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

October 2000

SOUTHERN TOPICS


REGIONAL DIRECTOR

I am pleased to announce the Southern Region Isaac Cline Award winners for 2000. The selection team, involving regional, field, and NWSEO representatives, has done an admirable job in selecting the winners from the numerous excellent nominations. Although these individuals and groups were selected to receive the Southern Region Cline Award, everyone in the region should be proud of the work that has been accomplished during the year. Last year, two of the national winners were from the Southern Region, and based on the quality of accomplishments of this year's winners, I expect the region to be well represented again at the national level. Congratulations to everyone.

The regional level winners are listed below and the local level winners are listed in an attachment to this month's Topics.

Isaac Cline Award Winners for 2000

Meteorology Award - WFO Shreveport

The WFO staff wins the Cline Meteorology Award based on the overall performance of the office in handling two significant weather events that occurred during the year. Both were record events for the area and were extremely well predicted and warned for. The first was a winter storm that

struck northeast Texas, southeast Oklahoma, and southwest Arkansas on January 26 - 27, 2000, producing record snowfalls in many areas. The second event was an outbreak of tornadoes across much of Shreveport's county warning area on Easter Sunday, April 23rd. During this event, the Shreveport WFO issued 30 excellent and timely warnings which were instrumental in saving lives.

Hydrometeorology Award - Southeast River Forecast Center

The Southeast RFC (SERFC) at Peachtree City wins the Cline Hydrometeorology Award for its actions associated with flooding from Hurricane Floyd on September 14 - 17, 1999, which caused as much as $6 billion damage to the southeast U.S., primarily from flooding. The SERFC was first to recognize the potential for catastrophic flooding and took aggressive and innovative actions to warn North Carolina emergency managers, media, and citizens of the extreme inland flood threat. Many of the actions initiated by the SERFC, as much as a full week ahead of the eventual crests, were unprecedented for an RFC, and the advance notice saved many lives.

Engineering, Electronics or Facilities Award - Electronics Staff at WFO Austin/San Antonio

The electronics team of Dale Lininger, Edward Strouhal, and Joe Villescaz at WFO Austin/San Antonio is recognized for substantial accomplishments in support of the NWS mission. Team members consistently demonstrated technical proficiency, initiative and creativity, productivity, and teamwork. Their technical proficiency with the WSR-88D ensured outstanding radar coverage and availability during critical weather events. Initiative and creativity was demonstrated through maintenance of the upper-air system in Del Rio despite the harsh, remote location. Productivity and teamwork were used to ensure a more efficient organization.

Hydrology Award - John Patton (posthumously) WFO Austin/San Antonio

John Patton is recognized for his substantial accomplishments in support of the NWS hydrologic mission by having demonstrated technical proficiency, initiative and creativity, and teamwork. In December 1999, John authored a detailed and comprehensive document on the historical floods in Texas from 1869 through October 1998. This document will serve as a hydrologic benchmark for floods in Texas. In addition, John performed his service hydrologist duties to the highest quality possible, including integrating hydrologic information and capabilities into AWIPS, coordination with emergency management, river authorities, and other partners, and training staffs at the Austin/San Antonio, Corpus Christi, and Brownsville WFOs.

Support Services Award - Steven Smart at WFO Corpus Christi

Steven is recognized for his substantial accomplishments in support of the NWS mission. In addition to his normal duties, Steve tirelessly managed the administrative functions during an almost two-month period when the office was without an Administrative Support Assistant. He also planned, organized, and produced the office's Christmas edition of the South Texas Weather Journal and assisted with planning, organizing, and directing the WFO's participation in the 20th Annual Coastal Bend Emergency Management Association Conference. Steve's dedication to these projects demonstrated his commitment to serving the WFO staff and the office's partners.

Program Management and Administration Services Award - John Michael Coyne at WFO Corpus Christi

John is recognized for his accomplishments in numerous areas. As the NWR Console Replacement System team leader, John developed and maintained the SNUFFLE program, saving the NWS thousands of hours of internal programming work. In addition, he provided extensive support on the program to WFOs nationwide. As Web team leader, John was one of the first Web masters to develop the necessary AWIPS and PC applications to produce graphical public and marine forecasts for the Web. John constantly solicits customer feedback on the WFO Web site to assure the office provides high quality service to its customers.

Upper Air Observation Award - WFO Corpus Christi

Corpus Christi continues to lead the nation in every aspect of the upper-air program. The WFO was the top-ranked site on both the regional and national level for much of the year, and these accomplishments are achieved despite being the fourth windiest city in the U.S., a tropical locality, and having a major hurricane landfall near the city. During Hurricane Bret, the WFO performed 12 successful upper-air releases. This is a testimony to the dedication and determination of the staff to the upper-air program.

