National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

Severe Thunderstorms Likely Across the Ozarks and Lower Ohio Valley

Severe thunderstorms capable of producing damaging wind gusts, large hail, and a few tornadoes, are likely to develop this afternoon from parts of the lower Ohio Valley into the southern Plains. An Enhanced Risk (Level 3 of 5) outlook has been issued. Further north, widespread rain showers are expected across portions of the Great Lakes and Northeast U.S. Read More >

Allison Allen

The Analyze, Forecast and Support Office (AFSO) is the largest NWS portfolio. The AFSO´s weather, water, climate, and space weather warnings and forecasts, and its external collaborative activities are critical to saving lives and property and enhancing the national economy, making it integral to the creation of a Weather-Ready Nation (WRN). AFSO is responsible for the following programs:

  • Oversees local and regional field forecast and warning services and life-saving decision support services
  • Collects and validates requirements and policies associated with the programmatic management of the 11 National Service Programs: Severe, Aviation, Fire, Marine, Public, Space, Tropical and Winter Weather as well as Water Management/Hydrology, Climate, and Tsunamis
  • Provides support to related federal agencies that need hydrometeorological data or expertise to meet their mission in areas such as surface transportation, ecological forecasting, renewable energy, and health
  • Develops, validates, and prioritizes national requirements and allocated resources to select the best mix of executable programs, projects, and activities
  • Drives service improvements by working collaboratively with the other NWS offices that support service delivery such as Observations, Central Processing, Dissemination, Science and Technology Integration, and Facilities to ensure programs are aligned and deliver needed service improvements
  • Coordinates and collaborates with other NWS units such as National Centers, regions, and the National Water Center to gather, develop, manage, and validate national requirements
  • Identifies specific service area needs for ongoing scientific and technical advancements and service delivery requirements for effective new technologies to facilitate improvements in products and services
  • Coordinates on programmatic and budgetary topics to all elements within the Office of the Chief Operating Officer and with all other NWS portfolios to ensure field requirements drive innovations and support activities within the other portfolios
  • Serves as the focal point for AFS portfolio and budget planning, milestone integration and provision of internal controls
  • Coordinates with other NOAA line offices and federal agencies to provide integrated environmental forecast services and to promote cross service program themes such as the climate-weather linkage
  • Leads the effort to ensure spatial and temporal consistency of local NWS offices and National Center products and services to ensure provision of common operating picture for partners and the public
  • Collects and prioritizes foundational environmental data/information requirements and service needs for communities, businesses, and governments to better understand and adapt to weather- and climate-related risks
  • Provides requirements-based analysis of current and near-term forecast needs and coordinates with the Science and Technology Integration Office Operations Proving Ground to improve Field operations and to support the transfer of innovations into operations
  • Provides guidance on providing weather, water, and climate Decision Support Services for National Service Programs and support programs
  • Maintains policy directives and instructions for services provided by field entities
  • Ensures service programs are striving towards the Weather-Ready Nation strategic outcome

Analysis and Mission Support Division

Mark Tew

The Division provides expertise to support the field warning mission including validating new tools and innovations that help forecasters assimilate data for warnings and forecasts. The Division oversees NWS web and dissemination policy and stays abreast of the technology changes that impact the way that NWS communicates our information to core partners, the weather enterprise and the general public in close coordination with the Dissemination Portfolio. It also establishes and maintains policy on the consistent use of National Digital Forecast Database (NDFD) grids which has become the centerpiece of forecast products. The MSD also has the responsibility to support the National Service Programs and the field by providing leadership associated with the strategically important Weather Ready Nation initiatives, the national Warning Coordination Meteorologist (WCM) program and for providing decision support policy and expertise to emerging service sectors that need NWS information.

+Analysis and Forecast Branch

+Decision Support Integration Branch

David Bieger

The Decision Support Integration Branch manages and serves as the steward for activities associated with the advancement of Impact-based Decision Support Services (IDSS) in support of NWS´s Weather Ready Nation (WRN) strategic vision. Activities within this category include development and maintenance of national IDSS policy and associated directives, the WRN Roadmap and Implementation Plan, oversight of WRN initiatives such as Impact Catalogs, and coordination with the OCLO to ensure that required IDSS training is defined and developed. The Branch also manages all activities and initiatives associated with the national Warning Coordination Meteorologist (WCM)/Service Coordination Hydrologist (SCH) Program. The Branch is also responsible for providing expertise to support core partners that have emerging needs that would benefit from NWS involvement. Personnel within this Branch will coordinate with all 11 National Service Programs in the Forecast Services Division in developing decision support strategies to support their partners. The Branch also supports emerging service sector areas including the Federal Highway Administration on winter weather challenges on the surface transportation system, the Department of Energy on challenges associated with renewable energy (e.g., wind and solar power), and the Centers for Disease Control to provide outlooks and data to support their mission of identifying public health threats and trends.

