There is an old saying that goes like this, "If you don't like the weather, wait a minute as it will change." This is true for most locations as the processes the atmosphere which produce our weather are similar around the world. However, there are local differences which may enhance or affect the type of weather where you are located.
Your local National Weather Service Forecast Offices monitors your weather around-the-clock. In addition to the daily forecast issued two to fours times daily, we are always looking out for you in regards hazardous weather. Should threatening weather occur or appears imminent we will issue weather watches and/or warnings to alert you to the threat.
The forecast office area of responsibility typically consist of 20 to 50 counties though some counties are split between offices (most common in the western states) based upon geographical features. (See map)
Because of these small regions your local office forecasters are most familiar with your local area and weather nuances. We know your weather because we live where you do. We do these for less than $3.00 per year for each man, woman and child in the United States. Through your taxes, you have already paid for this information so why not use it?
The typical staff of a weather forecast office consists of...
- Meteorologist-In-Charge (MIC) (1 person)
- The MIC carries full managerial, supervisory, and technical responsibility for the provision of weather warning, forecast, services, and support activities within the area served by the WFO, and for the conduct of important scientific development work which is undertaken in an operational weather forecast environment. In other words, "The Boss."
- Warning Coordination Meteorologist (WCM) (1 person)
- Serves as the principal interface between the forecast office and the users of the forecast office products and services. He/She is fully responsible for planning, coordinating, and carrying out area-wide public awareness program designed to educate the public to ensure the mitigation of death, injury and property damage or loss caused by severe natural hydrometeorological events. Also leads and coordinates staff efforts and provides direction, guidance, instructions, and assistance to the staff in the conduct of weather service operations.
- Science & Operations Officer (SOO) (1 person)
- The primary focus of the Science and Operations Officer is to ensure the scientific integrity of the hydrometeorological products and services provided to the public by the WFO and to lead or participate in joint research projects and developmental efforts conducted with the collocated university/research center. The SOO monitors and evaluates the accuracy and scientific basis of forecast and warning products and services provided by the forecast office.
- Information Technology Officer (ITO) (1 person)
- Serves as a software and information technology expert with responsibility in three primary areas: application development/integration, information technology management, and systems analysis. The ITO provides overall guidance and coordination for the computer-related focal points. In addition, the ITO's function encompasses computer programming, software installation, documentation, and troubleshooting of computer code.
- Senior Forecasters (5 persons)
- Serves as shift leader. Ensures the provision of general weather information, warnings, advisories, and forecasts to the general public and special user groups in the WFO service area. As shift leader, is responsible for all NWS service products, warnings, and advisories produced on the shift, and for their coordination with other NWS offices.
- Journeymen Forecasters (3-5 persons)
- The general forecaster provides weather information, warnings, advisories, aviation and public forecasts to the general public and to special user groups in the forecast office's service area. He/She is responsible for the coordination of NWS products, warnings, and forecasts with the Senior Forecaster on duty, the Service Hydrologist, and the hydrometeorological technicians on duty.
- Interns (1-3 persons)
- Meteorological trainees, involved in forecasting and interpretive studies, and/or conducting related projects and programs.
- Hydrometeorological Technicians (HMT) (1-3 persons)
- The HMT performs technical work related to weather forecasting, observations, research, climatology, and/or other areas of meteorology.
- Electronic System Analyst (ESA) (1 person)
- The ESA provides expert-level support for scientific or engineering operations or research serving as a specialist in a narrow aspect of electronic engineering.
- Electronic Technicians (RT) (1-4 persons)
- The ET provides specialized support for scientific or engineering operations or research, serving as a specialist in a narrow aspect of electronic engineering.
- Administrative Assistant (1 person)
- Performs clerical, technical and or assistant work for the local Weather Forecast Office.