UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE
NATIONAL OCEANIC AND ATMOSPHERIC ADMINISTRATION
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE
Fort Worth, Texas
May 1, 1997
HUNDREDS CELEBRATE DOME RAISING ON THE LAST WSR-88D IN THE SOUTH. The NWS's newest radar has been installed at Hytop, Alabama. The dome was raised during a special ceremony at the site on Friday, April 25, a picture perfect Spring day in northeast Alabama. On hand to celebrate the system's dedication were Congressman Bud Cramer of Alabama, Congressman Zach Wamp of Tennessee, and Lou Boezi, the NWS's Deputy Director for Modernization. In addition, MICs Gary Petti (NWSFO Birmingham), Jerry McDuffie (NWSO Knoxville/Tri-Cities), and Derrel Martin (NWSO Nashville) participated. Proclamations declaring the date "National Weather Service Day" were delivered by representatives of Alabama's Governor Fob James and Jim McCamy, the Emergency Management Coordinator for Jackson County. The nationally acclaimed Scottsboro High School Band enhanced the festivities by playing a wide selection of patriotic songs. At precisely 12:30 p.m., a crowd of more than 250 watched in awe as the dome on the last WSR-88D to be installed in the south was flawlessly placed atop its 90-meter tower. The radar is expected to be fully operational on July 11 and will provide coverage to areas of northern Alabama, southeast Tennessee, and northwest Georgia.
SPACEFLIGHT METEOROLOGY GROUP. Columbia Flight Launches Late and Lands Early at KSC. After a one-day delay due to the requirement to insulate water coolant lines, Space Shuttle Columbia lifted off on April 4, 1997, at 1920 UTC. The afternoon launch was free of any weather concerns, as high pressure centered over the Atlantic just off the Florida coast afforded fair weather and light surface winds at the Kennedy Space Center (KSC). Columbia, however, was forced to cut short its mission and return early. One of Columbia's three fuel cells that furnish electricity to the orbiter was not working properly. It was decided April 6 to declare a minimum duration flight (MDF) and bring Columbia back early April 8, 1997.
Surface winds were the main forecast problem on landing day. Northeast surface winds very near the 15-kt crosswind limit were forecast to develop at the KSC Shuttle Landing Facility (SLF) for the afternoon landing. At Edwards AFB (EDW), the other possible landing site, surface winds were forecast to increase during the afternoon as an upper low deepened over the southern Rockies. Forecast winds peaking to 30 kt would violate a number of weather flight rules at EDW. In the morning, KSC winds occasionally exceeded the crosswind limit. However, about 2 hours before landing time, winds backed to a more northerly direction, yielding a smaller crosswind on the NW-SE-oriented runway. After noting this trend, SMG predicted the SLF winds would stay just below the crosswind limits and a "GO" forecast for KSC was issued two hours before touchdown. Columbia landed at KSC April 8 at 1834Z. SLF crosswinds were below limits at landing time.
NASA is currently discussing plans to re-launch the STS-83 mission in early July 1997. This would allow completion of many of the STS-83 Microgravity Science Laboratory experiments.
The lead forecaster for STS-83 was Richard Lafosse. Assistant lead/TAL site forecaster was Wayne Baggett. The lead Techniques Development Unit meteorologist was Tim Oram.
FIRE WEATHER. Chuck Maxwell (IMET, NWSFO Albuquerque) taught a smoke management course on April 15, with 35 USFS personnel in attendance. This was the first time Chuck taught the class, and things went very well. Keep up the good work Chuck.