+Digital and Graphical Information Support Branch

Doug Young

The Digital and Graphical Information Support Branch provides national oversight of services-based requirements for NWS´s web presence, oversees product and information dissemination policy, and provides programmatic execution of the national service change process. Activities within these categories include coordination with NWS´s National Internet Dissemination System (NIDS) unit to ensure critical web-based requirements are developed and deployed; national coordination of new grids for inclusion in the NDFD and National Digital Guidance Database (NDGD); coordination with NWS´s Science and Technology Integration (STI) Portfolio to develop new products and services; oversight of associated grid collaboration thresholds to assure national consistency of grids; leadership of policy development with respect to dissemination of NWS warnings and forecasts via emerging communication modalities (including social media and personal electronic assistants); and advancement of GIS capabilities and requirements to promote the delivery of geospatial information to the public and NWS partners. The Branch also assures coordination with NWS Regions and NCEP to ensure Service Change Notices and Public Information Statements across all NWS service areas are centrally coordinated and disseminated.

Forecast Services Division

Mary Mullusky

The Forecast Services Division´s (FSD) primary responsibility is the development of requirements, policy, and procedures for all NWS forecast and warning services. The Division provides oversight to the 11 National Service Programs on the sustainment of current services as well as the requirements and programmatic expertise that aids in the design and implementation of improved services. The Division ensures integration among the service programs for the application of ongoing scientific and technical advancements to enhance weather prediction throughout the country. The Division is responsible for recognizing and overseeing weather-climate-water linkages and integrating into improvement activities as well as providing subject matter expertise to support extended services not directly linked to the national service programs (e.g., surface transportation, renewable energy, etc.).

+Severe, Fire, Public, and Winter Weather Services Branch

Stephen Bieda

The Severe and Fire Weather Services provides programmatic leadership for forecast, warning, and weather-support response services to the nation for convective hazards, and wildland fires in support of NWS land management partners. The Severe and Fire Weather Services contains the national program leads for the severe weather and fire weather service programs. Severe weather responsibility includes oversight of convective warning products issued by WFOs (e.g., Severe Thunderstorm and Tornado warnings), as well as national convective outlooks, watches and other informational products issued by NCEP´s Storm Prediction Center (SPC). Fire weather services include the provision of routine fire weather forecasts and Red Flag Warnings issued by WFOs, spot forecasts issued from WFOs to Federal and State and local land management partners upon request, on-site Incident Meteorologist services (also issued upon request) to these same partners during wildfires, and national fire weather guidance products issued by SPC. The Severe and Fire Weather Services also leads and/or participates on service-oriented IWTs to prioritize severe and fire weather-related service development, to approve new or improved product designs, to ensure the collection of severe and fire weather observations, and to ensure the delivery of severe and fire weather products to users. The Services establish partnerships internally and externally to collect and validate fire and severe weather mission needs, solicits feedback on its products and services, and evaluates whether these meet their needs.

The Public and Winter Weather Services contains the programmatic leadership for the nation´s public and winter weather services. The Public and Winter Weather Services develops and oversees national policy for public and winter weather services. Public products and services include the issuance of general weather forecasts (out to 7 days), and the many advisory, watch, and warning products issued by WFOs. They also include WFO zone, state, short range (Nowcast), and recreational weather forecast products (including inland lakes and waterways). The programs also include products with regional and national scope from NCEP´s Weather Prediction Center (WPC). These products include forecast graphics and grids showing the movement of weather systems and fronts, the development of storms and locations of heavy precipitation. In particular, WPC provides guidance on the development and track of winter storms. The service programs include products and services provided to the general public; and to those responsible for local and county public safety; and to the lead Federal agencies for handling nuclear hazard events. The Public and Winter Weather Services coordinates with the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) to lead the advancement of public weather services by and for other countries within the international community. The Public and Winter Weather Services also works with Federal transportation agencies on weather issues related to surface transportation; with Federal and private entities to support the Health (extreme heat or cold), and Ultra-Violet Index program. These service programs work with the Office of the Chief Learning Officer to ensure public and winter forecast training needs are identified and met. The service programs lead and/or participate on service-oriented Integrated Working Teams to prioritize public and winter weather-related service development, to approve new or improved product designs, and to ensure the delivery of public, winter and environmental hazard event products to users. The Public and Winter Weather Services establishes partnerships internally and externally to collect and validate public weather, winter weather and environmental hazard event service and mission needs, solicits feedback on its products and services, and evaluates whether these meet the needs.

