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  Home > Descriptive Document

National Weather Service Headquarters Structure
and New Field Organizations




      The Assistant Administrator for Weather Services (The Director) is responsible for overall management of the organization. The National Weather Service (NWS) makes observations and measurements of atmospheric phenomena as required for climatological, hydrologic, meteorological, and oceanographic services. The NWS develops and distributes forecasts of weather conditions and warnings of severe storms and other adverse weather conditions for protection of life and property. It collects and disseminates weather and climatic information. The NWS operates the climatological field program. It maintains continuous watch over river stages and those weather conditions which produce floods; provides warnings of impeding floods; furnishes regular forecasts of overflow and stage as well as seasonal water supply; and participates with other Federal agencies in hydro-meteorological investigations for overall planning and development for water resources. The NWS makes observations and measurements of ocean conditions as required by marine interests. It develops and distributes forecasts and warnings of waves, tsunamis, sea ice, and other ocean conditions for protection of life and property and efficiency of marine operations. The NWS collects and disseminates ocean information. It develops, disseminates, and improves procedures and techniques for the national meteorological, climatological, hydrologic, and oceanographic service systems measurements and forecasts. The NWS develops techniques for the application of climatological data to meet user requirements. It manages the implementation of Federal Government policies and regulations regarding equal employment opportunity and affirmative action.

Equal Employment Opportunity (Staff) Office (W/EEO)


      The EEO staff advises and assists the Assistant Administrator in carrying out NWS's responsibilities relative to Titles VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended; the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967; the Rehabilitation Act of 1973; as well as Executive Orders, regulatory guidelines, and other nondiscrimination laws within the Federal Government including equal employment opportunity (EEO) and/or affirmative action policy recommendations, objectives, and progress in meeting goals. Provides leadership, direction, and policy guidance for EEO Program development. Monitors and evaluates NWS-wide Affirmative Employment Program Plans to promote equal employment opportunities. Conduct studies on systemic employment problems, assesses the effect of policies and practices on equal employment, identifies employment barriers, recommends solutions and develops written guidance for management. The staff provides guidance to all NWS officials and managers concerning all aspects of NWS EEO programs. The Program provides resolution of discriminatory allegations by working toward eradicating prejudice and discrimination from the agency's personnel policies, practices, and working conditions. In addition, the EEO Program office serves as the NWS education outreach coordinator for area schools and coordinates the student intern program.

International Activities (Staff) Office (W/IA)


      The International Activities Office promotes the international interests of the U.S. meteorologic and hydrologic communities improving the levels of science, technology, operations, and services worldwide. It represents the relevant interests of the National Weather Service and other parts of NOAA in international activities, especially those that advance short-term warning and forecast services. The Office strives to improve seasonal and inter-annual climate forecasts, and predicts and assesses decennial-to-centennial change. Serve as the focal point in the United States for national meteorological and hydrologic services of other countries. The Office administers foreign assistance in line with this mission. It seeks to improve international observing and telecommunications networks and to build national capabilities (through capacity building and technology transfer) in developing countries as a means to improve overall levels of products and services. The Office participates actively in the activities and meetings of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and supports the Permanent Representative to the WMO from the United States. Assist other countries in crisis with meteorological and hydrologic support.

Strategic Planning and Policy (Staff) Office (W/SP)


      The Strategic Planning and Policy Office provides support to the Assistant Administrator for Weather Services and Deputy Assistant Administrator through the development and implementation of an integrated approach to NWS policy, strategy, and long-range planning processes. The Office develops NWS-wide long-range policy objectives and develops and manages the NWS strategic planning process including internal communications and awareness activities. The Office conducts research, program evaluation, and economic assessments serving as the basis for the identification of future national level requirements for weather services and the development of plans and programs to respond to those requirements. Responsible for effective external relations, programs, and policies related to NOAA commercial weather support. Acts as ombudsman for the private sector on matters related to external users of hydrometeorological data and services, developing and recommending NOAA and NWS policy on industrial meteorology, and on NWS and private sector roles, activities and relationships.

Communications (Staff) Office (W/COM)


      The Communications Office provides a comprehensive and proactive nationwide information program for the National Weather Service to help educate a variety of audiences, including employees, media, legislators and special interest groups. The goal of this Office is to create an understanding of, and support for, the NWS mission and operations. The Office facilitates communication activities for senior management, and coordinates with NOAA Public Affairs, NOAA Legislative Affairs, the NWS Office of Strategic Planning and Policy and others in the organization who conduct external communication programs. The Office ensures a continuous, reliable flow of messages and information that showcase the quality of NWS services as well as the expertise of the NWS's most important resource, its employees. It advises senior management on all communication issues and provides guidance and communication strategies for often complex, controversial or politically sensitive aspects of the agency's programs, policies or positions. The Office identifies communication needs and themes, and coordinates the development of information tools that help employees, at all levels, tell the NWS story to a variety of publications. The Office recommends and coordinates communication policy, strategies and activities with leadership to guide the NWS information program.

Executive Affairs (Staff) Office (W/EA)


      The Executive Affairs Office serves as focal point within the National Weather Service for liaison with members of Congress, other Departments and agencies of the Executive Branch, and the general public. The Office is the control point for all correspondence addressed to the Assistant Administrator or Deputy Assistant Administrator of the National Weather Service, or prepared for higher officials' signatures, ensuring that complete staff work and coordination has been accomplished. Serves as focal point for security matters within the NWS and as coordinator for the emergency preparedness activity. It conducts special studies concerning NWS management plans and policies, as assigned. The Office is responsible for miscellaneous executive, management, and administrative support duties, as assigned.



      The Office of the CFO/CAO, headed by the NWS's Chief Financial Officer/Chief Administrative Officer, obtains and manages financial, physical, information and human resources to enable the NWS to fulfill its mission. The Office serves as the primary channel of communication and coordination with NWS headquarters offices and regions for all non-technical management activities, and establishes priorities and requirements for those activities. The Office formulates and executes the NWS annual budget; allocates and provides accounting for resources necessary to support the offices and regions; develops and implements a program for business process improvement; and develops and manages the implementation of NWS-wide human resources, labor-management, and organizational development policies and practices. The Office develops and manages assigned sections of the radio frequency spectrum. The Office also provides systems support for office automation, financial, and administrative systems, and provides computer network management and support. The Office also provides miscellaneous administrative support activities to NWS headquarters and other NWS elements located in the Washington, D.C. metro area as needed.



      The Budget Formulation and Program Analysis Division is the focal point for budget formulation and associated planning activities within the National Weather Service. The Division develops multi-year funding requirements and coordinates all aspects of budget formulation, justification, and presentation within the NWS. The Division develops the narrative budget justifications and other supporting documentation for the annual budget submissions to NOAA, DOC, OMB, and Congress. The Division tracks agency funding levels and performs analyses of various project proposals, budget reductions, and legislation. The Division coordinates NWS activities related to the Congressional budget process, including tracking legislation, preparing appeal statements, preparing and presenting budget briefings, and developing written testimony and responses to Congressional inquiries. Supports the NWS and NOAA strategic planning processes, prepares and tracks the Five-Year Program Implementation Plan, NWS Annual Operating Plan, and the NOAA Quarterly Program Reviews to ensure integration with the NWS overall budget and strategic plans. The Division serves as a focal point for integrating information technology plans into the budget planning process.



      The Comptroller Division serves as the focal point within the NWS for the distribution of all fiscal resources to Financial Management Centers. The Division is responsible for all aspects of NWS budget execution, including the development of Financial Operating Plans, allowance advices, reimbursable task planning, and financial management for National Logistics Supply Center accounts. The Division is responsible for financial accounting, reporting, and analysis, including the development and implementation of cost accounting methodologies and financial statements, conducting liaison for financial audits, and for analyzing and developing financial systems requirements. The Division also tracks and reports financial commitments to assure an accurate status of available funds.



      The Management and Organization Division manages all NWS human resources policy activities, controls and allocates staffing and FTE resources, manages organizational design and position management activities, and provides organizational development support. The Division conducts and coordinates organizational studies and cost analyses designed to meet current and future mission needs in the most efficient and cost-effective manner. The Division coordinates national level labor-management relations and labor partnership matters within the NWS. The Division is the liaison with the General Accounting Office, Office of the Inspector General, and other investigative agencies, coordinates activities to provide reasonable assurance that NWS programs are free from waste, fraud or abuse. Assures compliance with Federal contracting out initiatives. The Division provides general executive and administrative support to include: management of the NWS directives systems; headquarters facilities and space management; purchasing, travel, and relocation support; Freedom of Information Act and Privacy Act implementation; and time and attendance system and property management support.



      The Headquarters Support Services Branch manages the NWS Headquarters LAN/WAN and nationwide e-mail systems, and also provides computer system support to NWS components in the functional areas of web publishing, office automation, work-station repair and maintenance, management and executive information systems and human resources and financial management systems.



