nezette provided the audience 70 presentations on tropical, severe and flood storm types, a quick course for layman's interpretation of radar imagery and a tour and explanation of NWS field operations at WFO Austin/San Antonio.

Guatemalan Emergency Managers Visit Texas. WFO Fort Worth hosted a cooperative international meeting which included four members of the Guatemalan Emergency Management Agency and Dallas County Emergency Management Director. MIC Bill Bunting provided an overview of interaction and cooperation between NWS local offices and U.S. local emergency managers. Meanwhile, WCM Gary Woodall provided presentations on NWS-EM cooperation during landfalling tropical cyclones and the fire weather season. Gary completed the visit with an office tour and demonstrated the tools used in weather and flood forecasting.

Operation WARN. WFO Norman staff members coordinated with local emergency management and media partners in promoting "Operation WARN" at the Crossroads Mall in Oklahoma City. Operation WARN is a co-sponsored project between the local WFO and the Oklahoma Emergency Management, working with area vendors, to offer NWR receivers at reduced cost to the public. The WFO Oklahoma City staff used the opportunity to assist customers in programming their weather radios.

WFO Lake Charles Co-Sponsors Hurricane Conference. WFO Lake Charles jointly sponsored a day-long hurricane conference with Jefferson County Emergency Management in southeast Texas. The event was held at Lamar University in Beaumont and attended by nearly 275 emergency management responders. The conference topics centered on state hurricane operations, Entergy Power Company operations, industry response, special needs response and updates on hurricane history, prediction and warning receipt.


WFO Huntsville Initiates Outreach. Staff members from the new WFO Huntsville successfully completed several levels of customer outreach programs during May. In late May, MIC John Gordon provided fifty scientists from the National Space Science Technology Center in Huntsville with an overview of the new WFO, its goals and mission in serving north Alabama. Meanwhile a team of Huntsville staff members discussed future data exchange and partnering with the University of Alabama in Huntsville and the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center. John Gordon and WCM Tim Troutman reported that initial visits with eight emergency managers in their county warning area resulted in pledges to actively cooperate and assist the office in its warning program and future hazardous weather preparedness activities.

Workshop for Broadcast Meteorologists. The WFO Melbourne staff conducted a day-long "NWS Operations" workshop for seven weathercasters from the Orlando market. MIC Bart Hagemeyer provided the group a presentation on the "El Niño/La Niña Experimental Florida Seasonal Forecast," SOO Dave Sharp discussed the Graphical Hurricane Local Statement, forecaster Scott Kelly demonstrated the Weather Event Simulator, and WFO Web products, forecaster Matt Volkmer previewed IFPS, forecaster Pete Blottman discussed local data integration and mesoscale modeling at the WFO, and WCM Dennis Decker provided the enthusiastic group with an office tour.

Hurricane Workshop at WFO Houston/Galveston. The WFO Houston/Galveston staff hosted its 9th annual hurricane workshop along with support from partners from the East Harris County Manufacturers Association and the city of Pasadena, Texas. Over 600 participants attended. Two dozen different vendors were on hand to display information on how to prepare for a tropical cyclone. WFO forecasters Paul Lewis, Jon Zeitler and Debbie Helvy kicked off the event with an in-house prepared video on inland flooding that emphasized tropical storm Allison which ravaged Houston and Galveston with flooding rainfall during the 2001 hurricane season.

Cattle Workshop Hears Weather Radio. WFO Nashville DAPM Ralph S. Troutman attended and participated in a beef cattle workshop at the Highland Rim Agricultural Experiment Station in Springfield, Tennessee. Ralph provided the group of 165 attendees with presentations about NWR expansion efforts and the updated NWS Website.

Ongoing Drought over Deep South Texas. WFO Brownsville MIC Richard Hagan presented two programs, one on the severe drought in Deep South Texas and the other on hurricane preparedness, to nearly 100 utility company representatives from Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Florida at the 2002 Texas Mutual Assistance Conference at South Padre Island.

Public Service Announcements at Key West. WFO forecaster Pete Mohlin provided 15 pre-recorded, 30 second, hurricane preparedness and safety public service announcements (PSA) to program manager Bob Soos at WWUS-FM 104.1 radio on Big Pine Key. Radio station WWUS-FM, whose signal footprint covers a large portion of the Florida Keys, will air the locally specific hurricane PSAs on a regular, every day basis throughout the hurricane season.


Albuquerque IMET. The fire season in New Mexico is going as predicted. The exceptionally dry winter and spring have led to record or near-record low amounts of moisture in the large fuels and as a result fires have been numerous.

WFO Albuquerque IMET Brent Wachter hit the ground running and will have logged 35 days providing on-site support when he returns from the Pinol Complex fires on June 10. Brent has not spent an entire day in the office since May 15. Meanwhile, MIC Charlie Liles has become a regular visitor to the governor's office, providing briefings and fire weather support.

Intermediate Wildland Fire Behavior Course. Kent Kuyper and Marty Mayeaux of WFO Lake Charles, Bill Adams of WFO Shreveport and Richard Hitchens of WFO Houston teamed in May to teach the weather sections of the Intermediate Wildland Fire Behavior S-290 Course in Lufkin, Texas. The four-day course was organized by the Texas State Forestry Office. About 30 students from the Texas Forest Service,USDA Forest Service and firefighters from across the nation attended the course.