Leadership Award - John Feldt at Southeast River Forecast Center

John is recognized for his excellent leadership at SERFC in Atlanta. John arrived at the RFC during the fall of 1997, and after observing office operations during the record-setting El Niño floods, he instituted an organization enabling the staff to maximize overall office potential. Through staff empowerment and recognition, John has been instrumental in each staff member achieving their potential. His commitment to customer service is contagious and the office has set the standard in providing quality and relevant products to customers and partners. This innovative concept was best realized during Hurricane Floyd when new approaches were utilized to provide a level of service never before attempted by an RFC.

REGIONAL SYSTEMS SUPPORT GROUP

The hurricane season is half over and we still have had only minimal strength storms. Even so we have seen significant peaks in Web traffic and the Web servers have maintained reliability throughout the summer. We have received many favorable comments on service provided by the office Web sites and the regional server. Many services we had requested early last spring are finally coming together. Additional bandwidth to support the Web servers has been installed and we are in the process of bringing it on line.

Other new equipment soon to be incorporated include: WebTrends - a powerful and comprehensive Web site management solution; Holistix - which detects the cause of a problem and sends prompt, intelligent alerts, responds with automated fixes or detailed action plans, prevents recurrence by helping you allocate system resources where they're needed most; NetAppliance - a massive storage unit able to converse in any operating system; NetCache (Abigail) - a device to hold the most requested pages in cache for quick access; and an eight processor server (Hillary) - to assure continued excellent Web service and make way for growth.

As all these enhancements to our system are implemented there will be occasional brief interruptions. We will continue sending SRHADMSRH messages to advise of any planned outages, and to keep offices informed of progress.

CLIMATE, WATER AND WEATHER DIVISION

METEOROLOGICAL SERVICES BRANCH

NOAA WEATHER RADIO NEWS. Another busy month has come and gone in the NWR program. The Georgia NWR expansion continues. Through the last week of September, the Eastman, Georgia, NWR was installed but is waiting for phone circuit problems to be resolved. Four new MOA's have been processed for future NWR sites in Ardmore, Oklahoma; Toledo Bend, Borger and Corsicana, Texas.

Three large NWR table top displays along with four NOAA weather radios and a scanner are still available for any WFO to use as an NWR promotion. These table top displays are useful for open houses, mall exhibits, fairs and any other type of public NWR promotional campaigns.

CRS NEWS. The NWSTC CRS Network Operations Course content is being finalized and the first class is tentatively scheduled for January 2001, after the upcoming CRS main processor upgrade in November. This course is targeted for new CRS program managers. For further course information, visit the NWSTC home page at http://www.nwstc.noaa.gov. Nominations for course participants have been solicited from MICs.

PREPAREDNESS/OUTREACH. Here's a recap of some of the more significant preparedness and outreach accomplishments from across the region.

WFO Miami forecaster Roberto Garcia and TPC/TAFB forecaster Martin Nelson organized the NWS presentation in the Florida Sportsman's Fishing Show in West Palm Beach September 16-17. They handed out materials and answered countless questions for show attendees. Martin reported "...although rain threatened the small show the gate headcount was 2650 on Saturday and estimated at 2000 on Sunday with an estimated 300 exhibitors and support staff. With Hurricane Gordon threatening the Florida west coast the NWS booth was the center of attention throughout most of the weekend." Several forecasters and ETs at WFO Miami and TPC provided technical support.

WFO Tampa Bay Area SOO Charlie Paxton, MET Dan Sobien, HMT Karl Loeper, and SCEP Amanda Ramella participated in a live, one-hour, prime time special by the local ABC-TV affiliate promoting hurricane preparedness. The WFO Tampa crew helped staff a phone bank where viewers were encouraged to call in and get hurricane preparedness tips. A local television weathercaster provided a positive interview with Dan and Charlie about the local NWS role in providing the media with the most timely and accurate weather information about storms which might affect west central and southwest Florida.

WFO Brownsville WCM Hector Guerrero presented information about the hurricane operations of NHC and WFOs to 60 attendees at the Gorgas Science Foundation's "Hurricane" event (tribute to the 1900 Galveston hurricane). This show also featured former NWSO Houston WCM Ron Stagno, who dressed up as Isaac Cline and told the story of that fateful day.

WFO Nashville forecaster Jason B. Wright spoke to 40 fourth grade students at Dodson Elementary School. He showed them weather instruments, a weather balloon, a radiosonde and several NOAA Weather Radios.

MEDIA/PUBLIC/EXTERNAL CUSTOMER SUPPORT

WFO Morristown WCM Howard Waldron visited the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) in Nashville to discuss the installation of an EMWIN system. The EMWIN will be tied into the Tennessee Crime Information Circuit (TCIC) allowing for the transmission of watches, warnings and advisories to more than 200 terminals across the state. Howard discussed with TBI which products to transmit, UCG and FIPS codes, and originating offices for the products. A meeting last year with TBI by the Tennessee MICs and WCMs led to the purchase and installation of the EMWIN system by TBI. This will be a significant upgrade to the current method and system.