      The Office of the Chief Information Officer provides the key information technology (IT) planning and evaluative activity for the NWS, to include coordination and development of the annual NWS IT Operating Plan, the NWS Strategic IT Plan, and coordination and implementation of all NWS IT security and critical IT infrastructure activities. The Office conducts a comprehensive program of IT systems investment, planning, and review to insure high quality, cost-effective IT initiatives. The Office develops, monitors, and coordinates the overall NWS systems architecture in close concert with the weather system architecture activities of the Office of Science and Technology and develops hardware and software management policies and standards for the NWS. The Office provides overall planning and policy oversight for the NWS use of the Internet, and develops NWS telecommunications policies and guidance. The Office also hosts the Department of Commerce's Spectrum Management Team, which analyzes and allocates radio frequency within the Department.



      The Office of Climate, Water, & Weather Services (OCWWS) supports the NWS mission by striving for operational excellence. It oversees delivery of hydrometeorological and climate services and the design and implementation of future products and services. OCWWS provides NWS liaison with service partners, defines and validates national requirements for ongoing scientific and technical advancements and for effective new technologies to derive and disseminate critical hydrometeorological and climate information to users. It also ensures the ongoing professional development and continuing education of the NWS staff. The OCWWS conducts customer and partner outreach; validates and states service requirements; develops, coordinates, and issues national service and operations policy; and works through NWS integrated work teams to develop long-term service improvement strategies and proposals. The office develops, implements and oversees service delivery performance measures; evaluates operational service efficiency, effectiveness, and customer satisfaction; develops NWS policy delineating NWS's mission and its public sector responsibility to produce and disseminate information and the resulting public-private sector roles. These activities require active coordination and collaboration with all members of the climatological, hydrometeorological, and oceanographic communities as well as all weather-sensitive constituent communities including other Federal, state, and local government agencies; the media; the private weather information sector; universities; non-governmental organizations; constituent organizations; and the public.



      The Resource Management Staff is responsible for financial management of the OS programs and human and real property resource management. They are responsible for property inventory, office administration, management of computer resources, budget formulation and tracking, financial resource allocation and status accounting, and for leading personnel training, performance and awards programs. They are also responsible for tracking all office incoming and outgoing correspondence. The staff works closely with the CFO/CAO and CIO staffs to ensure organization and program activities adhere to established policy procedures.



      The Operations Requirements Division ensures effective nation-wide operational implementation and integration of NWS climate and hydrometeorological forecast and warning services and manages a coordinated NWS requirements process responsive to service deficiencies and needs. It also manages the NWS change management process and is the approving authority for requests made within that process. Each of its two branches has broad responsibilities spanning the agency's national and international mission and goals.



      The Integrated Operations Branch (IOB) develops plans and policies for common or integrated operations and service functions including:

  • Data acquisition and quality control;
  • Meteorological analysis and decision support systems;
  • Interactive Forecast Preparation System (IFPS) operations;
  • Internal warning and forecast coordination (including WFO, RFC, and NCEP Service Center operational procedures and interactions); and
  • Communication infrastructure (including dissemination, and service back up).

      IOB is the lead element in the OS to facilitate and coordinate service program changes and the impacts on service effectiveness and operational efficiency. In addition, IOB facilitates and ensures coordination and integration of common service needs and proposals for solutions to those needs.



      The Requirements/Change Management Branch (RCMB) defines and leads the NWS's requirements and change management processes. It develops and implements service requirements process, policy and procedures, and facilitates development, validation, and documentation of NWS internal and external customer service requirements. RCMB tracks actions to resolve pending service requirements and supports the agency Integrated Work Teams (IWT) tasked with those actions. Directly, or through IWTs, they audit new system's development and the integration and implementation of changes to existing systems to ensure applicability to, and compliance with, documented requirements.

RCMB also establishes change management (CM) policy and procedures for NWS systems. It works with the Office of Operational Systems (OOS) to maintain CM discipline on all operational NWS systems in the field and at the OOS's Systems Operations Center. RCMB ensures integration of new systems with the existing CM process; manages, tracks, directs and verifies implementation of operational system changes by OOS. In addition, the RCMB provides the Secretariat (staff support) for the following: NWS requirements review process; the NWS CM Board; the NEXRAD Program Management Committee; the ASOS Program Management Committee and Configuration Control Board; the Systems Coordination Council; and the AWIPS Configuration Control Board. It provides the Chair and Secretariat for the NWS Data Review Group. The RCMB also acts as the focus for establishing systems interfaces to external users and NWS field offices; requirements and CM support to, and NWS representation on, technical working groups and agency IWTs; coordination of special impact analyses of planned modifications to existing systems; and participation in operational tests and evaluations of approved changes.



      The Meteorological Services Division provides oversight of the provision of meteorological services to the nation. It is the lead organizational unit for overseeing National Weather Service meteorological and oceanographic warning and forecast operation plans, policies, and procedures. It is the primary link to the public and to those segments of the public engaged in operations with increased vulnerability to weather. The Division identifies and validates service needs to mitigate weather-related disasters, and establishes operational requirements for meteorological observations. It leads the design, validation, and implementation of new products and services; establishes and maintains customer partnerships; and establishes the strategic vision for meteorological services. It establishes field operating policy and procedures; defines and validates service and mission needs; solicits user feedback in evaluating whether new products and services meet their needs; and is the lead organizational unit to approve final product design. The Division also helps prioritize requirements-driven science and technology development to facilitate improvements in products and services. It provides oversight and requirements for meteorological warning and forecast training within the overall NWS training program. The Division represents the NWS at interagency, national, and international groups and forums on matters concerning climatological, hydrometeorological, and oceanographic policy, plans, products, and services.



      The Marine and Coastal Services Branch is the meteorological lead for the provision of the nation's marine and coastal weather services. Its programs include the warnings, forecasts, and advisories for coastal waters, Offshore, High Seas, and the near-shore and open waters of the Great Lakes. It leads the tropical cyclone, coastal flood, severe convective coastal weather, and coastal hazards (i.e., heavy surf, rip tides) programs. The branch also provides program support to other NWS and NOAA organizational units for the Tsunami Warning Program. In addition, this branch will lead provision of a range of weather services focused on the expanding and weather-sensitive U.S. coastal population and those responsible for its safety.

      The Branch oversees the delivery of marine and coastal weather products and services from the coastal WFOs the Marine Prediction Center, and the Tropical Analysis and Forecast Branch of the Tropical Prediction Center. It develops, coordinates and issues the policies and procedures for their operations. It is the primary focal point for collaboration with the OCWWS's Training Division to identify and ensure marine and coastal forecast training needs are met; with the Office of Science and Technology (OST) to prioritize marine and coastal science and technology development and approve new or improved product designs; and with the OOS to ensure the collection of marine and coastal observations and the delivery of marine and coastal products to users. The Branch establishes partnerships internally and externally to collect and validate marine and coastal service and mission needs, solicit feedback on marine and coastal products and services, and validate whether the products meet the needs.

      The Branch serves as the primary focal point for collaboration with NOAA's National Ocean Service (NOS), the U.S. Navy (USN) and the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) on the provision of ice warning and advisory services; the USN, the USCG, the Maritime Administration, and the Corps of Engineers (COE) to operate the nations' Marine Transportation System safely; the Department of Defense, Federal Emergency Management Agency, U.S. Geological Survey, and the American Red Cross on the provision of tropical cyclone services; with the USCG, USN, Air Force, and private entities on dissemination of weather to mariners; the NOS on the PORTS and TIDES programs; and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) on the provision of marine and coastal weather services to the international community.



      The Fire and Public Services Branch is the program lead for meteorological forecast, warning, and weather-support response services to the nation for wildland fires, environmental hazard events, and land management activities. It also leads the NWS programs for providing public weather services to the nation. Public weather services include the severe weather (convective and non-convective) advisory, watch, and warning products, and the zone, state, Nowcast, and recreational weather (including inland lakes and waterways) forecast products.

      Branch programs include products and services provided to the general public; to those responsible for local and county public safety; to Federal, state, and local land management agencies during wildfires; to Federal agencies for smoke management, and for fire and non-fire land management activities; and to the lead Federal agencies for nuclear hazard events.

      The Branch is the primary NWS focal point for collaboration with:

  • the U.S. Forest Service and U.S. Department of Interior managers on the provision of fire weather services;
  • the lead Federal agencies for the provision of nuclear weather support services;
  • the WMO on the provision of fire and public weather services by and for other countries within the international community;
  • federal transportation agencies on weather issues related to surface transportation;
  • federal and private entities on the Ultra-Violet Index program; and
  • the OCWWS Training Division to identify and ensure public, fire weather, and related micro-scale forecast training needs are met.

      The Branch oversees the provision of fire, public, and environmental hazards response weather services by NWS WFOs and NCEP service centers. It develops the policy and procedure documents for NWS operations. It leads and/or participates on service-oriented IWTs to prioritize fire and public weather-related service development, to approve new or improved product designs, to ensure the collection of fire weather observations, and to ensure the delivery of public, fire weather, and environmental hazard event products to users. The Branch establishes partnerships internally and externally to collect and validate fire weather, Public, and environmental hazard event service and mission needs, solicits feedback on its products and services, and evaluates whether these meet the needs.



