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Group of 30 participants from Governmental Weather and Water Services in Mexico and the United States, November 10th 2010 (click for larger photo)

Meeting of the Nations
U.S. and Mexican Weather and Water Services Meet in Brownsville
Multi Agency Discussions Highlight Collaboration on Radar and River Issues

A two day meeting, led by the National Weather Service Southern Region and the Servicio Meteorológico Nacional de México, began a productive discussion among bi–national governmental agencies to improve how weather and water data are, and will be, used to enhance services along the U.S./México border region and beyond. One full day was devoted to radar operations and plans, and a half day was devoted to plans to improve data flow between both nations serving millions along the Rio Grande.

NWS Southern Region Climate Program Manager Victor Murphy with Servicio Meteorologico Nacional de Mexico Manager Michel Rosengaus, November 9th 2010 (click for larger photo)
NWS Southern Region Climate Program Manager Victor Murphy takes notes While Sr. Michel Rosengaus of Servicio Meteorológico Nacional de México speaks.

Radar Meeting
On November 9th, members of the NEXRAD Radar Operations Center (ROC), National Weather Service International Affairs Office, and México’s Comisión Nacional del Agua/Servicio Meteorológico Nacional (ConAgua/SMN) met. Sr. Rosengaus discussed current status, and future plans, for the Mexican radar system; Rex Reed and Richard Ice of the ROC explained full details on the workings of NEXRAD, and planned upgrades to hardware and software. A summary of the radar meeting is available here.

River Meeting
On November 10th, members of the International Boundary and Water Commission and their Mexican counterparts at the Comisión Internacional de Límites Y Aguas Entre, ConAgua/SMN, the West Gulf River Forecast Center, NWS offices in Brownsville, Corpus Christi, and San Antonio, and Riverside Global Science Solutions (RDI) of Fort Collins, Colorado, with a focus on México and Latin America, met to discuss improvements to data provision and communication between the U.S. and México.

Getting everyone into the same room and on the same page was vitally important as future systems and communication methods are developed to improve the flow of critical water and weather data prior to, and during, significant events along the Rio Grande and associated tributaries in México. Spurred by the major flooding along the river in 2010, the meeting was a positive start in achieving a goal of smoother data transfer on both sides of the border. Travel difficulties between the nations notwithstanding, future meetings are being planned to hammer out solutions. Teamwork and persistence may lead to a day when no longer are we guessing how much rain is falling across the Sierra Madre, or how that water is flowing through northern Mexico toward the Rio Grande.

Special Thanks to the City of Brownsville for their superior logistical support. This included finding a comfortable conference room on short notice, providing ample snacks and beverages through each day, and securing our national and international guests with law enforcement protection. Your hospitality was second to none!