WFO Melbourne conducted media workshops for 17 television broadcast meteorologists from the Orlando and Palm Beach areas. The primary goal was to foster a continued good working relationship with the broadcasters. The staff gave formal presentations on lightning climatology, El Niño/La Niña, WFO Melbourne graphical HWO and HLS, and office forecast and warning procedures. As usual the greatest benefit came in the open sessions and at lunch when participants got to know each other and discussed common concerns and problems. WFO staffers who assisted in the workshop were MIC Bart Hagemeyer, WCM Dennis Decker, Matt Bragaw and senior forecaster Tim Troutman (now on the CWWD staff).

WFO Tampa Bay Area WCM Walt Zaleski provided a one-hour live and taped presentation to over 100 aviation related personnel on severe weather and hurricane hazards in west central Florida at the FAA training studios in Lakeland. Walt provided nearly an hour of follow-up answers to questions posed by the enthusiastic aviation crowd regarding meteorological phenomena, cloud classifications and weather related aviation hazards.

WFO Miami WCM Jim Lushine was invited to make a presentation to the Florida Beach Patrol Chief's Association's (FBPCA) meeting in Fort Lauderdale. The FBPCA in conjunction with the United States Lifesaving Association (USLA) is trying to formulate a policy statement on lightning and beach safety. Jim presented statistics for Florida showing that 30% of lightning casualties are on or near the water, more than any other location, including near trees or other open areas.

STORMREADY UPDATE

WFO Morristown MIC Jerry McDuffie and WCM Howard Waldron presented Bradley County, Tennessee with a letter and road sign declaring it "StormReady." In attendance was Congressman Zach Wamp who represents much of southeast Tennessee. In addition, the mayor of Cleveland and the county executive were in attendance. Emergency management Director Jeff Young accepted the honor on behalf of the County.

WFO Shreveport MIC Lee Harrison recognized the first two StormReady locations in Texas (Longview and Nacogdoches) in September, as well as one in Arkansas (Columbia County). This brings the total number of locations that are formally recognized as being StormReady to forty-one, twelve of which are in the Southern Region.

WFO Tampa Bay Area WCM Walt Zaleski provided an hour long orientation to eight west central Florida emergency management and two Florida Power & Light representatives regarding StormReady in Brooksville, Florida. The emergency management and FP&L representatives enthusiastically embraced and offered support for the program including prompt participation.

The National StormReady Advisory Board had its first meeting (well, two conference calls) in September. Agenda items included developing improved methods for tracking the status of StormReady locations, an insurance industry update, preliminary FY01 goals, and potential changes to StormReady criteria. Additional information and details will be distributed to all WCMs in October.

VISIT FROM NOAA ADMINISTRATOR. Dr. James Baker, visited WFO Key West on September 16, after he and DOC Secretary Mineta made appearances at an open house for the NOAA ship Gordon Gunter, which was used in the Sustainable Seas Expedition (SSE). MIC Bobby McDaniel, WCM Wayne Presnell, SOO Jack Settelmaier, and meteorologists Chip Kasper and Kris Craven attended the open house and met Dr. Baker and Secretary Mineta. Dr. Baker visited the WFO later in the afternoon to get information on Tropical Storm Gordon which was located nearby in the southeast Gulf of Mexico. Senior forecaster Jim Bagnall and meteorologists Tom Birchard and John Koch briefed Dr. Baker and gave him a tour of the office.

NEWS FROM THE CENTER WEATHER SERVICE UNITS. The following is a report of recent noteworthy activities in the region's CWSU program.

The RTA replacement effort is complete. All CWSUs are currently running on the new system and receiving data. There have been some minor glitches in the data flow and Fort Worth system did experience a major crash the first day it was up, but overall the system is stable. The SRH staff is working closely with NWS Headquarters to resolve some lingering performance issues.

CWSU Atlanta. The CWSU recently activated its Web page, which includes a national map depicting the airspace responsibilities of the various CWSUs and direct links to other CWSU Web sites.

In late August, the CWSU participated in the WFO Atlanta Strategic Planning Retreat. Participants learned new management techniques, established office goals, gained greater insights into each other's responsibilities and needs, and aired concerns.

CWSU Fort Worth. WARP Stage 1 was declared operational on August 31. IOT&E testing began on September 7 and will last until mid-October.

CWSU Houston. Houston Center celebrated Hispanic Heritage Month with a very nice catered luncheon. The Columbian Consul was in attendance and a good time was had by all. After the luncheon, the Consul was given a tour of the CWSU.