NWS Forecaster Teaches at Fire Weather Class. WFO Brownsville senior forecaster Kurt Van Speybroeck taught the local weather chapter of the USDA Forest Service S-290 Fire Weather class. The class of 20 included a diverse group of partners and customers comprising the National Park Service, USDA Forest Service, and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. Kurt briefed the fire fighters about critical fire weather patterns for Deep South Texas and offered an opportunity for class participants to visit and observe NWS Brownsville fire weather operations.

WFO Morristown Hosts International Fire Weather. On June 3, several individuals concerned with forestry and fire weather visited WFO Morristown. The group included three Australians and two New Zealanders, along with representation from the USDA Forest Service in Atlanta and Cherokee National Forest, headquartered in Cleveland, Tennessee.

The foreign visitors represented various offices and areas of their countries. They are on a 32-day tour of Canada and the U.S. WFO Morristown was the first office on their U.S. visit. Later planned stops in the region included Tallahassee and Los Alamos.

The visitors were briefed at Morristown on WFO fire weather operations, inter-agency coordination, and training provided to other agencies, and they also received an office tour. The primary message provided to the visitors was the close working relationship between the NWS and the USDA's Forest Service.

FLYING INTO THE FUTURE AT THE AVIATION WORKSHOP. The Southern Region Aviation Workshop was held last month in Fort Worth. Twenty-eight WFOs, all seven Southern Region CWSUs, the NWS FAA Academy office, and the Spaceflight Meteorology Group had representatives at the workshop. Speakers came from around the NWS, the country and the world to provide aviation training, share customer insights, and address the future of aviation weather and its impacts on the national airspace system.

Participants interacted with representatives from American Airlines, Northwest Airlines, Southwest Airlines, United Parcel Service, and the FAA Automated Flight Service Stations. Training to improve aviation forecasting skills centered on stratus and fog formation and dissipation. We were fortunate in being able to arrange the participation by a senior meteorologist from Australia, Ross Keith, who was visiting the U.S. on other related business. Ross discussed his work on the psychology of human decision making in the forecast process and enhancing the economic value of TAFs by assigning probabilities to forecast elements. The NWS FAA Academy addressed their important mission of training FAA pilot weather briefers.

Other workshop topics included expanding aviation outreach to NWS customers and partners, a detailed look at legal issues from the NWSH Forensic Services Branch, and a review of the national and regional TAF verification programs. The future of aviation meteorology received close scrutiny. Two exiting efforts in partnership with the NOAA Forecast Systems Lab and the FAA were reviewed: the PACE project at CWSU Fort Worth and the Aviation Weather Research Project. WSH Aviation Services Branch chief Mark Andrews lauded the efforts of the Southern Region aviation program and its field meteorologists for their work to improve aviation products and services.

Regional Director Bill Proenza launched the workshop. Bill emphasized the importance of customer service and the human added value that our WFOs, CWSUs, NWS FAA Academy, and SMG offices provide to the safest and most efficient airspace system in the world. He stressed the need to continue to respond to changes in technology and to seek continual improvement in the delivery of accurate and timely aviation forecasts to the citizens of our great nation.

WFO TULSA RECEIVES AVIATION SERVICES AWARD. WFO Tulsa became the first recipient of the Southern Region Aviation Services Awards Program trophy. The announcement came at the regional aviation workshop (see above). WFO Tulsa received the award for their excellent efforts in creating and maintaining a regional real-time verification program, their aviation outreach, and for developing an aviation meteorologist training plan which is being adopted as the Southern Region standard. Congratulations to MIC Steve Piltz and the WFO Tulsa team.

Learn the details about the Southern Region Aviation Services Awards Program in an attachment to this month's Topics.


LEVEE DEDICATION CEREMONY. WFO Tallahassee service hydrologist Joel Lanier and Southeast RFC senior hydrologists Jonathan Atwell and Tom Wallace attended a levee dedication for Elba, Alabama. Elba has repeatedly been threatened by potential or actual flooding over the years. The levee upgrade is a result of flooding in Elba in 1990, 1994 and 1998. The US Army Corps of Engineers is responsible for building a new levee around Elba this fall. The project should be completed in 18 to 24 months. The levee will be fortified with a core and raised in height by as much as 6 feet in places. The base will also be widened to as much as 65 feet in some locations. Following the dedication, attendees were given a brief tour of the area including the area of the 1990 and 1998 levee breach areas, a pumping station, and the Alert and USGS gauges in Elba.

AHPS EDUCATIONAL OUTREACH MATERIALS. NWS Headquarters recently informed us about Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Services (AHPS) educational outreach information which will ultimately be included in an AHPS toolkit for all WFOs and RFCs. The outreach materials are available at

This AHPS information includes an updated Concept of Service and Operations and a full color brochure. The brochure will be stocked at the National Logistics and Supply Center in Kansas City, Missouri. We will notify all field offices once it is available at NLSC.

We encourage all field office personnel to review this material to become more familiar with the NWS AHPS program and its features. Our region will be more involved with AHPS implementation activities starting in FY03. We will provide you with more detailed information about FY03 AHPS implementation activities in SR via email messages.