      The Aviation Weather Services Branch is the program lead for aviation weather services to the nation. Its programs include products and services provided to the domestic and international aviation communities in the terminal, en route, and oceanic airspace systems. Program services include airport warnings and forecasts, route forecasts, aviation area forecasts, In-flight Advisories, and the Center Weather Service Units (CWSU). The Branch is the primary focal point for collaboration on the provision and dissemination of aviation weather services with:

  • The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA);
  • The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO); and
  • The World Meteorological Organization (WMO).

      It is the primary focal point for collaboration with the OCWWS Training Division to identify and ensure aviation forecast training needs are met. It leads or participates on service-oriented Integrated Work Teams (IWTs) to prioritize development of relevant science and technology solutions to program requirements; approve new or improved product designs; and ensure the collection of aviation observations and the delivery of aviation products to users.

      The Branch oversees the provision of aviation weather products and services from WFOs, CWSUs, the Aviation Weather Center, and the Alaska Aviation Weather Unit. It develops, coordinates, and issues the policy and procedure documents for NWS aviation weather operations. The Branch establishes partnerships internally and externally to collect and validate aviation service and mission needs, solicit feedback on its products and services, and evaluate whether they meet the needs.



      The Climate Services Division is the lead organizational unit overseeing National Weather Service climate prediction operations plans, policies, and procedures. It is the primary link to the public and the climate prediction constituent community to identify and validate climate service needs, mitigate climate related disasters, and establish operational requirements for climate observations. The division leads the design, validation, and implementation of new products and services; establishes and maintains customer partnerships, and establishes the strategic vision for climatological services. The Division provides overall management for the provision of climate prediction services to the nation. It establishes field operating policy and procedures, defines and validates service and mission needs, solicits user feedback in evaluating whether new products and services meet their needs, and is the lead organizational unit to approve final product design. The Division also helps prioritize requirements-driven science and technology development to facilitate improvements in products and services. It provides oversight and requirements for climate prediction training within the overall NWS training program.

      Program leadership includes oversight of operational climate forecast services such as El Niño and La Nina event forecasts, seasonal outlooks, and coordination of climate impact forecasts associated with weather and water outlooks produced at the National Centers for Environmental Prediction. The Division monitors the effectiveness of its program services and coordinates interregional activities to assure proper technical content and consistency. Its diverse user community ranges from the utilities and commodities companies to insurance and engineering firms and other weather-sensitive industries. The Division provides NWS representation on climate issues, coordinates with other Federal agencies, participates on the National Climate Extremes Committee, and participates and provides U.S. representation and/or policy positions in international organizations such as WMO and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

      The Division is the focal point for collaboration with other components of NOAA, the Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Interior, the U.S. Department of Agriculture on the provision of climate services; the Office of Science and Technology to prioritize climate related science and technology development; and with the Office of Operational Systems to ensure the collection of climate observations and the delivery of products to users.



      The Hydrologic Services Division (HSD) consists of the Hydrologic Services Administration Branch, the Hydrologic Field Support Branch and the National Operational Hydrologic Remote Sensing Center. HSD is the lead organizational unit for overseeing National Weather Service hydrologic warning and forecast operation plans, policies, and procedures. HSD is responsible for identifying and validating service needs and establishing operational requirements for hydrologic observations and forecasting applications. The Division provides overall management and support for hydrologic services to the nation. The Division also helps prioritize requirements-driven science and technology development to facilitate improvements in products and services. It provides oversight and coordinated requirements for hydrologic training within the overall NWS training program. The Division represents the NWS on interagency, national, and international groups and at forums on matters concerning hydrology and water management.



      Services Branch oversees the National Weather Service hydrologic warning and forecast program providing overall management for hydrologic services to the nation. This Branch establishes operating policy and procedures and coordinates the design, validation, and implementation of new products and services. Establishes and maintains customer partnerships and establishes the strategic vision for hydrologic services. This Branch also represents the NWS on interagency and national forums on matters concerning hydrology and water management. The Branch coordinates requirements for hydrologic training within the overall NWS training program. The Branch works with other groups to support hydrologic customer awareness and education.



      The Support Branch is the lead organization providing operational support for the delivery of hydrologic products and services to the Nation. The Branch provides real-time, operational support and maintenance for nationally-delivered hydrologic applications. It leads the effort to define and establish operational requirements for hydrologic observations and hydrologic forecasting applications. The Branch works with NWS field offices to solicit user-feedback on forecast applications techniques, and to prioritize requirements-driven science and technology developments in order to improve products and services.

Field Organization



      The National Operational Hydrologic Remote Sensing Center (NOHRSC) provides satellite and airborne remote sensing services for the Nation. NOHRSC provides remotely sensed and modeled snow cover data sets and products for operational, developmental, and research hydrology programs conducted at local, regional, and national scales. The NOHRSC provides various products and services to NWS field offices and to other federal, state, and local officials responsible for hydrologic forecasting, water resource operations, and public safety.

      The NOHRSC operates and maintains the Airborne Snow Survey and Satellite Snow Cover Estimation Programs. This service includes the real-time ingestion, processing, analysis, and assimilation of a wide variety of satellite, airborne, and ground-based data. The Center produces numerous snow products for the coterminous U.S., Alaska, and those portions of southern Canada that drain into the U.S. The NOHRSC delivers these products electronically, in near-real time, to numerous federal, state, and local agencies; and to the public.



      The Performance and Awareness Division (PAD) consists of the Performance Branch (PB) and the Awareness Branch (AB). The Division is responsible for ensuring the NWS remains focused on customer and partner needs. The division assesses NWS performance and customer satisfaction, measures the accuracy and timeliness of NWS products, and conducts reviews following extreme events to enhance effectiveness and promote efficiencies. PAD is the liaison to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the 27 Federal Agencies supporting the Federal Response Plan, the 19 Federal agencies that make up the Office of Science and Technology Policy's Subcommittee for Natural Disaster Reduction, the emergency management community, the media, non-government organizations such as the American Red Cross, and volunteer groups to ensure a coordinated response to extreme weather, water, and climatic events. The division works with the above mentioned Federal agencies and other hazard related organizations to create awareness and preparedness materials to assist local officials and the public to prepare and respond to warnings for extreme events. PAD works with the Operations and Requirements Division to set policy on the delivery of services through NWS and other dissemination systems to ensure NWS products and services receive the necessary distribution. PAD is also a conduit for government and private weather data and information requests. PAD works with government attorneys and oversees preparation of NWS statements and witnesses in support of major accident investigations and weather-related litigation activities involving the Federal government.



      The Awareness Branch (AB) provides guidance and creates materials to apprize customers and partners of NWS capabilities, educate them on how best to use available services, ensure that NWS dissemination systems get information to those who need it when they need it, and advise them on safety and preparedness actions. The branch provides leadership and establishes policy for the NWS awareness, preparedness, external warning coordination, technical user education, dissemination and communication, and customer notification programs.

      In support of these activities, the branch is the NWS point of contact for all Federal Response Plan issues including coordinating national drills with FEMA, creating consistent awareness and preparedness materials with other partnering Federal Agencies and the American Red Cross, conducting seasonal awareness campaigns to heighten public awareness and test media and community warning systems, and conducting partner and customer forums with all NWS user groups to identify needed service improvements. The branch briefs senior NWS, NOAA, DOC, and White House officials plus members of Congress and the media on NWS services during extreme events. AB provides leadership and policy for the delivery of NWS services through traditional and evolving dissemination systems including NOAA Weather Radio, the Emergency Manager's Weather Information Network, NOAA Port, the Family of Services, the Weather Wire, pagers, the Local Data Access and Dissemination System, and state and local redistribution networks.

      The branch serves as the initial point of contact for service related issues and directs concerns to the appropriate OCWW+S program managers for resolution. The AB works with the Office of Policy and Strategic Planning to articulate the roles of the NWS versus the private hydrometeorological community and to resolve public private sector issues. AB notifies customers and partners of upcoming service changes and coordinate service change within the agency.



      The Performance Branch (PB) provides the foundation for all NWS service improvement activities by measuring performance and assessing customer satisfaction with service delivery. The branch provides the leadership and establishes policy for the verification service assessment, customer satisfaction and forensic services programs.

      The verification program measures the accuracy and timeliness of all NWS services including warnings and forecasts for the public, aviation, marine, fire weather, and emergency management communities. This provides a baseline for the establishment of performance measures as mandated in the Government Performance and Results Act. The NWS evaluation program uses teams established at each NWS service delivery point to assess needed improvements. The branch uses these finds to suggest national changes to OCWWS program managers. Following extreme events, the branch fields teams to assess the level of performance and make recommendations for increased effectiveness and efficiencies. Many recommendations affect NWS partners in the delivery of services including the media, local officials, emergency managers, and private hydrometeorological services. The branch works with contract organizations to create customer satisfaction indices and assists OCWWS program managers in translating results into service improvements.