AVIATION TEAM COMPLETES DRAFT PLAN. SRH senior management has signed off on a plan to improve regional aviation services over the next five years. Elements of the plan, put together by the Regional Aviation Team, will be discussed at the MIC/HIC conference later this month.

D-CAFS OPERATIONS PLAN COMPLETED. The plan to conduct the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) Collaborative Aviation Forecast Study (D-CAFS) has been completed. The project, which is scheduled to begin December 6 and run for three months, involves the efforts of both the Fort Worth CWSU and WFO, and the NCEP/AWC. The thrust of the D-CAFS is to test collaborative methodologies for the forecasting of a wide range of aviation hazards in and around the DFW complex.

KUDOS FOR FIRE WEATHER SUPPORT. WFO Lake Charles received a note of appreciation from the Incident Commander (Florida Division of Forestry) for fire weather support provided during a large wildfire in southeast Texas. Forecasters provided both written and verbal forecasts and briefings during a five-day period in mid-September. The Incident Commander commented in the note that, "your assistance in the provision of Spot Weather Forecasts greatly aided our predictions of fire behavior." Congratulations, to the Lake Charles staff.

SUPPORT TO THE SUGAR CANE INDUSTRY. On September 27, WFO Miami forecasters Harry Petaisto and Bernard Esposito traveled to Clewiston to participate in a pre-harvest burn meeting sponsored by the Florida Sugar Cane League, Inc. Other attendees included representatives from the various sugar cane growers, representatives from the Florida Division of Forestry, Florida Highway Patrol, and the Palm Beach County Health Department. The primary purpose of the meeting was to review problems that have occurred in the past and potential problems that could occur in the future with the burning of sugar cane prior to harvest. Potential problems include smoke blanketing the roadways and drifting over populated areas. Permits for burning of sugar cane are granted by the Florida Division of Forestry, who depend greatly on the fire weather forecasts issued by WFO Miami.

SEVEN DAY ZONES. The seven day zones will be implemented November 16 across Southern Region. A PNS was sent out by WSH on September 18. The few sites that are already going out to seven days in the zone forecasts have had numerous positive feedback from the customers.

HYDROLOGIC SERVICES BRANCH

TEXAS WATER MONITORING CONGRESS. HSB chief Ben Weiger, ABRFC HAS forecaster Larry Lowe, WGRFC senior hydrologic forecaster Frank Bell, and WFO Corpus Christi hydrologic focal point Mark Lenz attended the biannual Texas Water Monitoring Congress on September 18-20 in Austin. The Congress was formed in 1996 to coordinate water monitoring activities among water resource agencies in Texas. This was the first year the NWS made presentations at the Congress. Ben's general session presentation focused on NWS surface-based observation networks used in hydrologic forecast operations. Ben and Frank also made presentations which focused on the availability of quantitative precipitation forecasts and estimate products in the NWS. The various focus groups were charged with making recommendations about water quality and water quantity monitoring issues. NWS representatives contributed several recommendations pertaining to state funding to operate and maintain stream gauging stations in Texas. The recommendations from this Congress are shared with Texas state legislators.

OFFICE OF HYDROLOGY REORGANIZATION. The NWS Headquarters reorganization becomes effective October 8. Information about the Office of Hydrology restructuring are available at the following Web sites.

http://www.nws.noaa.gov/reorg (Information about the full NWSH retructuring)

http://www.nws.noaa.gov/oh (Information about the Office of Hydrologic Development)

SR MINI-HIC MEETING. On September 14-15, HICs met with Steven Cooper, Ben Weiger and Bob Carle to discuss RFC operations and future RFC products and services. The meeting was very productive. We all agreed to meet every six months to discuss operations and product and service issues. Follow-up actions will include a presentation at the upcoming MIC/HIC conference on efforts to develop new SR RFC text and graphical products (e.g., river flood watch text and graphic, river flood potential graphic), development of a document describing the various new RFC text and graphical products, collaborations and visitations among the various SR RFCs to discuss technical issues and develop procedures to automate the generation of these new text and graphical products, and coordination with WSH to integrate the SR RFC categorical verification program with the national RFC verification program. We will keep you posted on future developments in this area.

NEWS FROM OUR HYDROLOGIC SERVICE AREAS

Dam Break Drill. On September 19, Brain Boyd and Rich Pollman, service hydrologist and lead forecaster respectively from WFO Morristown, participated in a dam break tabletop exercise for Calderwood, Chilhowee, Cheoah, and Santeetlah dams at the Blount County, Tennessee Emergency Operations Center. The event was hosted by Topaco, Inc, the operator of these dams. Various county, state, and federal agencies participated including Blount and Graham counties, FEMA, TVA, the National Park Service, and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Brian and Rich issued simulated flash flood watches, warnings, and statements for the drill and informed the participants that the NWS is the primary agency for issuing flash flood/river flood watches, warnings, and statements due to potential or imminent dam breaks. They also witnessed how the other agencies interact and coordinate during a dam break scenario. Nice work, Brian and Rich.