MARINE SEMINAR. NWSFO Slidell hosted a very successful Marine Seminar and Workshop April 21-22. This seminar was for the benefit of NWSOs which will assume marine forecast responsibility for Gulf of Mexico coast, to help them begin spinning up that responsibility. Several staff members from the NWSFO made presentations. Other presenters included Eric Meindl from NDBC; CWO Dan Cherry and CPO John Matheson from the USCG; Dr. Steven Lyons from TPC; and Robert Kelly from HPC/MFB. A wide range of topics was covered, from the importance of fog in the marine forecast to the MAREP program. Attached to this week's Topics is an excellent summary of the seminar provided by NWSFO MIC Paul Trotter. We call your attention specifically to the number of individuals who are on vessels or oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico on any given day.
Leonard Bucklin and Joel Schexnayder from NWSFO Slidell did an outstanding job in directing the seminar, and they may be contacted regarding the topics and subject matter covered during the two days.
NWR WARNS HIGH SCHOOL PRINCIPLE TORNADO WAS COMING. MIC Lee Harrison at NWSO Shreveport shared the following NWR success story with us. It's a pleasure to pass it on to everyone.
A small, weak tornado touched down in Webster Parish on April 4, 1997. It moved through the small community of Shongaloo in northern Webster Parish hitting and damaging the high school. A Tornado Warning was issued at 4:52 p.m. The tornado hit Shongaloo at 5:00 p.m.
The next day I (MIC Lee Harrison) went on a damage survey of the storm and stopped in Shongaloo. I went to the high school and met with the principle, Mr. Busby. He was in the school at the time when the storm hit (he was the only one there). He said he knew the tornado was coming because his NWR had gone off earlier when we issued the warning, also his wife who had a NWR at home and listening was also calling him about the storm coming. He got under his desk and wasn't hurt.
He said he kept his NWR on at all times, even during conferences with parents, and the Wednesday test really gets their attention.
Also, after the storm, the assistant school superintendent stopped by to check the damage and he asked Mr. Busby did he get any kind of warning. Mr. Busby replied yes through his NOAA Weather Radio. The assistant asked what kind of radio is that. Mr. Busby then showed and explained his NWR to the assistant. The assistant said he would bring it up at the next school board meeting to purchase one for all of the schools in the district.
Some great publicity for the NWR!
Great indeed. Thanks, Lee and NWSO Shreveport.
SOUTHERN REGION ERROR/EXCEPTION RATE CUT BY 50 PERCENT. For the past two-and-one-half years, quality control, error/exception rate logs from "First Alert" have been shared with field offices. Using the information in a feedback and constructive manner, the error/exception rates for the Southern Region are generally down 50 percent from two years ago. We thank "First Alert" for working with us in this important endeavor, and appreciation is extended to all Southern Region offices for their efforts in improving the quality and dissemination of NWS information to all users.
EAS WORKS. John White (WCM, NWSFO Memphis) sent in a copy of a Mid-South EAS Report from the Emergency Communications Auxiliary for the Mid-South (ECAMS) outlining events that took place from 3 p.m. Friday, February 28, through 11 p.m., Sunday, March 2, 1997. The deadly Arkansas tornadoes struck on Saturday, March 1. Here are some selected quotes from the report:
The National Weather Service issued 84 weather related alerts for the Memphis CWA.
It is my belief (ECAMS, Inc., EAS Project Coordinator) that the National Weather Service did an outstanding job of using their SAME equipment. It appears that because of their progressive efforts to train their staff that when the need arose they were ready!
EAS can and must work. A "tip-of-hat" to NWSFO Memphis for a job well done and to all other offices for their fine efforts in making NWS participation in EAS as successful as possible.
NWR EXPANSION IN ARKANSAS. Effective April 17, 1997, the 130th NWR for the Southern Region came on line at Russellville, Arkansas. The Cooperator is ENTERGY Operations, Inc. (formerly Arkansas Power & Light). Transmitting from atop Mt. Nebo at 350 watts on a frequency of 162.525 MHZ, WWF-96 will serve interests at the Arkansas Nuclear One Nuclear Power Plant and all, or portions of, Conway, Johnson, Logan, Perry, Pope, and Yell Counties. We thank ENTERGY Operations, Inc., and welcome Russellville as the latest addition to the NWR network.