      The branch establishes policy for archiving NWS data and products that are used by the public, weather sensitive economic sectors, and academia for both research and legal purposes. Information contained in the NWS natural hazards database is the only official repository for natural hazard statistics and is used by agencies such as FEMA, the EPA, USGS, and organizations such as the Institute for Business and Home Safety to suggest mitigation strategies. The branch provides policy on how the NWS should respond to litigation requests and counsels employees before testimony and depositions. Forensic support is also provided to the Justice Department and the DOC General Counsel to prepare for weather related legal cases and claims against the government.



      The function of the Training Division is to ensure NWS staff receives the training required to attain/maintain proficiency in providing accurate and timely forecasts and warnings to the public. The process for determining training requirements, and effecting their implementation in a prioritized manner and within available budgets, is specified by the NWS National Strategic Training and Education Plan (NSTEP).

      The Division staff at NWS Headquarters is responsible for overall program control and administration. Their functions include coordinating training requirements with the NSTEP Field Requirements Group (FRG) on an annual cycle, organizing these requirements within available budgets, advocating unfunded training requirements to upper management for consideration, and working with the entire NSTEP Team to ensure training techniques and technologies are appropriate and upgraded as needed.

      The Division articulates and distributes training requirements to the NSTEP Heads of Training Group (HOTG) via annual Implementation Plans for Training. The HOTG is comprised of the three NWS training facilities, the NWS Training Center (NWSTC), the NWS/Cooperative Program for Operational Meteorology, Education, and Training (NWS/COMET) Branch, and the Warning Decision Training Branch (WDTB). Once provided with requirements via the annual plans, the HOTG assumes responsibility for developing and providing needed training in the areas described therein.

Field Organization



      The primary mission of the National Weather Service Training Center NWSTC is to provide professional and technical training to enable NWS employees to reach optimum performance in present assignments and future responsibilities. NWSTC develops and teaches performance oriented courses for hydrometeorological technicians, meteorologists, hydrologists, electronic technicians, and managers. Other technical, administrative, management and supervisory courses as specified by NWS and NOAA headquarters are taught as well. NWSTC also serves as a consultant to answer questions for NWS and NOAA offices. NWSTC's goal is to teach job-specific and practical skills; integrate systems so the whole, instead of individual parts of the problem can be recognized; emulate the NWS working field environment; and provide students the ability to work and experiment with concepts or equipment as part of learning. To accomplish this mission, NWSTC is divided into two groups: The Engineering and Electronics Training Section (EETS), and the Hydrometeorology and Management Training Section (HMTS). Each teaches a wide range of courses to provide quality job-related training.



      The Engineering and Electronics Training Section (EETS) presents maintenance courses on the highly specialized equipment used by NWS such as, upper-air equipment, radar, surface observing systems, radio transmitters and the console replacement system. Other courses concentrate on developing proficiency in various operating systems and computer languages for use in AWIPS and other field systems which use computer systems to process and provide data and information. Special courses to operate sophisticated equipment, such as AWIPS, are also developed and taught.



      The Meteorology and Management Training Section (MMTS) teaches a wide array of meteorological and hydrological courses which specialize in new advances in technology and science, explain meteorological concepts used in various forecasting scenarios, use of new software, and speciality courses as they are needed. Management and supervisory skills are taught through residence, correspondence courses, and other specialized courses in cooperation with other agencies. All courses are reviewed to ensure they agree with NWS policy, operational procedures, and scientific accuracy.



      The NWS's Cooperative Program for Operational Meteorology, Education, and Training (COMET) Branch provides training and education to operational personnel in areas related to hydrometeorological science in order to fully utilize the benefits of the modernized NWS. These goals are accomplished via two programmatic components--the Outreach Program and the Training and Education Program.

      The purpose of the NWS/COMET Outreach Program is to advance applied research in mesoscale meteorology. The program facilitates collaboration between the academic research community and operational forecasters with a focus on developing partnerships in applied operational research activities which depend on the efforts and expertise of project participants.

      The focus of the NWS/COMET Training and Education Program is to offer a complete spectrum of scientific education for operational forecasters. To accomplish this goal, the program develops instruction using CD-ROM, teletraining, the World Wide Web, computer-based learning modules, and case studies. This is in addition to advanced scientific classes offered for selected operational personnel at the COMET classroom in Boulder, Colorado. Future plans for the program include enhancing education in quantitative precipitation forecasting, integrated sensing, mesoscale and micro scale phenomena, aviation weather hazards forecasting, Climate prediction, hydrology, and public safety/emergency management.



      The Warning Decision Training Branch (WDTB) develops and delivers initial and advanced WSR-88D operator training to improve skills, knowledge, and abilities of Government personnel in applying Doppler radar-based observations to warnings and forecasts. WDTB develops and delivers training materials for the data integration environment brought about by AWIPS with emphasis on the use of radar data in conjunction with other remote sensor data.

      The main focus of the training is on the warning process within a forecast office and includes warning decision making, situation awareness, warning methodology, and office strategies. Training is also developed and delivered for baseline software changes and NEXRAD Product Improvement radar system changes. Training is principally provided by distance learning methods (teletraining, Internet, and computer-based modules on CD-ROM) as well as a limited number of train-the-trainer workshops. These workshops provide Scientific Operations Officers (SOOs), Focal Points, and Lead Forecasters the latest information on new warning technology and science while refining existing skills and fostering scientific discussions of warning issues faced in a forecast office environment.



      The Observing Services Division (OBSD) develops and maintains plans, policies, procedures, and standards for Surface and Upper Air observing services provided by, or requiring the approval of NWS. OBSD manages the NWS Cooperative Observer Program. OBSD monitors and ensures field operation compliance with established policies, procedures and standards. It oversees the development and implementation of observing systems and system enhancements to ensure compliance with standards and applicability to service requirements. The Division coordinates with the other OCWWS service and operations divisions and leads one or more NWS cross-cut observing IWTs in developing observation user requirements and defining agency solutions. OBSD provides guidance to OOS and the office of Science and Technology regarding their development of system functional specifications, designs, prototypes and operational tests. OBSD recommends changes in networks or facilities to meet data requirements; and develops plans for implementation of operational data acquisition systems. The Division monitors test programs, evaluates reports, and submits recommendations on the adoption of equipment and procedures for NWS use. In coordination with OOS elements, it identifies and analyzes operational problems, develops proposals to remedy identified deficiencies, and sets priorities for correcting deficiencies.



      The Office of Science and Technology (OST) plans, develops, demonstrates, and integrates scientific techniques and system capabilities in response to service requirements of National Weather Service warning and forecast operations at field offices and national centers. The Office analyzes service requirements and identifies and recommends potential system and scientific solutions. In cooperation with other NWS elements and the research community, the Office establishes and promotes science priorities in response to weather, water, and climate program needs. The office formulates and maintains a comprehensive research and development plan in response to these priorities; conducts associated applied research and development; and sponsors research and development at NOAA laboratories and centers, universities, and private sector organizations. The Office monitors and assesses advances in the relevant technologies and plans infusion of new technology in response to service requirements consistent with system architecture goals. OST conducts and/or sponsors planning and design studies and analyses, prepares technical specifications for selected systems and system interfaces, and manages the acquisition of developmental systems and support services. Special emphasis is given to observing systems to ensure in-situ and remote sensing technologies provide the optimum benefit to climate, water, and weather services.

      The OST Principal Scientist is a recognized expert in the scientific field(s) of climatology, meteorology, and/or oceanography. Serves as a principal point of focus on issues requiring definition from a scientific standpoint. Assists the Director, OST, in defining broad areas of cutting edge research and new technologies which provide office organizational direction in research and development.



      The Resource Management Staff is responsible for financial management and human and real property resource management for all OST programs and organizational elements. Related organizational functions include budget formulation and its programs; financial resource allocation and status accounting; property inventory; personnel training, performance, and awards; and office administration. The staff works closely with NWS CFO/CIO/CAO staff to ensure organizational and program activities adhere to established policies and procedures. The staff prepares and presents status briefing and responses to inquiries for the Director of OST and higher management, as required. The staff office includes a Program Control Staff responsible for ensuring programs are designed and developed in accordance with established policies and standards, along with monitoring the performance of all technology infusion programs. Related organizational functions include scheduling and schedule tracking, identifying and monitoring objective measures of program progress, and monitoring contractor technical and financial performance.