WFO/RFC Training. During the week of September 11, Greg Waller, hydrology focal point at WFO San Angelo, visited with his supporting senior service hydrologist, Ernie Cathey from WFO Fort Worth, and with Greg Shelton and Greg Story, hydrologic forecaster and HAS forecaster respectively at the West Gulf RFC. Greg visited various water supply lakes in and around the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex and saw first hand the impacts the low water in these dams is having to area marinas and water quality. He also visited several river gauge locations. At one location, Greg assisted Ernie in removing a wire weight gauge due to construction on a bridge. He also saw the sensor and communications equipment associated with the Dallas ALERT system. Greg spent several days at the WGRFC becoming familiar with RFC forecast operations. He shadowed Greg Story in the operational duties performed at the WGRFC. This included the generation and quality control of the WSR-88D Stage III precipitation estimates and the daily products issued by the WGRFC. He also worked with Greg Shelton to issue a river recreation advisory and a test river forecast. After issuing the test river forecast, Greg walked over to the WFO to issue a variety of test WFO hydrologic products based on the test river forecast. Thanks to Ernie Cathey at the WFO and the folks at the WGRFC for providing this training support to Greg.

NEWS FROM OUR RIVER FORECAST CENTERS

WEST GULF RIVER FORECAST CENTER

Outreach Activities. On September 12, HIC Jerry Nunn, DOH Bob Corby, and senior hydrologic forecaster Jack Kaitala met with officials from the Brazos River Authority to discuss products and services from the WGRFC. On September 28, Jerry and Bob met with the Trinity River Authority for similar discussions. On both trips, Jerry and Bob told the river authority officials about their efforts to develop more graphical formats for various hydrologic products generated at the WGRFC. They reiterated they could generate and exchange contingency river forecasts with the river authorities upon request. Jerry also used these trips as an opportunity to introduce himself as the new HIC of the WGRFC. Nice work, Jerry and Bob.

SCIENTIFIC SERVICES DIVISION

OTB BECOMES WARNING DECISION TRAINING BRANCH. The reorganization of NWS Headquarters is scheduled to become effective on October 8, and as part of that the NEXRAD Operational Support Facility (OSF) gains a new name. It will now be called the Radar Operations Center (ROC), still part of the appropriate new office at NWSH. Also as part of the reorganization, however, the Operations Training Branch, which has been part of the OSF, will now be called the Warning Decision Training Branch. While it will remain in the ROC facility at Norman, the WDTB will no longer be an organizational part of the ROC. Instead it will come under the Training Division of the new Office of Services at NWSH - as will the NWS Training Center and support and oversight for COMET, the third major center for NWS training. For the first time in many years, then, the NWS training operations will be combined under the same NWSH office.

NWSTC COURSES. MICs and HICs are responding to a request for nominations for this year's (FY2001) courses at the NWS Training Center. Below are the courses to be taught by the NWSTC Hydrometeorology and Management Branch, the number of classes in each course, and the individuals at SRH who are responsible for handling the courses. Based on input from the RFCs and WFOs, within the next few weeks we will make the assignments to the various classes and notify field offices.

Cooperative Network Operations 3 Mike Asmus (SOD)
CRS Network Operations 10 Tim Troutman (CWWD/MSB)
Warning Coordination Meteorologist 1 Larry Vannozzi (CWWD/MSB)
AWIPS Operations Support* 5 Ken Waters (SSD)
IFPS: Focal Point course 11 Dan Smith (SSD)
Managers course 6 Dan Smith
Delta course 3 Dan Smith
Personnel Mgt for Executives - I 5 Gary Grice (DRD)
WFO/RFC Operations Management 2 Dan Smith
Management and Supervision 4 Dan Smith
WFO Hydrology Program Mgmt 4 Ben Weiger (CWWD/HSB)
WHFS Workshop 3 Ben Weiger

*Note the AWIPS course listed is part of the NWSTC Engineering and Electronics Branch, but this particular course is intended for SOOs, DOHs and AWIPS focal points. Scheduling for all other EEB courses is handled by Steve Baker (SOD).

CHANGES TO AVN/MRF MOS GUIDANCE. Effective with the 1200 UTC forecast cycle on September 20, 2000, guidance for the probability of precipitation (PoP), the probability of thunderstorms and the conditional probability of severe thunderstorms was added to the new AVN Model Output Statistics (MOS) messages. These messages are identified with WMO headers FOPA20, FOUS21-FOUS26, and FOAK37-FOAK39, and are stored as MAV products in the AWIPS text data base. Probabilities for both six and 12-h periods are included in the messages.