ROUGH WEEK WEATHERWISE. The week of April 21 brought a variety of dangerous and deadly weather to a large part of the Southern Region due to an intense upper low in the southwestern U.S. Three people died in southern Arkansas; there was a lightning fatality in Florida; there were 10 injuries in an Alabama tornado; and Barksdale Air Force Base near Shreveport recorded a gust of 144 mph.
TWEB TRANSFERS. The long awaited transfer of Transcribed Weather Broadcast (TWEB) route forecast responsibility to the regional spin-up NWSOs will occur at 0600 UTC on Tuesday, July 1, 1997, the same time that the nationally revised route forecast system will be implemented. A recent E-mail (dated April 16) was distributed to the field offices providing information on the transfer process. Included were a breakdown of the forecast responsibility for each office, revisions to the route numbering system, and notice that TWEB synopses will no longer be prepared in the Southern Region.
Richard LeBlang (forecaster, NWSFO Bismarck) has developed an automated TWEB preparation program for the PC. This program, along with the supporting documentation, has been distributed to our field offices through the E-mail system. All offices are encouraged to give the program a try in preparing their TWEB forecasts.
UP, UP, AND AWAY! MIC Al Dreumont (NWSFO Austin/San Antonio), and his staff opened the doors of the office to a group of hot air balloonists from New Braunfels on Saturday, March 22. The NWSFO staff provided the group, as part of their seminar on balloon safety, an in-depth tour of the NWSFO and presentations on the weather and operations of the NWS. Reportedly, the weather portion of the seminar was rated highest for its contribution to improving the safety awareness of the balloon pilots and ground crews in attendance.
In appreciation for their efforts, the staff members have been offered the chance to be taken aloft and observe, firsthand, how weather affects balloon flight. Interesting, a balloon FAM flight!
SMG GIVES GROUND SUPPORT, TOO. Most of us think of the support that the Spaceflight Meteorology Group (SMG) provides to NASA as being primarily for Shuttle launch and landing operations. But there is more to it than that. Recently, Frank Brody (MIC, SMG) received a letter of appreciation from the manager of the Johnson Spacecraft Center (JSC), Emergency Operations Center, for the support that Frank and his staff give to the JSC Emergency Preparedness Program.
The staff of the SMG are continually monitoring the weather in and around the JSC area and alerting employees of the potential impacts to them and their operations. Of particular recognition was the support that SMG staff members have given to the Hurricane Rideout Team at JSC as tropical systems approach the Texas and Louisiana coasts. The critical and timely weather information that SMG provides keeps senior managers advised and assists them in making decisions regarding the suspension of outside operations at the JSC.
We join JSC management in offering our congratulations to Frank and his staff for their outstanding efforts.
GOES-K SUCCESSFULLY LAUNCHED. The GOES-K satellite was successfully launched at 1:49 a.m., EDT, on Friday, April 25, 1997, aboard an Atlas I rocket from Pad 36-B at Cape Canaveral. The spacecraft is reportedly in a very good circular orbit inclined at 27 degrees and operating normally.
The spacecraft is expected to officially be turned over to NOAA and be renamed GOES-10 around May 6. At that time, testing of the onboard systems will begin. The first official visible image is tentatively scheduled for May 9, followed by the first official infrared image on or about June 5.
Testing will continue for about 2-3 months, after which the spacecraft will be placed in orbital storage in standby mode at 105 degrees West longitude facing away from the sun. Storing in orbit saves on ground storage costs and makes the satellite more readily available for activation, should either of the other two GOES satellites fail.
NASA's Web page, http://www.lerc.nasa.gov/WWW/PAO/html/goes.htm, has a nice description of the launch and provides details of the checkout procedures to be followed over the coming months.