      The Program and Plans Division (PPD) serves as the primary organization for assessing technical opportunities and alternatives, examining the feasibility and cost, proposing solutions, and developing plans to meet service requirements set forth by the OS. PPD also manages improvement and development programs required to meet the goals of the NOAA and NWS Strategic Plans. It carries out cross-program analyses and proposes policy for major NWS Program activities to assure compatibility and consistency in reaching individual program goals. It serves as the lead for Product Improvement Program management for the AWIPS, NEXRAD, and ASOS. It formulates plans for NOAA/NWS's integrated observing and dissemination systems and in coordination with the CIO and other NWS elements develops Information Technology Plans for OST programs. The Division works with the broad scientific and technical communities, internal and external to the government to seek opportunities to meet service requirements. It leads high-level, inter-Line Office scientific and technical discussions on issues facing NOAA for research and development. The PPD works with the OS&T's Technology Evolution and Meteorological Development Laboratories, other NWS headquarters offices, NCEP, the NWS Regions, OAR and NESDIS, science programs (e.g., U.S. Weather Research Program and U.S. Global Climate Change Program), and universities in the execution of its duties. Additionally, the Division participates in task teams set up to cross-cut various service requirement issues and implementation planning.



      The Program Management Branch (PMB) serves as the primary organization for planning for the evolution of a wide variety of systems, including product improvement for the NEXRAD, AWIPS, and ASOS systems. It focuses on in-situ and remotely sensed observing systems through Branch participation in the North American Observing System (NAOS) Program, and other related NWS, NOAA and other Federal agency activities. The Branch is involved in planning for the development and enhancement of systems such as the radiosonde, radar, polar and geostationary satellites, including global positioning systems, ASOS, surface and meso-networks, cooperative observers, aircraft, ships, buoys, profilers, and lightning detection systems. Its prime focus will be to bring an integrated perspective to the role of each system, identify new opportunities for measurement, and plan for testing, demonstration, and evaluation activities required, recommend tradeoffs, and present the case to management for further implementation. The Branch is responsible for continuous review and proposed revision of NWS dissemination plans in response to new mission requirements, trends in the telecommunication industry, and changes in NWS systems. The Branch establishes and maintains mechanisms which provide the basis for decision making on the alternatives and options available for specific observing system development. It works with the Systems Engineering Center, other NWS Offices, NOAA laboratories, NESDIS, and universities to arrange for appropriate testing, coordination on planning and implementation issues, and demonstration activities which will assist in formulating decisions on system development.



      The Science Plans Branch (SPB) is responsible for defining, planning, and supporting the execution and implementation of science activities necessary to reach NWS product and service improvement goals in a timely and efficient manner. This responsibility involves working closely with other NWS units in particular, and external groups when appropriate to define science requirements and priorities, to explore and analyze the feasibility of various science solutions, and to plan and coordinate the execution of NOAA and external R&D to meet science requirements. Major activities of the branch include collaboration with NOAA R&D units (including NWS Offices and Laboratories and the NCEP/Environmental Modeling Center) and the external community to bring emerging science into operations, and to ensure that this science meets quality standards before implementation. The Branch also promotes NWS Science priorities and facilitates scientific exchange by serving as NWS focal points for the external science community, by providing science leadership in National Programs (e.g., U.S. Weather Research Program, etc.), and by coordinating and managing NWS-sponsored external science activities including those through the Collaborative Science, Technology and Applied Research (CSTAR) Program, Cooperative Program for Operational Meteorology, Education, and Training (COMET) Outreach Grants, U.S. Weather Research Program, OAR laboratories, and NOAA Cooperative Institutes.

Field Organization



      The Meteorological Development Laboratory (MDL) conducts and sponsors applied research and development for the improvement of diagnostic and prognostic weather information; data depiction and utilization; warning and forecast product preparation; and data and forecast evaluation. Projects involve modern physical, dynamical, and statistical techniques implemented on operational computers. Emphasis is placed on integrated suites of guidance and final products for Weather Forecast Offices, River Forecast Centers, and National Centers. The Laboratory collaborates with other laboratories and centers within and outside of NOAA and actively seeks to identify new techniques in response to NWS mission requirements. The Laboratory provides meteorological support to other elements of the Office of Science and Technology, as required.



      The Mesoscale Prediction Branch conducts applied research and development aimed at improving very short range weather forecasting. Techniques are developed and refined for producing automated analyses of data, especially from high density data sets, that make maximum use of both spatial and temporal qualities of the data. A full suite of guidance products is produced for projections of an hour to a few hours. Emphasis is placed on weather elements of importance to aviation including ceiling height, visibility, cloud layer amount and height, and strong surface winds. Numerical models targeted for use at WFOs are either developed by the Branch or are adapted from other organizations and infused into WFO operations and interpreted in terms of local weather and WFO-produced products.



      The Statistical Modeling Branch conducts applied research and development aimed at producing a full suite of meteorological weather analysis and guidance products for use at Weather Forecast Offices (WFO); some products are also appropriate for River Forecast Centers and National Centers. The forecast projections of such products range from a few hours to several days. The weather elements the guidance is produced for, the data and techniques used, and frequency of production are appropriate to the forecast projection. Emphasis is placed on high priority weather elements including quantitative precipitation and turbulence at aircraft flight level. Emphasis is also placed on weather elements of importance to climate prediction. Numerical models specifically for forecasting storm surge are developed and implemented. The Branch provides the primary Science and Technology contact with other groups concerned with the marine environment.



      The Decision Assistance Branch develops and implements techniques to synthesize, display, and manipulate data and guidance from various sources to aid the Weather Forecast Office (WFO), River Forecast Center and National Center forecasters and other users in interpreting the wealth of information available at the WFO. Such methods and displays incorporate algorithms from other laboratories as well as those developed in the Meteorological Development Laboratory, and lead the forecaster through a decision process appropriate for the specific weather situation being addressed. Such advanced interpretation and display techniques are integrated onto NWS operational workstations. Techniques for automatically monitoring weather observations and forecasts are developed and implemented to alert the forecaster of the need to update warning and forecast products, especially for dangerous weather. Prototyping of promising techniques in an operational setting is done to identify those best suited for implementation.



      The Product Generation Branch explores, develops, and implements techniques for use at field offices and National Centers in generating user products. Products include compilations of current observations; watches and warnings; and public, aviation, marine, and fire weather forecasts. Sophisticated techniques for interactively modifying guidance to produce the official forecasts are developed and implemented. Techniques are developed to facilitate the coordination of forecasts across the boundaries between areas of responsibility. Prototyping of promising techniques is done to identify those best for implementation. All such techniques are implemented in software on NWS operational platforms and maintained as those systems evolve.



      The Evaluation Branch assists the Agency in evaluating data quality, models, and forecasts. Techniques are developed for assessing the quality of observations from various sources, including ASOS and cooperative networks. Archives of observations and forecasts are used to produce verification scores to support the National Verification Program. Analysis and forecast techniques and models developed within the Laboratory or in other NOAA organizations, universities, or the private sector are evaluated in terms of quality of forecasts and resource requirements for possible inclusion in the AWIPS software suite. Specialized studies are conducted to support service assessments carried out by other NWS organizations and to assess societal impacts of use of forecasts and of forecast improvements.



      The Systems Engineering Center (SEC) manages and conducts systems engineering, development, integration, and testing supporting the NOAA systems architecture to meet the objectives of NOAA and NWS Information Technology Plans. It provides the principle NWS systems engineering leadership and is responsible for implementation of applicable aspects of the NWS architecture defined by the Chief Information Officer. It approves all engineering changes to existing systems, leads reviews of current systems' performance, and identifies needs for system modifications. The Center reviews and evaluates new technology to determine its applicability to unmet requirements, and its potential for increased efficiency and future cost avoidance. It leads multi-office assessments of proposed system enhancements to determine performance impacts/requirements, support of the target architecture, projected development and life cycle cost, and benefit to mission needs. The Center manages the development of enhancements to NWS systems including AWIPS, ASOS, and NEXRAD, and directs risk reduction activities to ensure development efforts match operational needs. It develops and maintains the human and physical infrastructures necessary for successful technology development activities.



      The Analysis Branch analyzes, designs, develops, procures, and tests proposed new systems or modifications in support of the NWS mission and architecture. It applies systems engineering expertise to NWS information processing, environmental sensing, communications, software development, configuration management, system performance testing, and life cycle support preparation. The Branch conducts technical assessments of proposed enhancements to determine feasibility, cost, schedule, and impact to existing systems; defines and manages risk reduction activities; defines and manages system interfaces and related documentation; and specifies and procures developmental systems, system enhancements, and support services. The Branch's scope includes all systems supporting the NWS systems architecture with special emphasis on field operations and the communications networks which interconnect them. The Branch collaborates with other Office of Science and Technology elements, other Weather Service Headquarters offices, the National Centers for Environmental Prediction, other NOAA offices and laboratories, and other federal agencies.



      The Development Branch is responsible for all development activities needed to complete major system enhancements through development and demonstration. The emphasis is on AWIPS, NEXRAD, and ASOS systems. Working with NOAA and NWS offices, laboratories and contractors, the Branch develops detailed system specifications, schedules, work assignments, project reviews, and metrics. The Branch proposes new projects in response to mission requirements and architectural objects, and to leverage technological opportunities for improved operational effectiveness. The Branch's scope includes all new development and enhancement of algorithms, sensors, processing hardware, software, and communications subsystems. The Branch collaborates closely with the Product Improvement Managers to ensure that development efforts are consistent with program goals and objectives; and collaborates with the OS, the Office of Hydrological Development, and field representatives to ensure proposed products and functional capabilities are consistent with operational concepts. The Branch collaborates closely with the Office of Operational Systems to define and execute an effective sensor test program at multiple OOS test facilities. The Branch supports the OOS in formal Systems Acceptance Testing, Operational Test and Evaluation, documentation, training and implementation. The Branch works closely with the Systems Engineering Branch to implement the target NWS systems architecture; including allocation of functional requirements, management of processing resources, and technical assessments of feasibility, cost, schedule, and impacts to existing systems. Additionally, the team interacts with industry and weather services of foreign countries to exchange observing and processing technological information.



