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NOAA's NWS Focus
October 20, 2003 View Printer Friendly Version
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CONTENTS formating spacer graphic
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- Winter Weather Outlook Released formating spacer graphic
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- NOAA Awards Contract to Support Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service formating spacer graphic
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- Boise Office Holds First Annual Research Day formating spacer graphic
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- Long-Serving Pacific Region Employee Honored formating spacer graphic
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- Also On the Web...NWS Bikers Hogging the Spotlight formating spacer graphic
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Florence Yasuhara accepts a length-of-service award from Pacific Region Director Jeff LaDouce. See the story below. Photo by Dave Meek, NOAA/NWS.


Winter Weather Outlook Released

The winter weather outlook recently released by the NOAA/NWS Climate Prediction Center (CPC) suggests temperatures in Alaska, the far West, Southwest, and Southern Plains may be above normal for the 2003-04 winter. For other parts of the Nation, the winter will bring equal chances of above-, below-, or near-normal temperatures.

CPC Senior Meteorologist and Lead Forecaster Ed O'Lenic said this winter is not expected to be influenced by a strong El Niño or La Niña. Though weak El Niño conditions are possible by the end of November, the CPC expects a minimal impact on the United States. Read the full NOAA web story and see forecast details here.

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NOAA Awards Contract to Support Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service

NOAA recently awarded a contract to Riverside Technology, inc. (RTi), of Fort Collins, CO, to support the NWS Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service (AHPS) and improve NOAA's capability to respond to the Nation's growing need for water resource forecasts and information.

AHPS activities are managed through the NWS Office of Hydrologic Development (OHD) in Silver Spring, MD. RTi is an industry leader in the development and implementation of operational streamflow forecasting and reservoir operations modeling systems. The firm has active projects in all regions of the United States as well as in Central and South America, Africa, and Asia. RTi will open a Washington, DC, area office to support this contract.

“Once fully implemented, AHPS will significantly improve river predictions and water resource management in the United States for lead times of as little as an hour to as much as several months,” said Gary Carter, Director, OHD. “AHPS information is provided in a timely and user-friendly manner, including a suite of information-rich visual displays.”

The contract, valued at $80 million, includes a five-year $40 million base plus five additional one-year award term incentive options valued at $8 million each. This performance-based, task-order contract also can be used to support NOAA's international hydrologic program.

RTi joins an AHPS team which has been contributing to the development of new scientific methods to advance the NWS's forecasting capabilities for more than two decades. Team members consist of Northrop Grumman Information Technology, RS Information Systems, Science Applications International Corporation, Michael Baker, Jr., Inc., Northwest Hydraulic Consultants, and COMSO, Inc. The RTi AHPS team also includes several leading research consultants who will provide hydrometeorological modeling and data processing expertise.

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Boise Office Holds First Annual Research Day

The forecaster staff in one NWS office recently held their first Research Day to highlight projects they conducted over the past year.

Office research projects are encouraged throughout the NWS, but are not required as part of a forecaster's job. All of the forecasters and one HMT in the Boise, ID, Weather Forecast Office (WFO) conducted research and presented results of their year-long projects on September 25, 2003. Tim Barker, Boise Science and Operations Office (SOO), helped those who were having difficulty getting started and provided general direction.

“The goal was to help everyone learn how to conduct operational research,” said Barker.

When September 25 arrived, the Pocatello, ID, WFO provided service backup while the Boise staff held a two-hour seminar featuring overviews of the 16 submitted research projects. In appreciation of the staff's efforts, the management team provided pizza and cookies.

Staff members created posterboard displays of each project to aid in the presentations. The posters were displayed for a week, to allow for further examination, and to permit more discussions with the authors. At the end of the week, the staff voted on the research project that would have the greatest operational impact on the office.

Forecaster Dave Groenert earned top honors for his study of fog formation at two mountain-valley sites for which Boise makes aviation terminal forecasts. Groenert created a fog climatology for those sites, and examined temperature and dewpoint trends as indicators for the time of fog formation and dissipation. Groenert was given a Special Act Award for his efforts.

WFO Boise is already planning another research day for next year.

“A lot of good ideas were presented,” according to forecaster Darrell Huston. “Everybody really seemed enthused to share what they had learned."


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Long-Serving Pacific Region Employee Honored

A long-serving NWS employee at Pacific Region Headquarters officially ended a federal career that spanned nearly 60 years recently – but she won’t be gone for good.

Where were you on April 15, 1945?!? That's when Florence Yasuhara began her federal service -- nearly 58 ½ years ago!

According to Donald Jiron, Chief, Administrative Management Division, Pacific Region Headquarters, she actually retired in 1998 but was hired back in a term appointment which expired on October 3, 2003. Although Yasuhara is officially ending her federal career, she has been hired back for three more months as a contract employee to train her replacement, who hasn't been hired yet. Her colleagues in Pacific Region had a party for her recently to acknowledge her years of service. Her parting words were, “Stay healthy and have fun doing your job.”

Here is a brief snapshot of her 58 ½ years of government service:

On April 15, 1945 Yasuhara joined the federal service as a clerk stenographer with the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers in Honolulu, HI. According to her position description, her duties included serving as a payroll audit clerk and “assist in directing prisoners of war in janitorial duties.” She served for some time in Japan and left the Department of Defense in 1952 when she joined the Weather Bureau's Pacific Supervisory Office as a clerk typist. She moved, first becoming an accounting and fiscal clerk, then accounting technician, general fiscal assistant, budget analyst, and finally in1989 she became the Pacific Region's Budget Officer.

“Flo has worked for every Regional Director the Pacific Region has ever had, and in her personnel file she has glowing letters of recommendation from each of those directors on her outstanding and enduring performance,” Jiron said.


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Also On the Web...
NWS Bikers Hogging the Spotlight

A recent issue of Government Computer News features a photo of three NWS managers straddling Harley-Davidson motorcycles. Chief Information Officer Barry West, Barbara Brenkworth, Chief, Headquarters Support Services Branch, and Sharon Leigh, Director, NWS Acquisition Management Division, all ride in their free time. West and Leigh plan to take their two-wheelers to an executive leadership conference in Hershey, PA, the week of October 20, 2003. See the photo here.

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