Palmer Update. Most recent Palmer Drought Index values indicate New Mexico, Alabama, and much of Mississippi, Florida, and western Texas are experiencing near normal soil moisture conditions. Meanwhile, drier than normal conditions exist over southern Florida and southern Georgia, while Arkansas, most of Oklahoma, and parts of Louisiana, Tennessee, and Texas are wetter than normal.
More Texas Floods. During the late night hours of April 10 and the early morning hours of April 11, very heavy rains fell over Lavaca and Dewitt counties of southeastern Texas. NWSFO San Antonio senior service hydrologist John Patton says that storm totals of 10 to 13 inches of rain were reported between the towns of Yoakum, Hocheim, and Shiner. Flooding was described as disastrous in some places. Hundreds of cattle were lost as were a number of vehicles. One death occurred as a man drove his vehicle into a flooded, unnamed creek and drowned.
Heavy amounts of rainfall were reported throughout the area with monthly totals tallying well above normal. NWSO Corpus Christi hydrologic focal point Mark Lenz reveals that Victoria received 749% of its normal March rainfall, as three daily rainfall records and the monthly record were set. Corpus Christi received 509% of its normal March rainfall. Heavier totals for the area included 16.10 inches of rain at Point Comfort in Calhoun County, 13.86 inches at the Aransas Wildlife Refuge, and 11.45 inches 7 miles north of Refugio.
New Mexico Snowpack. Unusually dry and warm weather during the first three weeks of March served to substantially reduce the snowpack over the mountains of New Mexico. Combined with an abnormally high snowpack produced during the winter months, snow water equivalent levels are now near normal across much of the state.
Unique Appalachian Flood Event. An early March rain event produced a tricky forecast dilemma for the NWSO Morristown staff. Although the rain had ended, a debris jam on the Powell River was causing flooding about five miles upstream of the nearest gage (Arthur). The river behind the jam was flooding an area that does not normally flood much, but the stage at the Arthur gage was not rising appreciably. The NWSO kept in contact with county emergency management officials to successfully disseminate timely information. Some residences and roads upstream of the debris jam were impacted, although flooding mainly affected roads. Once the runoff abated and flooding decreased, crews were able to remove the debris.
NEWS FROM OUR HYDROLOGIC SERVICE AREAS
Attachment. Included with this issue of Topics is an attachment written by Al Hong, service hydrologist at NWSFO Tulsa. The attachment addresses issues his office has dealt with regarding public flood products and the decision-making process involved in their issuance. While Tulsa remains the only Southern Region office using AWIPS, a great benefit can be derived from Al's attachment by those offices awaiting their AWIPS delivery in the coming months.
Hydrologic End-Users Workshops. NWSFO Norman hosted an End-Users Workshop for Hydrology Wednesday, April 2, and again Wednesday, April 9. The objective of the workshops was to familiarize emergency managers and other related users with hydrologic products and operations at the NWS and to recent advances in NWS technologies. Topics of discussion included ways that the WSR-88D radar estimates rainfall, quantitative precipitation forecasting techniques, improvements in hydrologic models, and how all three combine to affect river flood forecasts and warnings. Cosponsors of the event were ABRFC Tulsa and OSF Norman. Over 100 people attended the workshops.
Kudos for Carle. John Mader, Director of the Jackson County (Florida) Emergency Management Agency recently wrote a thank you letter to Paul Duval (MIC, NWSO Tallahassee). A few excerpts follow:
I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your assistance and the assistance of Bob Carle with the installation of the automated river gauge on the Chipola River. I would like to commend Mr. Carle for his expertise.
The gauge will be very beneficial for historical information as well as the safety of the citizens.
Our County Administrator, Wendell Taylor, was impressed with the teamwork of all the agencies involved.
In response, Mr. Duval wrote to Mr. Mader:
I feel fortunate to have Mr. Carle as our staff hydrologist. In this well-publicized era of very tight budgets for everyone concerned, Bob has repeatedly demonstrated an outstanding ability to organize assistance and resources from a number of agencies in order to obtain additional automated rainfall and stream gauge data.