SR BEGINS WFO AHPS WEB PAGE IMPLEMENTATION. WFOs Little Rock and Lubbock have volunteered to serve as beta test sites for the WFO AHPS Web page project. The objective of this project is to create a coherent AHPS Web page presentation across our region. All NWS regions have agreed to implement this interim AHPS Web page layout developed by Central Region until the AHPS Products and Information Team makes its recommendations to the Corporate Board. As a beta test site, the offices will provide input data files necessary to upload hydrologic information to the AHPS Web page, evaluate the AHPS Web page layout documentation and instructions, and provide feedback to SRH on the implementation documentation/process. The SR Dissemination Enhancement Team will provide technical support by developing an AHPS data file directory infrastructure for each WFO and ultimately for all WFOs in our region.

This Web page layout includes a common look and feel, a uniform directory organization and seamless navigation. All static AHPS graphics will be consistent and all AHPS pages will have the same structure. As part of our annual regional operating plan, we plan to implement an AHPS Web page for each WFO in the region by October 2002. The Operational Test and Evaluation (OTE) will conclude prior to August 1, 2002, in order to give all of the WFOs sufficient time to develop and implement their local AHPS Web page.

AHPS MEETING. Last month, HSB chief Ben Weiger participated in an NWS AHPS meeting comprised of representatives from the Central Region Hydrologic Services Division, the Arkansas Red Basin RFC, and WFO Pueblo, Colorado. Representatives from ABRFC included Tracy Howieson, Randy Tetzloff, and John Schmidt. Tracy gave a presentation about the AHPS project at seven river forecast locations above Pueblo Reservoir. Tracy's presentation included training for the WFO Pueblo staff on the production, types, and interpretation of probabilistic hydrologic forecasts generated by the NWS River Forecast System Ensemble Streamflow Prediction model. The second day focused on AHPS implementation issues. Thanks to Tracy, Randy and John for providing an excellent presentation at the meeting!

TEST AND EVALUATION OF A PC-BASED RFC BACKUP SYSTEM. On May 16, 2002, ABRFC conducted an operational test of a PC-based RFC operational PC backup system. The test was totally successful as the PC system was able to host operations for a day and provide full-featured ABRFC forecast and guidance products to customers in a timely and transparent manner. The system ran totally independent of AWIPS and in a way which emulates a total loss of the RFC facility. The PC system ran the river forecast model 32 times faster than AWIPS (as measured in average CPU time for ten full model cycle runs). Similar performance improvements were noted across the board for other applications. The hydrometeorological situation was somewhat active in that significant rainfall was observed and two WFOs had Flood Watches in effect, however no flood forecasts were required. Therefore, routine daily river forecasts, flash flood guidance and hydrometeorological discussion products were issued using the backup system. While data dissemination via the Internet was flawless, some additional work remains in order to improve data ingest via the Internet. Future project tests and upgrades will involve improving current data sources, exploring alternate data sources and implementing portable computational hardware setups in order to provide backup capabilities remote from the RFC facility. Congratulations to the RFC backup system team for the successful test and efforts to date!


NEW SOO. Our newest Southern Region Science and Operations Officer is Andy Devanas, who was selected for the job at WFO Key West, behind Jack Settelmaier, who is now part of the SSD staff. Andy is a graduate of Florida State University and for the past several years has worked as a meteorologist for the state of Florida. In that capacity he interacted closely with the emergency management community and others who are critical to the NWS mission, as well as staff at our Florida WFOs. Andy's university teaching background and work with mesoscale models will also serve him - and the NWS - well as he assumes the SOO job. Please join SSD in welcoming Andy to the ranks of SR SOOs.

WEATHER SUPPORT AND SPACE OPERATIONS. Forecasters at WFO Melbourne collaborate with NASA and USAF meteorologists at the Cape as part of the NASA/NWS Applied Meteorology Unit. SOO David Sharp is a member of the weather support sub-committee of the Advanced Range Technology Working Group (ARTWG), which comprises representatives from several federal agencies, state and local governments, industry, professional associations, and academia. ARTWG aims to ensure the U.S. remains a world leader in launch, landing, and ground support of space vehicles. Planning has already begun for the next-generation manned space vehicle. Dave's contribution is to provide advice regarding weather support operations for future launch ranges and spaceports, including the utilization and advancement of related technology. Significant benefits to NWS operations can accrue through shared technology and application of research results, as has been the case since inception of the AMU a decade ago.

NEW ASSISTANT DIRECTOR AT NWSTC. James Poole is the new Assistant Director of the NWS Training Center. Jim is coming from Norfolk, Virginia, where he was an institutional researcher and education program analyst at the National Defense University. Jim's other assignments included serving as an instructor of Nuclear Reactor Operations, Mathematics, and Communications Electronics. He has also been a Computer and Antenna Repair Shop supervisor and an Educational Specialist. All of this has been with the Navy. He has degrees in sociology and computers and information resource management, and he is currently working on his Ph. D in education. We welcome Jim to the NWS training and professional development team, and we look forward to his contributions to the NWSTC's programs.

NEW PDSs DEVELOPED. Working with experts in the field of severe weather, the Warning Decision Training Branch in Norman has streamlined the Professional Development Series (PDS) dealing with Severe Convection. The new PDS consolidates and replaces two previous PDSs on forecasting severe weather and the convective warning process. A technical attachment this month provides additional details.

