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Collage #1 of outreach photos and activities for September through early December, 2011
From Left: Forecaster Joseph Tomaselli and Senior Forecaster Mike Castillo at Oceanarium; Forecaster Kirk Caceres (behind tornado chamber) at Wild in Willacy; Senior Forecaster Mike Castillo describing a weather baloon and radiosonde at StormFury; NWS Brownsville/Rio Grande Valley staff handing out goodies at Boo at the Zoo.
Spanning the Valley to Serve
From Weather Education to Helpful Hands, We Were There

As summer faded to autumn and children, parents, and seasonal residents returned to the Valley, your NWS Office in Brownsville was involved in dozens of activities, from educational to philanthropical, between early September and early December. Once again, the slogan "Thousands and Thousands Served" was fitting. As the Holiday Season continues, we are truly blessed to have a community that invites our staff to educate, contribute, and just have good clean fun. From promoting weather safety and preparedness to supporting a recovering cancer patient, you can count on us to serve our extended "family" in the Valley. The following is a list of the more significant activities we participated in from early September to early December, 2011:


  • Oceanarium, Gladys Porter Zoo, Brownsville, September 10th. Hundreds of children and parents learned about all things oceanic, including marine weather and waterspouts. Games and puzzles, too!
  • Legacy Club/National Association of Retired Federal Employees Visits, Valleywide, September. We spoke to dozens of residents on the status of the 2011 Hurricane Season and the continuing drought, and explained how atmospheric puzzle pieces fit together to make it so.
  • Christmas in September for Young Cancer Survivor, National Service Week, September 28th. Staff from NWS Brownsville/Rio Grande Valley and NWS Corpus Christi gave dozens of gifts to a recovering child suffering from bone cancer.
  • Acceleration!, Texas State Techical College, Harlingen, October 22nd. Hundreds of children learned how wind "accelerated" into tornadoes and waterspouts.
  • KMBH Public Radio Fall Fiesta, KMBH studios, Harlingen, October 24–27. NWS staff answered telephones and provided information on the Brownsville/Rio Grande Valley office via live "cut–ins" during the morning and evening news hours. Segment was taped for broadcast of "Valley Community and Culture", a daily broadcast of activities and public service entities across the RGV.
  • Wild in Willacy, Raymondville Historical Museum, October 28th. More than 100 grade school children learned about tornadoes, hurricanes, and how weather affects agriculture and ranching in the Valley.
  • StormFury!, University of Texas at Brownsville/Texas State College Jacob Brown Auditorium, October 29th. Hundreds of children and parents learned about how the NWS works, how we observe and predict weather, how a waterspout and tornado are formed, and weather related fun and games.
  • Boo at the Zoo 2011, Gladys Porter Zoo, Brownsville, October 30–31. Thousands of children in costume enjoying candy and meeting several of our staff over the course of the Halloween period at this annual event.
  • Rio Grande Valley Geographical Information Systems (GIS) Day, McAllen Convention Centre, November 18th. Provided examples of how NOAA and NWS are increasingly incorporating GIS into operations to members of the local user community, and students at South Texas College.
  • 13th Annual Skywarn Recognition Day. On December 3rd, NWS Brownsville/Rio Grande Valley hosted six amateur radio operators who made nearly 30 contacts (QSL) with operators across the United States. Radio conditions were more favorable due to increase solar activity; stations were heard from Fairbanks, AK (NWS Office) to Yokohama, Japan! Operators included Patrick Patterson (Operator license: N5SLI), Mike (KB0VWG) and Bobbi (KB5VWG) Bourne, and Dr. David Woolweaver (K5RAV). Onsite operators included Brian Miller (KE5AWU) and Barry Goldsmith (KE5TRD).
  • Boy Scout Weather Merit Badge Training, December 3rd (in conjunction with Skywarn Recognition Day). Data Program Leader Jim Campbell, along with Senior Forecaster Brian Miller, described NWS operations, provided a tour of the facility, and helped the troup learn the requirements for the Boy Scout Merit Badge to a small group of scouts.
  • School Visits. Several visits were made during Autumn to local school career–oriented activities by our staff.


Our staff is just a phone call, email, or Facebook message away from making arrangements to be part of your activities, weatherwise and otherwise. We’ve got plenty of room to accomodate your request, via in house tour or bringing our information to you. Drop us a line in one of three ways:

We hope to hear from you soon!


Collage #2 of outreach photos and activities for September through early December, 2011
From Left: Forecaster in Training Erin Billings at GIS Day; Senior Forecaster Brian Miller with amateur radio operator Patrick Patterson at Skywarn Recognition Day; amateur radio operators Mr. and Mrs. Mike Bourne at Skywarn Recognition Day.