Great work, Bob.
NEWS FROM OUR RIVER FORECAST CENTERS
TVA at LMRFC. On the afternoon of April 8 and morning of April 9, representatives of the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) visited LMRFC Slidell. The TVA members were given a tour of the facility and then were provided demonstrations on the Interactive Forecast Program and HAS operations. The meeting proved informative and beneficial as data communications and coordination between the two agencies will increase. The meeting will be held annually with the next one slated for October in Knoxville. Service hydrologists from all offices with responsibility in the Tennessee Valley will be invited to attend.
Software Development at ABRFC. Recently, the ABRFC successfully developed a generic version of the Navigation, Animation and Visualization (NAV) software and made it available to other RFCs. While admittedly containing a very limited functionality, the "XNAV" release is being utilized and has received positive feedback from those RFCs using it. Meanwhile, the ABRFC continues its work in developing a more robust version of XNAV.
BILLION DOLLAR U.S. WEATHER DISASTERS. According to a recent summary provided by NCDC, since 1980 the U.S. has suffered 28 weather-related disasters, each of which totaled at least a billion dollars in losses, not to mention the cost in lives and injuries. Fourteen (half) of those 28 events affected primarily or entirely just the Southern Region states, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. The total estimated cost of the Southern Region events alone was nearly $60 billion--a major part attributed to one storm: Hurricane Andrew in 1992 ($27 billion).
It's hard to forget the impact of an Andrew, but interestingly, among the other major disasters on the NCDC list are ice storms, floods, droughts, and heat waves. And examples of each of those are among the 14 Southern Region billion dollar events. The NCDC summary can be found at http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/publications/billionz.html. We have also included a copy as a technical attachment this week.
NWSO TALLAHASSEE/FSU INTERACTION. NWSO Tallahassee recently received the following note from Prof. Henry Fuelberg at Florida State University:
I want to thank [MIC Paul Duval and SOO Irv Watson] for participating in the "Florida State University Mesometeorology Conference," in which my students in graduate mesometeorology class presented their term projects. We all appreciate your taking the time yesterday to interact with the students, show interest in their work, and offer information and suggestions based on your knowledge and experience. It was a great way for the students to learn more about the modernized NWS and its personnel, and it is another example of the kinds of collaboration that we can achieve together.
The students prepared posters and gave ten-minute presentations. Paul, Irv, and faculty members then graded the presentations. (Tough audience!) Other cooperative activities between the NWSO and FSU are going well, and they continue to expand. The NWSO is just finishing up the spring semester during which seven graduating meteorology majors and one graduate student received course credit for working one-on-one with forecasters and HMTs on routine shifts.
SOO NEWS. A Convective Initiation and Warning Decision-Making Workshop was held at NWSO Mobile in mid-April. Jeffrey Medlin (SOO) and Dr. Paul Croft of Jackson State University presented the results of a year-long local convective initiation study conducted in the Mobile County Warning Area. The study was designed to improve short-term forecasts of the initiation of deep summertime convection in weak vertical wind shear environments. Although the study did not focus on bay- and sea-breezes specifically, a local mesoscale conceptual forecast model was developed. Jeff presented a displaced real-time scenario to illustrate the use of the conceptual model. After lunch, Gary Beeler (WCM) and Brian O'Hara (intern) discussed a severe weather climatology for the NWSO's new CWA. Dave Eversole (forecaster) summarized the recent OSF Warning Decision-Making Workshop (see the last Topics). Dave emphasized awareness during warning situations and conducted several mini-scenarios and a major case study, both derived from materials used in the OSF workshop.
