Our NWS Office
Organization and Mission Statement
Our office is part of the National Weather Service, which is an agency in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). NOAA itself is part of the Department of Commerce, a branch of the federal government. The NWS is the world's largest weather organization, employing approximately 4,700 personnel. This includes nearly 2,000 meteorologists, with the balance comprising hydrometeorologic technicians, electronic technicians and administrative personnel.
Our mission statement follows:
"The National Weather Service (NWS) provides weather, hydrologic, and climate forecasts and warnings for the United States, its territories, adjacent waters and ocean areas, for the protection of life and property and the enhancement of the national economy. NWS data and products form a national information database and infrastructure which can be used by other governmental agencies, the private sector, the public, and the global community."
In a nutshell, our job is to provide severe weather warnings and outlooks, as well as routine forecasts, which allow any person or entity to extract information which will aid in the protection and improvement of their lives, property, or business.
Our staff is currently comprised of 25 dedicated men and women whose job is to provide high-quality service to the people of the central Appalachians and the middle Ohio Valley. These include:
Meteorologist in Charge (MIC) - The MIC is the top position held at an office. The MIC's job is to make sure the office is running efficiently. The MIC has many functions, including scheduling and personnel management. The MIC can also fill in as a forecaster if needed.
Warning Coordination Meteorologist (WCM) - The WCM coordinates the warning function of the office with the outside world. This would include heading the Skywarn Program, conducting spotter training, and being a voice to the local media for the office.
Science and Operations Officer (SOO) - The SOO is responsible for implementing new technology and data sets into our operations. The SOO is also responsible for all training and scientific research conducted in the office.
Data Aquisition Program Manager (DAPM) - The DAPM is in charge of overseeing all observation and data collection procedures. The DAPM also is the manager for the HMT staff.
Service Hydrologist - The Service Hydrologist is in charge of the office's hydrology program, including procurement and maintenance of gages and other equipment in the office's hydrologic service area. He/She will also provide training and consult the working meteorologists about flood potential and guidance.
Electronic Systems Analyst (ESA) - The ESA is responsible for the oversight and management of all electronic programs in our office. This person ensures that all the technology we use functions properly and is current or ahead of the other offices in the NWS. Our office is used as a test-bed for a variety of new technology and we pride ourselves on our ability to adapt and incorporate the latest technology with what we already have.
Administrative Support Assistant (ASA) - The ASA serves as the principal administrative assistant to the Meteorologist-In-Charge, and performs a
wide range of administrative functions for and assistance to the staff management team.
Lead Forecaster (5 positions) - The Lead Forecaster is the head meteorologist on a shift. The Lead oversees the issuance of all forecast and warning products on a shift, and also helps with their preparation. He/she also has administrative responsibilities ranging from handling basic paper work on shift to deciding if a meteorologist must work overtime during severe weather.
General Forecaster (5 positions)- This type of forecaster will perform the same duties as the Lead without the administrative responsibilities.
Hydro-Meteorlogical Technician (HMT) (5 positions) - HMTs handle much of the data collection procedures during a shift. He/She performs multiple tasks including running the weather radio and taking observations. HMTs also handle the climatological data for the office, as well as the cooperative observer program.
Electronic Technicians (ETs or El Techs) (2 positions)- The Electronic Technician is responsible for the day to day maintenance and repair of all the equipment used by the office. This includes multiple computer systems, automated observing systems, NOAA Weather Radio transmitters, and a wide range of electronic equipment.
Student Trainee - We also have a Student Trainee, who assists with various projects as assigned by other staff members.
Tours of the office are usually given during normal business hours on Monday-Friday, and are usually scheduled in advance. This is to assure that sufficient staff are present in order to give a proper introduction and explanation of our services. School groups usually should be at or above 6th grade, although accomodations can be made for younger groups if weather is being studied in class. There may be other requirements as well. Call the office during normal weekday business hours for more information.
If you would like to contact the National Weather Service office in Charleston, please write:
National Weather Service
400 Parkway Road
Charleston WV 25309
You can phone us at (304) 746-0180 during normal business hours (8:00 AM through 4:00 PM, Monday through Friday).
Also, you can email us at RLX.Webmaster@noaa.gov. You question/comment will then be forwarded to the appropriate individual.