National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce


Mike Castillo, Forecaster at NWS Brownsville/Rio Grande Valley, answering questions from visitor to poster session on Rio Grande Flood of 2010 (click to enlarge)
Forecaster Mike Castillo answers questions from an interested visitor to his poster on the Rio Grande Flood of 2010 in the Valley at the American Meteorological Society’s 91st Annual Meeting in Seattle.
Joseph Tomaselli teaching Skywarn class to a full room of first responders and staff in Starr County (click to enlarge)
NWS Brownsville/Rio Grande Valley Skywarn® Coordinator Joseph Tomaselli teaching the structure of wall clouds to a rapt audience of first responders and staff in Rio Grande City (Starr County), February, 2011.
From Seattle to Starr, We’re Everywhere!
NWS Brownsville/RGV Staff Activities Continue into February

American Meteorological Society Annual Meeting
During the week of January 22nd through 28th, Warning Coordination Meteorologist Barry Goldsmith and Hydrologic Program Leader Mike Castillo attended the 91st Annual meeting, whose theme was "Communicating Weather and Climate". Mike presented a poster on how the NWS in Brownsville communicated river flood conditions in unique ways to a variety of users, including primary partners in emergency management and the media, but also to Spanish language users and the general public through The uniqueness of the Lower Rio Grande Flood Control Project, or Floodway, posed challenges for providing standardized flood "products". For a close read of the poster, click here.

Mr. Goldsmith and Mr. Castillo attended a number of other sessions and workshops through the week, many related to how the weather enterprise plans to improve communicating the hazards of life threatening conditions to ensure the most prudent response from the most "publics". One of those sessions was a workshop on communication, co–sponsored by the American Meteorological Society and the National Communications Association. The workshop brought together interests from academia, private and public sector in atmospheric sciences and communications to help build a framework of collaboration for improving future messaging as technology and user needs change. Another session on hurricane communications included research done by the National Center for Atmospheric Research on the response from Texas coastal residents prior to Hurricane Ike, which alluded to information created by Mr. Goldsmith and others to help move people to potentially life saving action.

For much more on the meeting, surf to the AMS 91st Annual Meeting website at

Skywarn® Spotter Training Underway
Our two month training season was well underway by mid February. Despite a few postponments due to the major winter storm February 3rd and 4th, dozens of new spotters have been trained thus far, and a number of classes are on the docket for the rest of February and March. Classes are coming in Harlingen, McAllen, Pharr, and Hebbronville, to name a few. The NWS Brownsville/Rio Grande Valley Skywarn® program deeply appreciates your support! There’s still time to schedule a course in your community during our February/March training period. Contact Mr. Joseph Tomaselli, Program Leader, or Mr. Barry Goldsmith for details.

Tours and other Events to Come
Winter is the peak of our tour season, and we’ve hosted many tours since the start of the New Year. From boy scouts to students to Winter Texans, a tour of our office is a great way to spend an hour, learning how we provide weather information to you. Schedule yours today by calling 956-504-1432. Be sure to stop by our booth at the Commemorative Air Fiesta March 12th and 13th.