Welcome From the Regional Director
Bill Proenza, Regional Director
Welcome to the National Weather Service Southern Region, the most weather-active region in the nation. Encompassing approximately one-quarter of the contiguous United States, it includes New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia and Florida, as well as the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. It also provides river flood forecasting and flash flood guidance for portions of North and South Carolina and Virginia. The entire region receives a third of the rainfall in the United States; half of the nation's severe thunderstorms, flash floods and tornadoes; and, 90 percent of U.S. landfalling tropical storms and hurricanes.
Our National Weather Service mission is to protect life and support our nation's economic well being. Nearly 80 million people live and work in the Southern Region and another 150 million visit the region each year. We are absolutely committed to providing the safest possible environment for our citizens and our guests. Our responsibilities also include major coastal areas in the Gulf of Mexico, the Caribbean and the southeastern Atlantic.
To meet our commitment, we employ an outstanding team of nearly 1,000 dedicated professionals in 32 forecast offices; four river forecast centers; seven Center Weather Service Units; the Spaceflight Meteorology Group; the FAA Academy; and, Southern Region Headquarters. Our headquarters staff provides operational support to National Weather Service field offices and our emergency management community.
The headquarters team oversees a multitude of technological developments and implementation; as well as meteorological, hydrological and climatological program management. Expanding Tsunami-related programs are also supported and managed by regional headquarters personnel. Additionally, they oversee recruitment, promotion, EEO/Diversity and employee development activities. Prioritizing and evaluating field office needs and quality control of field office services are also key responsibilities.
All Southern Region offices actively conduct outreach and educational programs which help build strong working relationships with our partners in emergency management, local government, the media and academic communities throughout the region. These relationships have been invaluable in helping to prepare people to respond appropriately when threatened by severe weather or other hazards. As a consequence, we have seen dramatic reductions in the loss of life and injury during hazardous events.
The Southern Region's most valuable resource is the innovative spirit and tremendous team initiative of its employees who are so dedicated to the effective 24/7 delivery of weather, water and climatological forecasts, services and warnings. The Southern Region network of offices also supports homeland security, while enhancing the economic well being of our nation. The National Weather Service is a major component of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Thank you for your interest in the National Weather Service Southern Region.Bill Proenza
July 17, 2009 webcast of CWSU testimony at House Committee on Science and Technology.
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