Another tech attachment this month provides a summary of recent activities related to development of the Professional Development Series for Climate. The Climate Symposium which was held last March at COMET was one part of the program being planned for increased training in this area. Another symposium is scheduled for next August, with two more next fiscal year. The attachment provides additional details, including a summary of proposed teletraining sessions. Deirdre Kann, SOO at WFO Albuquerque, is one member of the team which has developed the basic PDS structure and associated training areas.

CHANGES TO GFDL HURRICANE MODEL. The Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (GFDL) Hurricane Model (GHM) has been upgraded due to the significant changes which have been made to the Global Forecast System's AVN forecast model since the GHM was developed. The number of nested grids in the GHM has been reduced from three to two. The outer grid now has a horizontal grid spacing of ½ degree. This is double the previous resolution and is comparable to the resolution of the T254 64 level AVN which is scheduled to become operational this summer. This improvement will enable the GHM to predict the large scale fields much more accurately. The inner GHM grid now has a horizontal grid spacing of 1/6 degree over an 11 degree domain. This improvement will lead to better representation of the storm and its interaction with the environment.

A unique aspect of the GHM is an initialization technique which removes the AVN vortex from the global analysis and replaces it with a high resolution, model consistent vortex that is produced by running an axisymmetric version of the hurricane model. The GHM technique has been modified to enable more of the smaller scale features of the global analysis to be retained near the storm center. The tropical vortices are considerably smaller in the current, higher resolution AVN and the GHM filter has been adjusted to take this into account. Changes have also been made to the amount of water vapor analyzed in the near storm environment.

Retrospective forecasts for tropical cyclones in the East Pacific and Atlantic during 2001 were made using the upgraded GHM. Forecasts were also made for several tropical cyclones just before they were upgraded to tropical storm status. Reductions in the average track error were noted at all forecast times for both basins, although a northward track bias was sometimes noted in the East Pacific.

One of the most disappointing aspects of the performance of the GHM during the 2001 hurricane season was that the model did not show skill in the Atlantic in its prediction of intensity despite the operational implementation of the ocean coupling. This may have been due to the unusually high frequency of cases in which there was strong vertical wind shear in storm environment. The upgraded GHM showed considerable improvement in the intensity prediction over the previous version.

The Technical Procedures Bulletin describing all the changes to the GHM is available at:

TRAINING RESOURCES FOR SPRING AND SUMMER FORECASTING. During this busy forecast season, here are some reminders about COMET training modules which can help your staff with these challenges:

Fire Weather. Fire Weather Training CD Module: Learners go through several cases and have opportunities to "interact" with customers while following a process for formulating two types of fire weather products.

Hurricanes. The COMET Program has released its first product geared toward middle school students. Hurricane Strike! Can be found at: This product teaches children (who will hopefully teach their parents) about hurricane science and safety and is very entertaining as well—check it out with your own children! Scott Kiser has CD copies. The COMET Program also has "Community Hurricane Preparedness" for emergency managers ( or the short version in Spanish at

Convection and Floods. A series of modules on convective season and flood season training are available at:

NEW NCEP CENTRAL COMPUTER SYSTEM. The contract for the next NCEP Central Computer System (CCS) has been award to the IBM Corporation. System installation is expected by September 30. During the transition to the CCS all operational applications will be frozen and a moratorium on changes to the NCEP Production Suite will be imposed. The moratorium can be expected to begin during the August to October time frame and last until the transition to the CCS is completed. More details on the upcoming moratorium will be provided as the transition schedule is developed.

PROBLEM WITH ETA BOUNDARY LAYER TEMPERATURES. Stephen Jascourt (COMET postdoc) has been diagnosing a problem with the Eta model which some NWS forecasters in Florida first brought to NCEP's attention. The Eta has been predicted erroneously high low level temperatures in certain instances. It appears that the model is accumulating heat in the lowest layers instead of mixing it through the PBL, and this has led to some unrealistic forecast model soundings. Stephen has posted this and other problems to the COMET Eta news group ( He has also been working on another case concerning saturated, nearly dry-adiabatic layers in the model.

Experimental model runs in which the physics time step -- the frequency for updating the tendencies associated with the boundary layer heat fluxes/turbulence as well as convective and grid-scale precipitation - will be increased from four to nine minutes. In some preliminary tests, this eliminates the wild unphysical buildup of heat at the bottom of the model but still leaves the forecast too warm. These experiments will run for several weeks to determine how well the modified model performs and whether the change to the time step causes other unanticipated problems. In the meantime, the operational model will be unchanged until at least mid- to late June, so the problem will continue. It also affects low altitude locations in California and probably elsewhere as well.

For operational use, Stephen recommends looking at the hourly forecast model soundings to determine when the problem occurs -- it becomes pretty obvious. When the problem is noted a good estimate of the forecast high temperature can be made by bringing the lowest potential temperature air in the boundary layer down to the surface station pressure instead of using the model two meter or lowest layer temperatures. Stephen notes this approach appears to work rather well even when the two meter temperatures are excessively high.