      The Support Branch provides all technical support for developmental activities of the Office of Science and Technology. This support includes change and configuration management activities, development system administration and support, development of operational user's guidance and system technical documentation, and implementation planning support. The Branch is responsible for maintaining a development and test facility to support AWIPS and NEXRAD development activities, and collaborates with cooperating development organizations (such as the Forecast Systems Laboratory, the National Centers for Environmental Prediction, and the AWIPS prime contractor) to facilitate testing of mutual benefit. Additionally, the Branch collaborates closely with the Office of Operational Systems to maximize the mutual benefit to be gained from their combined testing assets and facilities.



      The Office of Hydrologic Development (OHD) serves as the primary interface between the National Weather Service (NWS) Headquarters and technical aspects of NWS hydrologic programs. The Office, in cooperation with other NWS Headquarters offices, identifies requirements for the development, testing, and support of hydrologic forecast algorithms/tools and hydrologic data to improve efficiency and effectiveness of NWS hydrologic operations and services. Based upon these requirements, the Office develops plans and coordinates their implementation with the Hydrology Laboratory (HL). The Office provides oversight management of HL, provides program management for the development and implementation of these technologies, and serves as advisor and consultant to the Assistant Administrator for Weather Services on scientific and technical hydrologic matters, both nationally and internationally.

      The OHD Principal Scientist is a recognized expert in the scientific field(s) of hydrology, hydrometeorology, engineering, and/or water resource management. As such, the office acts as a principal point of focus on issues requiring definition from a scientific standpoint. The office assists the Director, OHD, in defining broad areas of cutting edge research and new technologies which provide office and organizational direction in research and development.



      The Resource Management Staff is responsible for financial management of all OHD programs and organizational elements, and human and real property resource management. Related organizational functions include budget formulation for OHD and its programs; financial resource allocation and accounting; property control and accounting; personnel training, performance and awards; and office administration. The staff works closely with CFO/CIO staff to ensure organization and program activities adhere to established policies and procedures. The staff prepares and presents status briefings and responses to inquiries for the Director, OHD and higher management as required.

Field Organization


      The Hydrology Laboratory (HL) provides and supports centrally developed NWS hydrologic application software, analysis techniques and tools, and data products. The HL coordinates development of applications at River Forecast Centers. In cooperation with other NWS offices, HL transforms program level requirements into user and implementation level requirements. It applies the sciences of hydrology, hydrometeorology, and hydraulics to develop analysis tools and techniques. In cooperation with other NWS offices, it delivers analysis tools and techniques in the form of software applications to be used by Weather Forecast Offices and River Forecast Centers to fulfill program level requirements. The HL develops and maintains systems for providing ground based data products and remotely sensed snow water equivalent and snow cover data products to NWS operations. The HL provides the probable maximum precipitation and rainfall intensity/frequency/duration estimates that are used as U.S. design standards.



      The Hydrologic Software Engineering Branch (HSEB), prepares implementation level requirements for and implements, tests, documents, controls, and maintains applications and database software to be used by field offices to conduct the hydrologic services program. HSEB establishes the processes used within the HL for software and database engineering and is responsible for quality assurance of software developed in the HL. The HSEB maintains the workstation and desktop software development and office automation environment of the Hydrology Laboratory and the OHD. The HSEB coordinates development of applications at RFCs.



      The Hydrologic Science and Modeling Branch (HSMB) applies the sciences of hydrology, hydrometeorology, and hydraulics to NWS systems. It works with other components of the HL to apply these sciences to application software and data products developed within the HL and as a consultant to other NWS organizations. The HSMB works with research and development organizations in the government, private, and academic sectors to advance and secure the science necessary for the conduct of the hydrologic services program. HSMB applies its scientific expertise to training material developed cooperatively with the OS and OST.



      The Hydrologic Data Systems Branch (HDSB) develops, maintains, and provides user support for data collection systems and prepares data products for use both in NWS operations and by external users. HDSB provides access to historical data for use in calibration of hydrologic models and development of hydrometeorologic techniques as well as ensuring the capture and provision of needed data not collected by other agencies. Within the HDSB the Hydrometeorologic Design Studies Center (HDSC) prepares and publishes U.S. design standards and estimates on behalf of the Federal Government, for probable maximum precipitation and precipitation frequencies.



     The Office of Operational Systems (OOS) manages operational weather systems. It provides system engineering, software management, facilities engineering services, communications, and logistical services. It supports Department of Defense, and Federal Aviation Administration weather radars. Develops policy for implementation, operations, support, and evaluation of operational weather systems. Provides depot reconditioning and logistics support and develop maintenance policy and guidance for the triagency weather radar and Automated Surface Observing System as well as for all NWS-only systems. It conducts integrated planning for the operation and support of operational weather systems and represents the National Weather Service on related issues at international and interagency organizations and forums. The Office also provide comprehensive configuration management and testing of triagency and NWS systems and upgrades.



      The Resource Management staff formulates and executes the Office operating budget. It provides short-term and strategic planning for field implementation, operations, support, and evaluation of operational weather systems. It manages administration of Office operations including training, performance plans, awards, property management et al. It develops integrated systems management policies and plans for operational hydrometeorological and telecommunications systems both in the field and in WSH. It prepares and conducts comprehensive technical reviews of OOS programs; develops and implements comprehensive budgets for operations and maintenance of operational weather systems; and plans and coordinates OOS support of systems owned by other agencies. It conducts studies and manages special projects that cross-cut NWS systems operations. Manage interagency and non-Federal memoranda of agreements. Major focal point for coordinating regional concerns/issues. Develop plans for integrating new systems into field operations and information technology activities, including understanding technological improvements to fielded and future systems. Perform operations research to improve or enhance field and OOS operations. Supports the preparation and coordination of requirements initiatives and supporting programmatic documentation for budget initiatives. Prepares input for the Strategic Plan, NOAA, NWS, and OOS Implementation Plans, and mission-related activities. Manages the Management Information System. Serves as liaison to federal and non-federal committees and organizations where OOS representation is required.



      The Operations Division provides fundamental engineering and acquisition services for improvement of operational NWS systems. It develops maintenance, logistics, acquisition, engineering, configuration management, and safety/environmental compliance policies, procedures, and directives. It provides integrated planning for field evaluation, implementation, operation, and support of operational observing systems, weather information systems, communications systems, and system interfaces. The Division plans and performs system acceptance and integration testing to simulate actual operating conditions and evaluate pre-field operational performance of modifications, enhancements, upgrades, and replacements. It plans and conducts field site testing to assure proper operation of system changes in a field environment prior to national implementation. The Division establishes both field and depot level maintenance policy and procedures, and plans NWS integrated logistics support for operational weather systems and NWS facilities. It insures essential logistics stock is available for deployed weather systems for field offices, the U.S. military, and the Federal Aviation Administration.



      The Engineering and Acquisition Branch serves as the primary engineering focal point for operational implementation of new methodologies. In support of operations, it establishes measured performance baselines for the operational employment of atmospheric and surface sensors and data collection devices. The Branch serves as the primary source of design and test information during the development of operational methodologies, conducts design feasibility and functional analyses, renders specialized seasonal and regional assistance, assesses operational employment changes, and develops techniques to streamline work load. Existing equipment designs are modified to increase operating personnel safety, reduce preventive maintenance and corrective maintenance actions, and lower life-cycle performance variations. In support of modernization and sustaining performance programs, the Branch conducts engineering analyses to translate operational methodologies or meteorological requirements into technical descriptions for new electro-mechanical systems, or enhancements to existing systems. Analyses form the basis for program formulation and acquisition strategies. The Branch develops specifications for equipment acquisition or modifications for integration into operational equipment. Branch personnel may act as acquisition program managers, Contracting Officer's Technical Representative, contract managers, or as technical consultants to evaluate commercial and private sources of supply; review manufacturer's proposals; ensure compliance with operational concepts and contractual requirements; coordinate logistics; maintenance and training functions; develop installation and transition plans; and assess system performance after implementation. The Branch provides redesign, reprocurement drafting, and technical support for all NWS equipment programs.