The six hour PoP probabilities will be valid every six hours from 6-12 to 66-72 hours after 0000 or 1200 UTC. Except for the Hawaiian stations in the FOPA20 message, the 12 hour PoP probabilities will be valid every 12 hours from 12-24 hours to 66-72 hours after 0000 or 1200 UTC. For the Hawaiian sites, the 12-h PoPs are valid from 6-18 hours to 54-66 hours after 0000 or 1200 UTC.

Due to limitations of the data base used in MOS development, the thunderstorm and severe thunderstorm probabilities are available only for stations in the contiguous U.S. Similar to the PoP guidance, thunderstorm probabilities and conditional (upon thunderstorms occurring) severe thunder-storm probabilities are valid for six hour periods from 6-12 hours to 66-72 hours after 0000 and 1200 UTC.

The guidance for the six hour periods is available on the line labeled "T06," with the thunderstorm probability to the left of the slash, and the severe thunderstorm probability for the same period to the right of the slash. Thunderstorm probabilities and conditional severe thunderstorm probabilities are also available for 12 hour periods from 6-18 hours to hours after 0000 and 1200 UTC.

More details on the new MOS guidance may be found at: http://www.nws.noaa.gov/om/tpb/463.htm and http://www.nws.noaa.gov/tdl/synop/mos2000.htm.

NUMERICAL WEATHER PREDICTION SYMPOSIUM CD-ROM. The COMET Program has created and is distributing a CD-ROM of the materials presented during the March 2000 COMAP Symposium on Numerical Weather Prediction. This marks the first time a COMET symposium has been packaged with related distance learning materials and distributed to the field in this manner.

The CD-ROM includes 23 presentations, mostly in Microsoft PowerPoint format, by 17 experts in the field of numerical weather prediction. The CD-ROM was developed to provide the most recent versions of the lectures to those who attended earlier symposia, or were not able to attend, and to facilitate the use of the lectures in local training. Having the materials available locally on a CD-ROM will eliminate long download times from the MetEd Web site that may occur due to Internet congestion and bandwidth limitations.

Three previously published Web-based NWP modules: Model Fundamentals ( http://meted.ucar.edu/nwp/pcu1/ic1/index.htm); Impact of Model Structure & Dynamics ( http://meted.ucar.edu/nwp/pcu1/ic2/index.htm); and How Models Produce Precipitation & Clouds ( http://meted.ucar.edu/nwp/pcu1/ic3/index.htm) are also included on the CD-ROM.

AWIPS LOCAL APPLICATIONS DEVELOPMENT. A new policy related to development and distribution of local applications programs for AWIPS was approved recently by the NWS Director. It can be found at: http://tgsv5.nws.noaa.gov/tdl/awips/approval_process.htm. We encourage office managers and anyone involved in development of applications programs to read the new policy. Its intent is not to stifle development efforts, but instead to facilitate those and at the same time help ensure AWIPS security. Ken Waters (SSD) is the Southern Region representative on the NWS Local Applications Working Group, and he will be happy to discuss any issues related to applications development.

It is most important to realize that locally developed applications may be shared among offices only by means of the Local Applications Database (LAD). Posting programs at that site will ensure that proper tracking mechanisms are automatically initiated. This is critical because AWIPS is now a commissioned system and its stability is of the utmost importance. The first step for developers wishing to share their work is to post it (along with documentation) on the LAD Web site at: http://isl715.nws.noaa.gov/LAD/index.php3. Access to the LAD is restricted to "noaa.gov" DNS-registered computers. If problems are encountered please ensure that DNS has been enabled and registered for the accessing computer. The LAD also provides a resource for developers considering writing a new program. They are strongly encouraged to check the LAD first and see what applications may have already been submitted which accomplish the same or similar tasks. This can reduce the chance of duplication of effort.

SYSTEMS OPERATIONS DIVISION

SYSTEMS INTEGRATION BRANCH

NETWORK MONITORING SOFTWARE. An action item at the last ESA/RMS/FET Conference was to provide network monitoring and analysis software to the ESAs allowing them to better manage their local networks. That action was completed on September 13, when Network Instruments Observer software was sent to all ESAs in Southern Region.

OBSERVATIONS AND FACILITIES BRANCH

AFOS DECOMMISSIONING. All AFOS circuits were turned off on October 1. After a brief evaluation, AFOS decommissioning will be concluded during the first week of October. Offices will begin receiving equipment disposal instructions from GSA soon.