MORE WARNING DECISION-MAKING. In the last Topics we summarized the first OSF Warning Decision-Making Workshop. We failed to note the workshop was an outgrowth of a prototype presentation which was made at the NWA Annual Meeting last December by John Ferree and Liz Quoetone (OSF/OTB) and George Wilken (SOO, NWSFO Little Rock). The idea for the workshop actually came from interaction among the SOOs, initiated by George, which recognized the need for such dialogue. Don Burgess and Tim Crum (OSF) helped direct the effort, and Tony Marci (OSF) developed the CD-ROM that was distributed to all offices--the first of many, we hope. The month-long WSR-88D operations course may have wound down, but workshops such as this are good examples of collaboration among the OSF staff and field offices which must continue if we are to make best and fullest use of the new technology.
NWA AWARD NOMINATIONS. A memo requesting nominations for the various National Weather Association awards has been sent to all offices. As with the AMS awards, this is an excellent opportunity to recognize outstanding contributions by NWS employees, and those in the media, other government or public sectors without whom we could not do our jobs so well. The memo contains details of the various award categories and eligibility requirements. We have been successful many times in receiving recognition from both the NWA and the AMS. The past year has been filled with significant accomplishments and major weather or flood events, so there should be no shortage of nominations. Please provide those to SRH before May 20. Any of the divisions will be happy to assist as necessary in preparing documentation.
As far as the AMS awards, last week we forwarded a half-dozen excellent nominations to AMS headquarters for consideration. We appreciate the efforts of all managers who contributed to those well-deserved citations.
NWA CALL FOR PAPERS. The 22nd National Weather Association Annual Meeting is scheduled for October 19-24, 1997, in Reno, Nevada. The last two annual meetings, in the Southern Region at Houston and Cocoa Beach, were outstanding. They were also well supported by Southern Region participants. The NWA is now soliciting papers on a wide range of topics related to operational meteorology and hydrology, weather broadcasting and related activities. One page abstracts should be submitted to the program chairpersons, John Jannuzzi and David Billingsley at:
NWS Forecast Office
3833 South Development Ave., Bldg. 3807
Boise, Idaho 83705-5354
(208) 334-9861 Fax (298) 334-1660
Submissions by E-mail are encouraged. Those sent by mail should be accompanied by a copy on disc. Indicate preference for oral or poster presentation. Please make sure SSD receives a copy of any submissions. More information is contained in the latest NWA Newsletter, or can be obtained from the above address.
NEW COMET CBL: STORM STRUCTURE AND EVOLUTION. Offices should have received the latest COMET computer-based learning module, "Anticipating Convective Storm Structure and Evolution." This CD-ROM is part of a series on forecasting convection, and it expands on the material in "A Convective Storm Matrix," already distributed. Subject matter experts for the latest module are Morris Weisman (NCAR), Steve Keighton (SOO, NWSO Flagstaff), and Ed Szoke (NOAA/Forecast Systems Lab). The primary goal of this CD-ROM is to provide forecasters with a strategy for anticipating convective storm structures, evolution, and severe potential, based on an understanding of the processes that control development.
The module emphasizes the roles of buoyancy and vertical wind shear in controlling storm structure and evolution. The ability to anticipate developments allows forecasters to better manage their activities during events. The module also demonstrates methods for monitoring storm evolution with the WSR-88D, applying conceptual models. Numerous interactions and a set of summary exercises are included to test and apply the user's knowledge of the material. More detailed information and instructions will be distributed with the modules.
APRIL CIAMS MEETING. Mike Biggerstaff (Texas A&M) and Bernard Meisner (SSD) were the featured speakers at the April meeting of the Cooperative Institute for Applied Meteorological Studies (CIAMS) at Texas A&M. Dr. Biggerstaff provided an overview of the upcoming Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) Field Program and NSSL damaging wind algorithm test. A NASA 5cm mobile radar will be used to supplement data from the Texas A&M "Aggie" 10cm Doppler radar and the WSR-88Ds at NWSO Houston and NWSO Lake Charles. One of NSSL's Cross-LORAN Atmospheric Sounding Systems (CLASS) will be deployed at, and staffed by volunteers from, NWSO Houston, while another mobile CLASS will be deployed in the vicinity of potentially damaging storms. The Texas A&M University Student Chapter of the American Meteorological Society will conduct storm surveys and damaging wind intercepts. Their results will be very helpful to our forecasters for verification and subsequent storm studies.