      The Maintenance Branch develops and establishes National Weather Service and multi-agency wide electronics maintenance policies and directives. Serves as the primary NWS focal point for engineering support of all mission critical operational systems and equipment. Monitors the performance of NWS systems maintenance programs; develops maintenance support plans, policies, and directives; manages the systems maintenance quality assurance program; writes specifications for contract maintenance; and provides oversight on maintenance contracts. Promotes and oversees technical and professional development of field electronics and computer specialist staff. Conducts computer-based maintenance modeling, trade off and cost-benefit studies, and in-house versus contract support analyses. Maintenance policies and directives are maintained in weather service operations manual chapters, engineering handbooks, maintenance notes, and modification instructions. Supports factory inspection and acceptance of supportability modifications, provides technical assistance to field electronics and computer specialist staff.



      The Configuration Branch develops national configuration management policies and guidance and establishes configuration baseline information for operational systems. Provides guidance and directs CM requirements for all NWS operational systems. Directs product identification, configuration control, auditing, and status accounting for all systems that are under formal configuration management processes. Establishes and enforces configuration management policy, reviews configuration changes, supports and performs baseline documentation validation, performs site-specific impact analysis of proposed changes, assures proper identification schemes are applied, validates changes through audit processes, and creates ad hoc reports to assist with management decisions. Operates and maintains the Engineering Management Reporting System, the Configuration Management Information System, and the National Weather Service Location Identifier system.



      The Logistics Branch provides overall management of the NWS logistics program. Responsibilities include developing national logistics policy and guidance; integrated logistics support planning for new systems; inventory management; procurement initiation; repair ordering; cataloging; source, maintenance, and recovery coding; modifications; customer support and obsolescence programs. It implements computerized systems that interface with military and Governmental systems for logistics data, parts issues, parts receipts and funds transfers. The Branch is the NWS focal point for multi-agency logistics management and serves as a designated Primary Inventory Control Activity (PICA) for the Department of Defense and the Federal Aviation Administration on NEXRAD and ASOS programs.



      The Facilities Management Branch develops policies and standards for facilities modernization and maintenance, safety and environmental compliance, prepares and defends budgets, maintains records and performs analyses. The Branch formulates and manages major facilities projects affecting WFOs, RFCs and National Centers, and manages completion of WFO construction and retrofit of previously-built facilities. It establishes national level safety and environmental compliance programs, policies, and procedures. It develops policies and procedures for facilities maintenance and replacement, provides centralized engineering, and acquisition support for common systems and other NWS programs, and manages national contracts. It reviews and evaluates regional maintenance plans; allocates funding; maintains workload and estimating models; manages the computerized facilities maintenance management system; and performs analyses to optimize life-cycle costs and performance. The Branch manages the Sterling, VA facilities program.

Field Organization


      The National Reconditioning Center provides depot-level repair, reconditioning, and modifications; conducts quality assurance testing, inspection, and acceptance for depot stock. It ensures essential logistics stock of the National Weather Service is made available in a cost-effective manner for issue to National Weather Service field offices, the U.S. Military, and Federal Aviation Administration. The Center provides logistics and depot maintenance planning for proposed systems, and provides complete logistics management and supply support for all operational systems. It also maintains operations in the following areas: technical support of automatic test equipment and computer support systems; procurement and accounting for purchases of new items and repair services; staging operations for equipment processing and distribution; and performs engineering studies and cost analyses.



      The Technical Inspection and Material Reception Branch provides quality assurance testing, technical inspection and material receipt acceptance for all NWS equipment and supplies intended for warehouse stock. The Section ensures technical stock meets procurement specifications and functional requirements of the National Weather Service including accuracy requirements. It is the point of Government acceptance for newly purchased or contractor repaired/reconditioned stock. The section maintains a laboratory with field equipment, special chambers, and general test equipment. It prepares quality assurance and technical inspection procedures; performs technical studies on deficiencies; and recommends actions for specification or engineering changes.



      The Weather Systems Repair Branch provides depot level repair, reconditioning and modification of National Weather Service field equipment or weather equipment of the Department of Transportation to restore it to like new operating condition. The Section also performs equipment shipping and receiving, inventory management and tracking, warranty tracking, equipment excessing and first-look maintenance functions for equipment that may be contractor repaired. It conducts studies to determine most cost-effective approaches to in-house or contract repair. The section maintains a laboratory with test beds, general test equipment and Automatic Test Equipment for effecting repairs. It develops depot level repair procedures, including Automatic Test Procedures. It identifies and investigates high failure rate components, tests and develops proposed engineering enhancements, and makes cost-effective recommendations for replacing/enhancing the components.



      The NEXRAD Repair Section provides depot level repair, reconditioning and modification of National Weather Service Doppler weather radar equipment or similar equipment used by the Departments of Defense and Transportation to restore it to like new operating condition. Test equipment used in support of National Weather Service field operations is also repaired and calibrated on a contract basis. The Section provides first-look maintenance for equipment that may be contractor repaired. Studies are conducted to determine the most cost-effective approach for repair, i.e. in-house versus contract repair. The Section also maintains a laboratory with test beds, general test equipment and extensive Automatic Test Equipment for effecting repairs. It develops depot level repair procedures, including Automatic Test Procedures. It identifies and investigates high failure rate components, tests and develops proposed engineering enhancements, and makes cost-effective recommendations for replacing/enhancing the components.



      The Field Systems Operations Center provides overall National Weather Service management, direction, systems operations support, and software engineering for operational surface and upper air observing systems, Advanced Weather Interactive Processing System (AWIPS) and other weather information processing systems, and their system interfaces. It implements systems throughout the NWS. It serves as the principal management liaison with the regions and field offices for their systems operations support and site systems management activities and provides operations requirements for planned improvements to field systems. It develops operating standards, procedures, and documentation; manages quality control of surface and upper air observations; and represents the NWS at international and interagency organizations and forums. It designs, develops, maintains, and documents software for NWS field operational weather systems and develops special equipment and network systems applications.



      The AWIPS Support Branch provides operations support for the AWIPS program. This includes operations and maintenance budget formulation and provision of COTR services for the prime operations and maintenance support contract. It prepares and coordinates system guidance to the field and prepares installation procedures. It is the principal liaison with the regions and field offices for their systems operations support and site system management activities. On a continuing basis, works with the Network Control Facility staff to diagnose site operations problems and to coordinate corrective actions and notification of the field sites of the problem resolution. Is responsible for the validation and testing of major AWIPS software release installation procedures and providing Software Installation Manager services. Provides technical support to NOAAPORT and AWIPS local data acquisition and dissemination interface specifications and procedures development in coordination with the Engineering, Logistics, and Acquisition Division and Office of Science and Technology. The Branch is responsible for developing AWIPS system operations directives for use by the NWS field staff. Represents OOS in the coordination with the Offices of Services, Science and Technology, and Hydrologic Development for the changes in the requirements for AWIPS system operations and its planned product improvements.



      The Observing Systems Branch serves as the primary office for supporting upper air and observing systems and related computer processing systems. It is responsible for the management of operational implementation and commissioning of new observing and related computer systems as well as enhancements to existing systems. The Branch develops procedures for ensuring an effective transition of these systems into field operations. It maintains performance measures regarding operation of field systems, and serves as the focus for coordinating problems and issues with operational observing systems through interaction with regional/field/WSH units. The Branch maintains a record of network configurations, and monitors the reporting of station histories. The Branch ensures proper logistics and maintenance procedures are in place to sustain operation of field systems.



      The Software Branch provides technical software services in support of NWS field operations. These services include development of software enhancements and maintenance fixes for existing NWS observation and dissemination systems, supports development of new software systems, providing software technical support to field users, and general user software support. The Branch supports development of innovative computers, communications, and network systems that provide cost-effective means for dissemination of NWS products, collection of weather observations, or internal data distribution. Responsibilities include maintaining core knowledge of current technology in computers, communications, networking, software development, computer operating systems, and computer languages.



      The Test and Evaluation Branch is responsible for system acceptance testing and field/operational testing of new systems or modifications to existing operational systems prior to field deployment in support of NWS meteorological and hydrologic operations and services. The Branch specifically has responsibility for independent testing of "in-house" developed improvements; and for Operational Test and Evaluation (OT&E) at a limited number of operational sites prior to integration into NWS operations and services. The Branch conducts system acceptance tests of "in-house" developed software for functional capabilities in a simulated operational environmental/test bed. The Branch develops official test plans documenting test configurations; limitations/boundaries; test schedules; test team structure and responsibilities; evaluation methodology and criteria; and test procedures and surveys. The Branch prepares test reports documenting test results, conclusions and recommendations.



      The Telecommunication Operations Center maintains, operates, and develops enhancements to the National Weather Service Telecommunication Gateway (NWSTG), supports the major NCEP network connectivity, initiates communication acquisitions, and manages telecommunication networks and facilities to meet the mission of the NWS in national and international communication connectivity areas. The operation of the NWSTG includes central performance monitoring, data exchange activities, AWIPS Network Control Facilities operations, and systems management. The NWSTG is a 24 hour a day 7 days a week operation. The Center develops telecommunication and dissemination systems and associated software which includes local area networks design and development, system operations, server services, major data switching services, communication service acquisition, systems and LAN security, systems configuration change management, and data flow management of major centralized automated dissemination systems. The TOC operates the resources used to perform the functions of the WMO Regional Telecommunications Hub of the Global Telecommunication System (GTS), the aviation weather communication dissemination functions of the ICAO World Area Forecast System, and serves as the communications interface between both the AWIPS NCF systems and the NCEP remote system LAN resources and also serves with all other major government organizations and the general public.