CWSU AWIPS ISSUES. An AWIPS-like workstation was installed at the CWSUs the last week of September, replacing the old Remote Terminal to AFOS. This workstation operates by running AWIPS software on one of the parent WFO workstations, and exporting the graphical display down a high speed connection to a Linux-based computer at the CWSU. While it was envisioned this would give CWSU forecasters complete AWIPS functionality, performance issues have initially hampered efforts to display large images such as satellite data. The system will continue to be improved upon until it can give full AWIPS functionality.

FUTURE AWIPS SOFTWARE LOADS. AWIPS Build 4.3.2, which contains only operating and vendor software patches, will be installed at most Southern Region sites by the end of October. This will be quickly followed by build 4.3.3. While 4.3.2 takes several days to install, 4.3.3 should take only about half a day. Build 4.3.3 will contain a few enhancements to operational software, including the ability to restart critical AWIPS processes. Release notes for 4.3.3 can be found at http://www.awips.noaa.gov.

AWIPS Build 5.0 is now scheduled to be released in January. This build will not contain IFPS, which will be released about the same time, but on a separate CDROM. The IFPS CDROM will be given to the IFPS focal point after attendance at the IFPS Focal Point training class at NWSTC. Those classes are scheduled to begin next February. The IFPS software will replace the old ICWF grid editor with a new graphical forecast editor (GFE). The GFE will feed edited grids to the old ICWF- based product formatters, as well as generate complete forecast grids and gif images for the Internet.

DEL RIO UPPER AIR SITE CONSTRUCTION. Planned construction of a commercial weather radar tower immediately adjacent to the NWS upper air site at the Del Rio, Texas airport was found to be a significant potential obstruction for upper air operations. WFO Austin/San Antonio MIC Joe Arellano and DAPM Bill Runyon, along with facility engineer Terry Brisbin of SRH, traveled to the Del Rio contract UA operations' site to attend an airport commission meeting.

Following a brief presentation to the commission by the commercial weather modification representative, Terry Brisbin presented NWS concerns about having a 60 ft tower only 176 ft from the UA building. National Weather Service also provided copies to the commission members of the WFO Design Criterion Manual page which describes a required clear zone of 300 ft for only a 15 ft obstacle. It was also pointed out the proposed location of the radar tower was in the prevailing wind flight path of the balloon train, which is typically 100 ft in length.

Following Terry's presentation, the chairman of the airport commission asked the representative of the Texas Border Weather Modification Association (TBWMA) to work with the NWS to identify an alternate site to locate their radar tower. A follow-up trip to Del Rio is likely to confirm the new placement of the tower.

COOPERATIVE OBSERVER PROGRAM. The new Cooperative Station Service Accountability (CSSA) was demonstrated at the Surface Observing Workshop which was held the week of September 11. The SR cooperative program manager is part of the team tasked to develop a training plan in cooperation with the NWS Training Center. This project remains on schedule for a completion during January 2001. The development team is looking for suggestions for a name for the replacement CSSA. If you have a suggested name, please let the RCPM know.

A total of 147 B-44 updates were processed during the month of September. Many of these updates were completed in preparation for the migration of the current database to the new CSSA. The migration to the new Oracle database is scheduled for November 2000.

Two complete max/min temperature systems (MMTS) were loaned to NCDC as part of an evaluation to determine the long term accuracy of the equipment. These systems have been used at field sites for several years. A new MMTS was provided by NWS Headquarters to be tested during the same evaluation. Tests will compare these MMTS units against instruments of known accuracy and the differences will be documented. The comparisons will be done throughout the complete specified range of the MMTS. The results should be available in approximately three months.

ADMINISTRATIVE MANAGEMENT DIVISION

DIVERSITY/EEO AND COMMUNITY OUTREACH ACTIVITIES

Southern Region Director Bill Proenza attended the first Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) Summit hosted by DOC Secretary Norman Mineta and Deputy Secretary Robert Mallett, in Washington, DC, on September 13 and 14. The Summit provided an opportunity to network, exchange information, and solidify the MOU established among DOC and Florida International University, New Mexico State University, University of Texas at El Paso, and the University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez. Other HSIs in attendance were California State, Los Angeles; California State, Dominguez Hills; and Robert Morris College, Chicago, Illinois.

WFO BROWNSVILLE. DAPM Jim Campbell and HMT Sam Martinez participated in the first annual Senator Eddie Lucio Middle School Career Day, attended by 900 students from the sixth, seventh and eighth grades. The students were very inquisitive and asked a variety of questions about the local weather, including hurricanes, tornadoes and severe thunderstorms. Brochures on lightning safety, hurricanes, and tornadoes were made available, and the video "Secrets of the Tornado" was shown to each class. Sam did several interviews in Spanish for the non-English speaking students.