Dr. Biggerstaff also noted that base radar data are now regularly flowing between NWSO Houston and CIAMS and invited faculty and staff to view the displayed data on the workstation in the radar control room. These data will be used to test the NSSL experimental damaging wind algorithms, with results from the algorithm distributed in real time via the Internet to NWSO Houston and NWSFO Austin-San Antonio. SSD worked with the OSF and NWSH to obtain support for this CIAMS research effort.
Bernard Meisner first demonstrated the Audiographics software that will likely be distributed to all NWS field offices in the near future for teletraining applications. He suggested that CIAMS faculty consider how they might use such a system to increase collaboration and training opportunities with NWS Southern Region offices. Bernard gave a presentation entitled "GOES-8/9 Images and Derived Products."
PC-GRIDDS DATA CHANGES. The flow of PC-GRIDDS data from the NCEP computers ended with the 1200 UTC run on April 21. These data were compatible with the 1993 version of the PC-GRIDDS software. Data compatible with the 1996 version of the software continue to be produced at SRH and are available for downloading by field offices via modem and the regional Frame Relay network from the SRH server. Offices that wish to produce their own PC-GRIDDS data should contact Bernard Meisner in SSD for software and documentation.
WHEN SOMEONE RELOCATES. All cc:Mail administrators have a responsibility to keep up with events that affect their post office directories. When someone leaves an office, whether it be to relocate to another office or to retire, their name should be deleted from the post office directory at that office; and the deletion must be propagated in order to update all other National Weather Service directories. When a new person arrives at an office, whether it be a new hire or a relocation from another office, that person's name needs to be added to that NWS office directory; and the addition must be propagated in order to update all other NWS office directories.
It should be readily apparent that if a person relocates and their name is not deleted from the former NWS office directory and the deletion propagated, it is impossible for the addition to be made to the new NWS office directory and propagated, because the old name still sits in all other NWS directories.
cc:MAIL OVER FRAME RELAY. In a planning meeting held in Fort Worth on April 16, the issue of what it would take to transition the Southern Region Frame Relay and cc:Mail to Central and Eastern Regions was discussed among representatives from Central, Eastern, and Southern Regions. Central Region has adopted Windows NT 3.51 as the standard LAN Server operating system and will be upgrading to NT 4.0 very soon.
In separate discussions with Ray Rainey of Central Region Headquarters, Leon Minton shared with him the success we have using the new Lotus NTROUTER program in conjunction with the native TCP/IP stack of NT 4.0 operating system. Sixteen of the 30 Southern Region offices now use it. Ray shared many of the useful cc:Mail techniques that he has developed for Central Region. Later that evening Leon FTPed the NTROUTER files and installation instructions to Ray. Eastern Region will likely be adopting many of the techniques that are now well established in Southern and Central Regions.
SUPPORT TEAM GOES TO KEY WEST. Southern Region Headquarters in Fort Worth was notified on the morning of April 22 that the National Weather Service Office in Key West had to go "out of operation" due to excessive leaks in the roof overnight. Because of safety concerns, the MIC decided that all equipment must be shut down. This was necessary because most of the electronic equipment in the office was either sitting in water or had water damage. On very short notice, a support team from Southern Region Headquarters including Bruce Marshak, Cecil Tevis, Terry Brisbin, Don Allen, and Van Jester, was dispatched. They arrived at the Key West office that same day around 8 p.m. and immediately began work, and by the next morning had the the office back in full operation. The dedication and field expertise shown by these individuals on such short notice provided for a minimum down-time of this National Weather Service Office, and reflects the long tradition of operational support services provided by the Southern Region Headquarters.
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