      The Operations Support and Performance Monitoring Branch measures the performance of the major switching and data exchange systems, supports NWSTG physical facility operations and changes, and provides hardware maintenance for the systems and components, plans and implements changes to the system hardware suite. The TOC systems configuration change activities are controlled by this staff. The security management of the NWS major systems are accomplished by this branch, including AWIPS WAN and firewall policy. Manages the contract support of the AWIPS Network Control Facility and NOAAPORT services.



      The Data Dissemination Branch provides national program management for the NOAA Weather Wire Service, the NOAA Weather Radio, and the International Satellite Communication System programs. Manages the NWS Family of Services program. Performs data management and system and performance analysis for all NWS Telecommunication Gateway dissemination systems. Maintains the Gateway master switching directory which controls the data content exchange of all communication links. This Branch supports national and international NWS activities in data and products codes, and establishes and administers meteorological and hydrological product identification headers based on national and international standards. The Branch conducts the monitoring of the exchange of data on the GTS under the direction of the WMO.



      The Telecommunication Gateway Operations Branch operates the systems of the NWSTG including the AOMC, the Gateway, SMCC, and the Gateway Tech Control center on a 24 hour - 7 day a week basis. It monitors all communications of the various major dissemination systems. It operates the Regional Telecommunications Hub of the Global Telecommunication System in support of the WMO World Weather Watch program for the NWS, the ICAO OPMET Data Bank and ISCS Broadcast for the FAA, and server services. Provides Help Desk services.



      The Telecommunication Software Branch designs, develops, and implements the software of the Gateway, including the server services. Designs the system configurations and enhancements to the Gateway, server services, and networks of the NWSTG. The architectural design changes of the file and web services are also developed and implemented by this branch. Researches and proposes designs for hardware and software, configures the hardware and software to meet telecommunication standards, international data and product format standards, LAN server configurations, and FTP and HTTP Web standards.



      The Telecommunication Infrastructure Branch provides acquisition and management of telecommunication facilities and services needed to support the extensive national and international data exchange operations of the NWS. This Branch provides support for the Center and all NWS-wide communications. Plans and acquires both national communication networks and international network facilities directly under contract by the NWS. Provides administrative and financial management for telecommunication services. The Branch establishes cooperative agreements with other Government agencies to share telecommunication facilities.



      The Radar Operations Center provides life-cycle support for the tri-agency radar network. It coordinates operating policies for the Doppler weather surveillance radar (WSR-88D) and provides centralized management and control of support to fielded equipment operated by the NWS, the U.S. Air Force, the U.S. Navy, U.S. Army, and the FAA. The Center is responsible for resolution of technical and operational anomalies and implementation of hardware, software, and algorithm improvements necessary to meet mission requirements for system performance and availability. It identifies technical requirements in response to mission needs; evaluates, develops, tests, and implements solutions to requests for change; maintains the WSR-88D baseline; and ensures system integrity. The Center coordinates support requirements for fielded systems including field and depot-level maintenance and technical data management with tri-agency engineering and logistics support organizations. It plans and manages near-term technical transfer activities and long-term system improvement work to meet unmet technical needs.



      The Operations Branch provides continuous, comprehensive technical guidance and consultation on all aspects of WSR-88D operations, applications, network communications and maintenance to all sites worldwide through the WSR-88D hotline. The Branch provides on-site depot-level corrective maintenance, on-site restorative assistance for complex system problems, and assistance in optimizing system performance. It administers contract support services, warranty, and mobile depot-level preventive maintenance to field sites. It maintains, schedules, operates, and controls the configuration of the OSF's WSR-88D test bed systems. It conducts formal system, operational, and beta tests of system software and hardware enhancements. It also supports the kit proofing of hardware modifications. The Branch collects and analyzes system status and performance data from field sites and monitors the collection of archived data sets from field sites.



      The Program Branch performs WSR-88D baseline hardware and software configuration management functions, generates and issues technical documentation, deploys software and map releases, manages the modification and retrofit program including the procurement of kits, provides project tracking and contract monitoring, and resolves WSR-88D safety and environmental issues. Evaluates proposed hardware and software changes for impact to logistics support, system documentation, baseline configuration, cost, and schedule. The Branch conducts tri-agency Configuration Control Board activities and administers proposed system changes. The Branch develops, validates, publishes, and distributes operations and field/depot-level maintenance technical manuals. It also provides information resource management in support of WSR-88D operational data bases.



      The Engineering Branch provides sustaining engineering to correct deficiencies and address hardware obsolescence. It provides project management for changes to the WSR-88D system and associated interfaces. This includes developing engineering change proposals, configuration change requests, technical documentation, and test plans; identifying resource requirements; and developing implementation schedules. It maintains design integrity by analyzing, designing, developing, prototyping, integrating, testing, and documenting system changes required to meet user requirements and correct deficiencies. It develops and maintains WSR-88D baseline applications and support software. This includes managing the process to define software build content, estimating costs, and conducting preliminary and critical design reviews for software changes. The Branch also manages the development and implementation of long-term system improvements to the software and hardware to meet WSR-88D mission needs.



      The Applications Branch identifies, validates, and implements new operational algorithms to meet new and existing mission requirements; consolidates and prioritizes unmet meteorological algorithm and weather product mission needs; recommends operational applications for emerging technology; develops, tests, optimizes, and validates meteorological algorithms; and optimizes meteorological algorithm adaptable parameter values. The Branch manages: portions of the WSR-88D Common Operations and Development Environment; near-term technical transfer activities and long-term system software improvement work to meet the WSR-88D mission needs; and portions of the Federal Meteorological Handbook, FMH-11.



      The National Data Buoy Center manages the development, operations, and maintenance of the national data buoy network. It serves as the NOAA focal point for data buoy and associated meteorological and environmental monitoring technology. It provides high quality meteorological/environmental data in real time from automated observing systems that include buoys and a Coastal-Marine Automated Network (C-MAN) in the open ocean and coastal zone surrounding the United States. It provides engineering support, including applications development, and manages data buoy deployment and operations, and installation and operation of automated observing systems installed on fixed platforms. It manages the Volunteer Observing Ship (VOS) program to acquire additional meteorological and oceanographic observations supporting NWS mission requirements. It operates the NWS test center for all surface sensor systems. It also maintains the capability to support operational and research programs of NOAA and other national and international organizations.



      The Engineering Branch provides life-cycle engineering support for NDBC data acquisition and distribution systems. It manages systems engineering, test and development, data processing and dissemination. It conducts directed development or studies for equipment replacement and technology refreshment; evaluates emerging technologies; and assesses their potential application to long-term operation in the marine environment. It manages the structured process to transfer new equipment or capabilities into the operational network. The Branch manages NDBC information resources, and identifies and coordinates information technology (IT) requirements. It manages data products, scientific and business decision support systems, and defines requirements for NDBC IT systems. It is responsible for IT systems interfaces with all elements of the NDBC data delivery system. The Branch conducts comprehensive sensor test and evaluation for all surface sensors for NWS. The Branch performs environmental studies to improve data quality control processes and application of NDBC data in NWS operations.



      The Operations Branch manages operation of the NDBC industrial facilities; and plans, manages, and executes the NDBC buoy network and C-MAN field operations and maintenance. The Branch serves as liaison and coordinates activities between NDBC and the US Coast Guard (USCG) or other entities providing marine, air, and other mission support services to NDBC. The Branch identifies system problems and initiates corrective efforts. Systems Operations executes timely delivery of high quality environmental observations to NWS field offices, the national archive centers, and NDBC's other partners. It coordinates and executes plans for operational test and evaluation (OT&E) of NDBC observing systems and sensors. It provides external project liaison, coordinates project activities, and evaluates whether project requirements are being met. The Branch manages the NWS Voluntary Observing Ship (VOS) program. It manages the NDBC safety and environmental compliance programs.



      The Resources Branch manages and coordinates current year planning, finance, procurement support, contract administration, facilities support, telecommunications support, personnel support, and coordinates public outreach. It serves as liaison and leads negotiations with the resident host agency. It executes current year budget processes, and assists in the preparation of out year budgets. The Branch coordinates funding priorities, prepares and monitors financial plans and budgets, develops current year program documentation, and represents the NDBC to NWS on current year budget matters. It provides NDBC procurement support, including contract awards and administration. It manages evaluation and control of NDBC contracts. It is the interface between NDBC, and other government agencies and NOAA elements for program support and services. It is the focal point for facilities management, office equipment, and other equipment to support the operational network. It manages the NDBC publications and document control system. It provides property administration, inventory administration, vehicle management, logistics support, consumables, and shipping and receiving.


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     Page last Modified: 18 July, 2011 2:26 PM