Tour of the NWS
Posted: Mon Jul 31, 2017 9:49 am
Last Tuesday I was able to get a tour of my local NWS office (Upton, NY). It was very interesting to see how the people at the NWS office did their jobs, and how much work really goes into forecasting the weather. I was able to launch a weather balloon, and I learned that every NWS office launches a balloon at the same time (7:00 EST). I also had learned that there is a chatroom feature that allows different NWS offices to collaborate in times of an event that affects a large area (Nor-Easter, Severe Thunderstorm Outbreak, Blizzard). The people at the NWS work very hard, and in times of a major event, the office is packed, and everybody camps out in the office. In the times of a tropical system threat, there is a direct hotline to the NHC, and they will call every 30 minutes to update the local NWS office about the incoming threat. The airport forecasting is very interesting too, since the NWS covers JFK airport on the south shore, LGA airport on the north shore, and EWR airport in New Jersey. The most important aspect of airport forecasting is the winds, and there are times which all the airports have different winds, but since they are so close together is can be tricky to get a landing pattern that will work. Overall, the visit was extremely interesting, and I am very thankful that I was given the opportunity to see the office.