Emergency-essential employees - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Emergency-essential employees

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The following is a list of job descriptions classified by the National Weather Service as 'emergency-essential.' According to an NWS representative, these people must report to work when natural disasters are occurring. They said their work is critical to the life-saving mission of the NWS.

Meteorologists and Lead Meteorologists the men and women working 365 X 24 X 7 and issue all routine and non-routine forecasts, warnings, and statements, including hydrologic products.  Senior Meteorologists act as shift leaders and are responsible for all products issued by the Weather Forecast Office (WFO) during his/her operational shift.  Meteorologists study and predict the formation of destructive natural forces, such as hurricanes, tornadoes, droughts, floods, aviation forecasts, short, medium and long range forecasts and climate products and so much more.  Meteorologists predict when natural disasters might occur and tell the public when to seek shelter.  Meteorologists work with Federal, State, Local Government and Emergency management Agencies providing Discussion Support Services. 

Hydrologists at the WFO's and 13 River Forecast Centers (RFC's) provide river and stream forecasts.  Hydrologists issue the forecasts of river & stream stages generated by complex hydrologic computer models run, maintained and calibrated at each RFC.  The local NWS offices receive these river & stream stage forecasts from the RFCs and generate public products.  Please note that in a 10 Year average - Floods and Flash Floods have produced more fatalities than any other weather related event!  See the attachment and this link at http://www.ehow.com/about_5370563_meteorologist-job-description.html#ixzz30Tj4ml5C

Electronic Technicians (ET's) at the WFO's and RFC's repair equipment like the Dual Pol Doppler Radars, Computers systems, rain gauges, River and Stream gauges, ASOS equipment at Airports, and so much more.  These people make sure the radar is running 365 X 24 X 7 so all-weather warnings can be issued to help save lives and property.  Shortages of personnel have led to delays in getting equipment repaired.  From the ESA at CTP: "I know it is frustrating not to get data.  However, when your staff is cut in half some things have to wait and unfortunately LARC gauges (rain gauges) are at the bottom of my priority list.  I hope you all understand that we are doing the best we can.  There will be continued delays with getting LARC sites fixed, until we are back up to a full staff.  So please have patience". 

Regional Maintenance Specialists (People deployed to perform large building repairs and maintenance, high voltage work and other duties.  Hydrometeorologist Technicians (HMT) and Meteorological Interns who act as forecaster aids to the meteorologists on duty.  Typically the HMTs handle public service requests and perform data collection and data quality control duties. The HMTs are also capable of preparing routine and non-routine forecast products for the Senior Meteorologists, including hydrologic products. They can also monitor how well hydrologic forecasts are tracking, and notify the Senior Meteorologist and Hydrologist when forecasts need updating. 

Warning Coordination Meteorologists who is the liaison between the NWS and all local customers of NWS products and services in the County Warning Area. The WCM works closely with the Senior meteorologists and Hydrologists to coordinate Meteorological and Hydrologic products and related services with local customers. The WCM manages the preparedness program for the local area, which includes preparedness for all Meteorology and Hydrology related hazards.  The WCM conducts outreach activities in collaboration with the Meteorologists and Hydrologists on station to educate customers on NWS hydrologic products and services

Science Operations Officer (SOO) who serves as the technical director and principal scientific advisor to the Meteorologist in change and NWS staff. The SOO keeps his/her pulse on recent scientific advances in the fields of meteorology and hydrology as they relate to improving the operations of the WFO program. The SOO works with the Meteorologists and Hydrologists to plan and implement Meteorology and Hydrology training and new Meteorology and Hydrology technology for the office.

Observing Program Leader whose primary function of the Weather Forecast Office is to issue weather, water, and climate information, including accurate and timely warnings and forecasts, to the public and other customers served within the WFO area of responsibility.  The OPL ensures that a full range of technical support and assistance is provided for WFO operations and other basic activities, especially the incorporation of timely, high quality observational data into WFO forecast and warning decision-making processes.  

Supervisory IT Specialist (ESA) who analyze systems operations and maintenance while performing installation and modification of the equipment;  Performs field maintenance and related support for a wide range of complex electronic, electro-mechanical, data acquisition, communications equipment and standalone and networked computer systems; Provide support and maintenance of systems and equipment used to observe, collect, convert, and communicate data/information for meteorological and hydrologic warning, forecasting, and data warehousing and provide supervision and technical direction to a small staff of electronics technicians.

Administrative Support Assistant (ASA) - The ASA serves as the principal administrative assistant to the Meteorologist-In-Charge, and performs a wide range of administrative functions for and assistance to the staff management team. 

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