VISIT TELETRAINING. Here is the July schedule for Virtual Institute for Satellite Integration Training (VISIT) teletraining sessions. Offices can register for these sessions by sending an email to: To access the teletraining calendar, go to:

         *  Experimental Satellite Derived Tropical Rainfall Potential (TRaP) (Basic) July 10,18

         *  Cyclogenesis: Analysis utilizing Geostationary Satellite Imagery (Basic), July 17, 31

         *  Fog Detection and Analysis with Satellite Data (Basic) July 11, 23

         *  Tornado Warning Guidance 2002 (Basic) July 2, 9, 16

         *  Ensemble Prediction Systems (Intermediate) July 10, 17, 31

         *  Lightning Met I (Intermediate) July 16, 25

         *  Lightning Met II (Advanced) July 18, 30

         *  Mesoscale Analysis of Convective Weather Using GOES RSO Imagery (Basic) July 19

The Tropical Rainfall Potential (TRaP) session is new. It was developed by Sheldon Kusselson (NOAA/NESDIS) with assistance from Robert Kuligowski, Ralph Ferraro, Clay Davenport, Rod Scofield, Donna McNamara (NOAA/NESDIS), Stanley Kidder, John Knaff (Colorado State University), and Woody Wang and Patrick Dills (COMET). The session covers: 1) What is TRaP? 2) Why do we need a TRaP product? 3) What does the TraP technique leverage in terms of satellite data? 4) TraP Heritage/History; 5) The Microwave TRaP Technique; 6) TRaP Examples; and 7) Future Initiatives and Improvements.

Sessions can be reviewed in advance by following the instructions in the student guides available on the ISTPDS/VISIT page:

HURRICANE GUIDANCE MODEL TELETRAINING. Bernard Meisner (SSD) will offer several teletraining session on "Recent Changes in Hurricane Guidance Models" this month. He will also make available for downloading recorded versions of his teletraining sessions from previous years which cover each of the hurricane guidance models in more detail. Links to these sessions are available at:


Everyone please join us in congratulating Cecil Tevis, Southern Region telecommunication manager on his graduation last month from Northwood University, Cedar Hill, Texas, with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Management. He graduated magna cum laude. Very good work, Cecil.


IT. Southern Region's first group of participants has completed the mandated SANS security training. Another 40 will be participating in the next round as soon as NWSH IT security focal point Conrad Lovley gives the go-ahead to start signing people up. Apparently, the delay is due to funding.

A request was made this month by the NCEP Storm Prediction Center/NSSL complex in Norman for required assistance in upgrading their email system. SIB email administrator Gary Petroski was sent to help them. Gary was the SPC/NSSL email administrator before accepting his position with SRH. The system they have been using was put into production during the initial NOAA Netscape mail system development. Many changes have been introduced into the installation procedures since then.

TELECOMMUNICATIONS. On the NWR front, we continue to prepare for the installations scheduled for June. These circuit installations have been closely coordinated with local points of contact to insure correct and timely installation. The circuits and ROAMS lines are tested by the RMS responsible for the particular WFO county warning area. If operational standards are not met, the circuit vendor (local telco provider) is contacted to troubleshoot and repair the problem before we accept the circuit. Currently, we are continuing to monitor the circuit orders we have in the queue to prevent any delays in installation.

MCI billing issues continue to be a hot topic of discussion. We will have another video teleconference in mid-June to discuss any progress MCI has made in correcting over-billing errors, and the status of credits to be issued to NWS to correct these errors. The DTS circuits were mainly the circuits which were over-billed by MCI. However, we have found some discrepancies in the Frame Relay circuit billing which has been discussed with MCI. We continue to work these issues almost daily with updates to NWSH when requested.

The Huntsville WFO project is progressing. The floor plan has been finalized. The cabling and wiring pulls for the office are being finalized. Soon we will be sending requests for bids to vendors for the installation of the phone system and wiring.

SR communications manager Cecil W. Tevis recently conducted a one-day training session on the Norstar Phone System at WFO Fort Worth. Programming and hardware issues were reviewed. The training was well received and appreciated.

ASOS. Mod Note 73 dealing with the new ACU processor installation is going along fairly well. Most sites are installing with minimal or no problems. Some sites nationally have reported removal of the modification due to complications. SRH Electronics Program Manager Steve Baker along with the ET staff of WFO Fort Worth, performed this modification at the Arlington, Texas ASOS site with positive results.

Mod Note 75 - DTS1 new dewpoint sensor install - is not going as well. Also performed at the Arlington site, this modification had to be removed due to complications. This was the fourth installation in the region and only one has been minimally successful. The other three have had to be removed. We have reported these results to NWSH.

WSR-88D. All ORPGs have been installed in the Southern Region. Everyone involved is commended on the great job they did, especially the Radar Operations Center staff in Norman. The planning, testing, and implementation phases of this install were outstanding.

NWR. New installations with Crown 1k watt transmitters were completed at Ponca City and Broken Bow, Oklahoma, and Morriston, Florida this month. We were also given permission to increase the output power to 1000w on five NWR sites in Mississippi. This should help fill in some areas and improve reception in the coverage areas.

Steve Baker, EPM; Mario Valverde, chief, SIB; and Mike Mach, SRH's new NWR program manager, participated in the NWR conference in Silver Spring. This was a very good opportunity for Mike, as the first day of the meeting was also his first day in his new position.

Transmitter shelters for new NWR sites in Harrison, Arkansas and Plainview, Texas have been manufactured and are ready for delivery. Requests for quotes were submitted to the GSA vendor for eight additional buildings.