WFO JACKSON. On September 23 and 24, WFO Jackson participated in the annual Kid Zone Fair. The fair was sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield and all the proceeds went to the "Make a Wish Foundation." The fair draws at least 10,000 eager kids and parents annually. In 1999, 16,000 people attended, and this year the attendance was well over 18,000 for the two days. The NWS booth/tent was staffed by forecasters Patricia Brown, Nikole Winstead and Cindy Woods. Cindy also served as coordinator. The trio visited with around 6,000 people, breaking the visits into 3 segments--detailing the NWS and what we do, weather safety (including a segment on NOAA Weather Radio) and an activity. The activities ranged from making snowflakes, coloring pages consisting of NWS primary weather tools, and performing experiments. The experiments served to promote interests in biology, chemistry, and meteorology (e.g., water density and chemical reactions).

A great time was had by parents, children, and NWS personnel. Ironically, threatening weather closed the fair early on Saturday. This made the NWS tent even more popular and exciting. HMT Charlie Smith provided offsite support and timely weather updates.

WFO SHREVEPORT. DAPM Marion Kuykendall, forecaster Bill Parker, HMT Steve Griffin, and ASA Lisa Farrar met with the Caddo/Bossier Parish School Board to discuss how the NWS would help set up weather stations at five middle schools in Caddo and Bossier Parish. Several of the schools are predominantly African-American.

Met intern Clarissa Emrick and Bill Parker gave a tour to 20 University Gateway Elementary School fifth graders from Shreveport. Steve Griffin and Lisa Farrar gave a tour to the Arthur Circle Elementary fifth grade science class from Shreveport. Both tours sparked discussions on how to become a meteorologist and the operations of the NWS.

WFO TALLAHASSEE. During September, WFO Tallahassee's outreach program remained active with an emphasis on hurricanes. Senior forecaster and EEO focal point Ron Block discussed hurricane development and preparedness at Lincoln High School in Tallahassee. In honor of Hispanic Heritage month he spoke (in Spanish) about careers in science at a Hispanic fair in Quincy, Florida, and to migrant workers in Valdosta, Georgia. Ron also participated in helping scouts earn their weather merit badges at the Girl Scout Challenge 2000.

Along with Ron, MIC Paul Duval, and WCM Bob Goree discussed the onset of joint outreach activities with the new director of the Odyssey Science Center in Tallahassee. They each discussed recent flooding with the Albany and Thomasville, Georgia, newspapers, respectively.

RFC TULSA. The Arkansas-Red Basin RFC has devoted a portion of each month's staff meeting to diversity training. Hydrologist Kandis Boyd conducted this month's diversity exercise which consisted of teaching the importance of diversity in today's work environment.

The ABRFC has established a diversity bulletin board and continues to update it monthly posting NOAA/NWS articles and announcements.

HELPFUL TRAINING. Shirley Matejka, MIC WFO San Angelo, recently attended a two-day course on Critical Incident Stress Management. She reported this course was helpful for two reasons: it provided an excellent discussion of stress and its impact on people, and it provides a good basis for establishing relations with a broad spectrum of first responders - the people who can give you information to support your verification program.

CFC KUDOS. The WFO Nashville staff achieved 139% of their CFC goal this year, and in the process became the first federal agency in the Nashville CFC region to attain their targeted campaign goal. Ralph Troutman (DAPM) is the CFC 2000 focal point, and he and the entire office well deserve the kudos offered by the local CFC Campaign Chairman for a job well done. We add our congratulations as well, Ralph.

SOUTHERN REGION WORKFORCE TRANSACTIONS

September 1-30, 2000

Southern Region Losses
Name From (Office) Action/Transfer From Title/Grade
Doug Crowley SRH Promotion to CR NWR/Dissem. Met, GS-13
Stephen Ahn WFO LIX Transfer to DOD Forecaster, GS-13
Joseph Parks Camp WFO MOB Transfer to ER Met Intern, GS-7
Guy Drebing WFO MFL Reassignment to WR El Tech, GS-11
Lance Wood WFO HGX Resignation Lead Forecaster, GS-13

Southern Region Gains
Name To (Office) Action/Transfer To Title/Grade
Jason Deese WFO BMX New Hire Met Intern, GS-7
Aldis Strautins WFO EWX New Hire Met Intern, GS-7
David Jerkins WFO ABQ Transfer from OSF El Tech, GS-11

Within Region Transfers/Actions
Name To (Office) Action/Transfer To Title/Grade
Larry Vannozzi SRH Reassignment from LUB Regional WCM, GS-13
Chad Entremont WFO BMX Reassignment from JAN Forecaster, GS-9
George Mathews WFO TSA Promotion from MAF WCM, GS-14
Mike Foster WFO OUN Promotion from FWD MIC, GS-15
Ed Calianese WFO LUB Reassignment from LUB WCM, GS-13
Patrick Vesper WFO MAF Reassignment from MAF WCM, GS-13

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