COOPERATIVE STATION SERVICE ACCOUNTABILITY. Two draft user guides have been developed to allow the WFOs to quickly access or produce Co-op Program submissions with limited program experience. One guide will direct the user through the documentation required for a standard co-op station while the second will be used to document ASOS locations which are part of the cooperative network. Both guides are a condensed version of the complete CSSA manual.

PROGRAM PERFORMANCE. Southern Region offices collectively have done an excellent job of managing their cooperative programs. Thus far this fiscal year, 11 of the 31 WFOs have reported zero missing data. The regional average for missing climatological data is 0.71%, with a performance standard established at less than 2%. The regional average for missing hourly precipitation data is 1.43%, with a performance standard established at less than 3%. Station visitation rate for the region currently stands at 74% with a total of 20,062 person-hours (502 person-weeks) dedicated to the program, and 232,148 miles driven.

FACILITIES COMPUTERIZED MAINTENANCE MANAGEMENT SYSTEM (CMMS). In the previous 30 days, 50 work requests have been submitted, 65 work orders have been issued, and 60 work orders were completed and closed. There are 238 facility work orders open. Facility assets and users for the new WFO Huntsville CWA were added to the CMMS.

SURFACE OBSERVATION PROGRAM. Southern Region received 45 requests from the aviation community for new certificates, cancellations, or changes in types of surface certificates during May. Alton Abernathy, upper air/surface programs manager, recently completed an office review at WFO Jacksonville. On this visit a complete review of all data acquisition programs was performed, with all programs receiving a satisfactory rating or higher.

UPPER-AIR OBSERVATION PROGRAM. The highest rated Southern Region office for April 2002 was WFO Birmingham with a performance rating of 298.38. Four other offices were considered excellent this month with performance numbers in excess of 295 - these offices are WFO Jacksonville (297.94), WFO Corpus Christi (297.94), WFO Lake Charles (296.49), and WFO Brownsville (296.14). Southern Region had a total of 14 stations with performance ratings in excess of 290, and 17 of the 23 upper air sites in the region had ratings in excess of the national average of 287.85. For the past 12 months two Southern Region programs have consistently produced excellent performance numbers, WFOs Lake Charles and Corpus Christi, both of which have a twelve month performance average which places them in the top ten nationally. Congratulations to all the offices which have maintained very high levels of performance.

WFO Tallahassee continues to manage a split upper air operation. This will continue until a few more equipment installation issues are completed at the new location on The Florida State University campus. These include completion of the helium transfer system, and completion of wiring from the tracking system to the office workstation.

A prerequisite activity in deployment of the Radiosonde Replacement System (RRS) is installation of the Radiosonde Surface Observing Instrumentation System (RSOIS). Phase I RSOIS sites are nearing completion. These sites have existing power and towers already in place to mount the equipment. RSOIS Phase II sites (sites that need a new tower and associated electrical power) will be addressed next. RSOIS Phase II sites in Southern Region include Birmingham, Little Rock, Miami, Tampa Bay, Lake Charles, New Orleans, Shreveport, Jackson, Amarillo, Brownsville, Corpus Christi, and Fort Worth.

NWSH has requested that installation of RSIOS be delayed until the problem with the RSIOS base station data display unit is corrected. John Monte, RSIOS COTR, is working with the RSIOS vendor to come up with a fix to this problem. Until this problem is corrected, NWSH will not ship out any additional RSIOS units. NWSH will focus on getting the existing RSIOS units in the field repaired as quickly as possible before any new system is deployed.

CRYSTAL-FACE CAMPAIGN. A request from NASA for three sites in Southern Region to support a major field campaign in South Florida has been approved. Specifically, NASA is seeking special radiosonde launch support from three sites: WFOs Miami, Tampa Bay and Key West. The field campaign is called the Cirrus Regional Study of Tropical Anvils and Layers - Florida Area Cirrus Experiment (CRYSTAL-FACE). During the campaign NASA will require special soundings from the three WFOs during a 28-day period next month. A special flight is required each day at 1800UTC with additional soundings on ten intensive field experiment days occurring at 2100UTC and 1500UTC, or 0300UTC, depending on conditions. A Memorandum of Agreement between the National Weather Service and NASA Goddard Space Flight Center for NWS upper air observation support is still in negotiations.

KEESLER AFB WSR-88D RELOCATION. In conjunction with the Radar Operations Center (ROC), WFO Jackson and MASC Property Division, SRH continues to work toward meeting the Congressional mandate of relocating the current DOD WSR-88D located at Keesler AFB in Biloxi, Mississippi, to its new permanent location in Brandon, Mississippi. Site location and real estate procurement efforts are currently underway.

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. SRH will work with the NWSH Telecommunications Branch to order the necessary telecommunications circuits to provide the needed WSR-88D data to WFO Huntsville and surrounding WFOs.

OPEN RPG INSTALLATION AND BUILD 1.2. Open RPG has been successfully deployed at all Southern Region WFOs. Concurrently, local WFOs are also installing Open RPG Build 1.2 across the region. The biggest benefits of ORPG Build 1.2 will include the TCP/IP interface to AWIPS which will enable the existing RPG and PUP cabinets to be removed from the sites, as well as the creation of new digital base reflectivity and base velocity data.

DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE WSR-88Ds AND UNIT RADAR COMMITTEES. The most recent (March 2001-February 2002) rolling 12-month data availability statistics for DOD WSR-88D sites reveals that seven of the 14 DOD radars in Southern Region failed to meet the tri-agency mandate of 96% data availability. SRH sent out a reminder in April to each WFO that chairs the Unit Radar Committee (URC) for a DOD NEXRAD site, informing them of the requirement to host twice-yearly URC meetings for the purpose of discussing local operational issues.

WEATHER AND RADAR PROCESSOR IMPLEMENTATION. The FAA will operationally deploy its Weather and Radar Processor (WARP) system at the Fort Worth ARTCC this month. SRH will work closely with FAA Air Traffic and Airways Facilities personnel at the ARTCC, as well as with the Fort Worth CWSU personnel and impacted WFOs, to ensure that proper coordination takes place between agencies with regard to operational use of the WSR-88D, and both scheduled and unscheduled outages. As the WARP proceeds along the path to national implementation, SRH continues to be concerned with possible workload impacts on WFO electronics technicians, and the lack of redundant communications with WARP as our fellow agency begins using WSR-88D data operationally on a routine basis.

ASOS SENSOR RELOCATIONS. Site surveys have been completed with the FAA and local airport officials for the ASOS Combined Sensor Group relocations at Tallahassee, Florida and College Station, Texas. Both projects are waiting for FAA approval of the required forms before proceeding. The airport has already selected the contractor for the Tallahassee move, while the FAA will procure a reimbursable agreement with the airport for the College Station move.

TRANSFER OF ASOS AUGMENTATION/BACKUP AT SERVICE LEVEL C SITES. SRH has begun coordination with the FAA Southern and Southwest regions, as well as with the local WFOs at the six locations where the FAA will assume the Service Level C ASOS augmentation/backup on October 1, 2002.

TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION AWOS INITIATIVE. In conjunction with local airports around Texas, the Texas State Department of Transportation (TxDoT) has installed 16 state owned AWOS at airports throughout Texas, with 16 more scheduled for installation this summer. SRH is working in partnership with TxDoT, the local airport, and private vendors to facilitate the longline dissemination of the surface data from these state owned systems at no cost to the NWS. At present, five of these sites have already begun routine longline dissemination via the FAA NADIN/WMSCR into the NWS Gateway, and eventually to the 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.

WEST MEMPHIS, ARKANSAS, AIRPORT ASOS. In response to a new FAA requirement, SRH is working with NWSH and the FAA Southwest Region to site, install, and commission a new ASOS in West Memphis, Arkansas. Once commissioned, the ASOS will be maintained by personnel from WFO Memphis.



SCIENCE FAIR HONORS - WE ALL WIN. Merritt Blanks, a seventh grader at Grady Middle School in Houston, swept the field this year with First Place finishes in his school, district and then Houston Area Science Fairs with a project titled "Seconds Save Lives II: How well do we predict severe weather?" Merritt is an advanced placement student who worked with WFO Houston forecasters while preparing his project. He also visited WFO Lake Charles to learn more about upper air observations and data processing. Such dedication really paid off, but in more ways than one. Following is Merritt's note of thanks which he sent to teachers, WFO staff and others who helped him with this effort. This young man will go far:

Many thanks to all my science fair advisors and supporters for your incredibly generous time, support, ideas, help and guidance on this 2-yr effort to understand severe weather. There is no way that I could have accomplished so much in one area without focusing on this project for the second year...As I now wind down and pack away my project, I realize how much help I received from a lot of incredible, talented people, and this would not have been done without each of you deciding to give something to the effort. I hope others in the future can be as fortunate as I have been.

WFO BROWNSVILLE. ASA Rachel Gutierrez and HMT Dana Watkins attended the R. L. Martin Elementary School Career Day. The fair was attended by over 300 third, fourth and fifth grade students. Handouts were provided and career paths in meteorology were discussed. Rachel conducted several interviews in Spanish for the Spanish-speaking students.

Fifteen aerospace students from the Marine Military Academy in Harlingen toured the WFO. DAPM Jim Campbell showed them a PowerPoint presentation on office operations, and senior forecaster Tim Speece gave a weather briefing.

WCM Jesse Haro attended the Lyford Middle School eighth grade Career Fair. Jesse discussed careers in meteorology, particularly opportunities for women and minorities.

WFO CORPUS CHRISTI. SOO Andy Patrick participated in the CCISD Science Fair at Tuloso Midway High School. Fifty science projects in the Physical Science category for grades K-12 were judged. As part of the evaluation of each project, an interview was held with each of the participating students.

WFO SAN JUAN. MIC Israel Matos participated in a two-day meeting with members of the University of Puerto Rico External Advisory Board on Caribbean Climate Studies. This is a NASA EPSCOR project with the goal to develop regional simulation tools for the Caribbean climate, and to establish an atmospheric science program at the university. One of the recommendations was to establish a Joint and Multi-disciplinary Institute similar to a Cooperative Institute, and to ensure technology transfer activities involve WFO San Juan. Israel also participated in a focus group meeting with visiting students from Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Massachusetts, and members of Puerto Rico's Department of Natural Resources, the University of Puerto Rico Sea Grant Program, and NOAA's National Estuarine Research Reserve System to discuss the creation and implementation of a Coastal Training Institute in Puerto Rico.

WCM Rafael Mojica conducted a three-hour "Weather Merit Badge" training for 18 Boy Scouts from Puerto Rico, at the Camp Guajataca Forest in Isabela; gave a presentation on the use of the WFO home page for educational purposes to 40 students at Carvin Elementary School in Carolina; and led an office tour for a group of 18 deaf and hearing impaired students from the Pachin Marin School.

WFO SHREVEPORT. During the 2001-2002 school year, the WFO partnered with several area middle schools and the Alliance for Education to integrate computers and technology with abstract principles of science and mathematics, in order to generate curiosity and understanding of the earth sciences. Effectively named "Project Weather Watch," students and teachers experienced hands-on activities with various weather instruments, while WFO meteorologists served as mentors for the participating schools throughout the program.

The WFO held a forecasting contest during April for the participating schools in Project Weather Watch, as each school predicted high and low temperatures, and forecast whether precipitation was going to fall at the Shreveport Regional Airport. WFO Public Outreach Team meteorologists Jason Hansford and Bill Parker provided each school with various sources for weather information, as well as forecasting tips, to be used throughout the contest. Approximately 320 students participated, with the winning class receiving a pizza and soft drink party. The contest was a success, as the students gained an understanding for the math and sciences, as well as NWS forecasting techniques.

Forecaster Mary Keiser gave a talk to the Garland Boy Scouts south of Stonewall, Louisiana (De Soto Parish) about how to get their weather badges. Mary discussed safety and preparedness, NOAA Weather Radio, operations of the NWS, and the surface/upper air program.

Mary Keiser, met intern Bruce Sherbon, and HMT Christian Stapleton gave tours to several groups including the weather class of Bossier Parish Community College located in Bossier City, Louisiana; students from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Shreveport, and a group of Girl Scouts from Shreveport. Discussions included forecast operations, the NWS aviation and upper air observation programs, and AWIPS. Students also watched a radiosonde release.

Forecaster Patrick Omundson gave an office tour to a foreign exchange student from Austria who works for the Austrian Weather Service.

WFO TALLAHASSEE. Senior forecaster and EEO focal point Ron Block presented information on the NWS mission as well as career opportunities for Native Americans to the Intertribal North American Festival in Cottondale, Florida. He also participated in Emancipation 2002, an annual event in Tallahassee which celebrates the formal end of slavery in Florida. As a Civil War re-enactor, Ron participated in the re-enactment and helped staff the booth where the NWS was discussed with emphasis on the role of African-Americans past and present. He also participated in a Cinco de Mayo Festival in Quincy.

MIC Paul Duval represented NWS at the annual 4-H Ecology Day celebration where he provided a display highlighting the NWS mission. He also discussed severe weather preparation and safety rules with a large Cub Scout troop and their sponsors in Tallahassee; NWS operations and warnings with members of the Valdosta, Georgia, Kiwanis Club; and the NWS mission with an emphasis on Weather Radio to the Jackson County, Florida community. WCM Bob Goree discussed the upcoming hurricane season, tropical meteorology and preparedness at a meeting at the Leon County Health Department.


May 1 - 31, 2002

Southern Region Losses


From (Office)


From Title/Grade

Carla Tull




Harold Austin


Transfer to ER

Forecaster, GS-12

Ronald Murphy


Transfer to ER

Senior Forecaster, GS-13

Paul Yura


Transfer to ER

Senior Forecaster, GS-13

Mark Lenz


Promotion to WR

Forecaster, GS-12

Heather Orow


Transfer to WR

Met Intern, GS-9

Sarah Taylor


Transfer to SPC

Forecaster, GS-12

Laurence Nierenberg


Transfer to NWSH

Forecaster, GS-12

Suzanne Van Cooten


Promotion to NDBC

Forecaster, GS-12

Southern Region Gains


To (Office)


To Title/Grade

Harold Peace


Transfer from PMC

El Tech, GS-11

David Robnett


New Hire

ITO, GS-13

Jonathan Rizzo


Transfer from WR

WCM, GS-12

Michael Richter


New Hire

Met Intern, GS-5

Katherine Andolina


Promotion from ERH

ESA, GS-13

Marlon Carter


New Hire

El Tech, GS-10

William Lloyd Hill


New Hire

El Tech, GS-10

Daniel Noah


Promotion from CR

WCM, GS-14

Michael Festino


New Hire

El Tech, GS-10

Within Region Transfers/Actions


To (Office)


To Title/Grade

Tom Bradshaw


Reassignment from BMX

SOO, GS-13

Tim Troutman


Reassignment from SRH

WCM, GS-13

Brian Burgess


Reassignment from FFC

ESA, GS-13

Matt Strahan


Promotion from SRH

MIC, GS-14

Patricia Hart


Promotion from BMX

Senior Forecaster, GS-13

Michael Mach


Reassignment from FWD

NWR/Dissemination Met

Jason Wright


Promotion from OHX

Senior Forecaster, GS-13

Paul Kirkwood


Reassignment from SOD

Dissem & Enhance. Met, GS-13

Ted Ryan


Reassignment from CRP

Forecaster, GS-7