+Climate Services Branch

Marina Timofeyeva

The Climate Services Branch is the lead programmatic unit overseeing NWS climate program, and 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, provide expertise on the mitigation of climate-related disasters, and establish operational requirements for climate observations. The Branch 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 Branch 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 Branch 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 Nino and La Nina event forecasts, seasonal outlooks, and coordination of climate impact forecasts associated with weather and water outlooks produced at NCEP. The Branch monitors the effectiveness of its program services and coordinates interregional activities to assure proper technical content and consistency. The Branch´s diverse user community ranges from utility and commodities companies to insurance and engineering firms and other weather-sensitive industries. The Branch provides NWS representation on climate issues, coordinates with the U.S. Global Change Research Program and other Federal agencies, participates on the National Climate Extremes Committee, and provides U.S. representation and/or policy positions in international organizations such as WMO and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The Branch is the focal point for collaboration with other components of NOAA, such as the Climate Program Office in NOAA´s OAR, the Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Interior, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture on the provision of climate services.

+Aviation and Space Weather Services Branch

Bruce Entwistle

The Aviation and Space Weather Services Branch is the programmatic lead for the aviation and space weather services programs. Branch 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, Terminal Aerodrome Forecasts (TAF), en route forecasts and warnings (e.g., SIGMETS and AIRMETS), aviation area forecasts, In-flight Advisories, volcanic ash advisories and the operations and products of the Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC), and the Center Weather Service Units (CWSU) which is embedded in each of the 21 Air Route Traffic Control Centers. 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 OCLO to identify and ensure aviation forecast training needs are met. It leads or participates on service-oriented Integrated Work Teams 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, NCEP´s Aviation Weather Center, and the Alaska Aviation Weather Unit. It develops, coordinates, and issues the policy and procedure documents for NWS aviation and space weather operations. The Branch establishes partnerships internally and externally to collect and validate aviation and space weather service and mission needs, solicit feedback on its products and services, and evaluate whether they meet the needs. In collaboration with the Space Weather Prediction Center, the branch program also includes space weather products and services provided to domestic and international customers, including government agencies, academia, commercial providers, and private industry, including electric power, satellite, aviation, and navigation. The Branch serves as a focal point for collaboration on space weather plans, products, services, and outreach with NESDIS, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), Department of Defense (DOD), National Science Foundation (NSF), U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), Department of Transportation (DOT), Department of State (DOS), Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Department of Energy (DOE), and the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.

+Water Resources Services Branch

Mark Glaudemans

The Water Resources Services Branch oversees the NWS hydrologic warning and forecast program providing overall management for hydrologic services to the nation. The Branch establishes operating policy and procedures and coordinates the design, validation, and implementation of new science and technology and new products and services. It establishes and maintains customer partnerships and establishes the strategic vision for hydrologic services through the new National Water Center, NCEP´s WPC, and River Forecast Centers, and Weather Forecast Offices. It is responsible for identifying and validating service needs and establishing operational requirements for hydrologic observations, and forecasting, and warning applications. The Branch represents the NWS on interagency and national forums on matters concerning hydrology and water management. It coordinates requirements for hydrologic training within the overall NWS training program. The Branch works with other groups to support hydrologic customer awareness and education.

+Marine, Tropical, and Tsunami Services Branch

Gregory Schoor

The Marine, Tropical and Tsunami Services Branch is the programmatic lead for national programs overseeing marine weather services, the NWS tropical weather program and the tsunami program. Through the Marine weather program, WFOs, the Ocean Prediction Center and the National Hurricane Center issue marine forecasts, warnings, and advisories for the nation´s coastal waters, offshore and high seas forecasts for the open ocean, and the near-shore and open waters of the Great Lakes. Marine services also include the issuance of coastal flood products, severe storm warnings over coastal waters, and warnings of coastal hazards (i.e., heavy surf advisories and warnings for the occurrence of rip currents). The Branch includes the programmatic leadership for the nation´s tropical weather program, which includes operations at the National Hurricane Center and the Central Pacific Hurricane Center. These centers are responsible for issuing watches, warnings and other supporting products linked to the evolution, track and impacts of tropical storms and hurricanes in the Atlantic, Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico and central and eastern Pacific Oceans. The Branch also provides program support for the tsunami program which includes the operation of two Tsunami Warning Centers and an effective education and outreach program called TsunamiReady. The Branch is the primary focal point for collaboration with the OCLO to identify and ensure marine, tropical and tsunami program training needs are met. The Branch establishes internal and external partnerships to collect and validate program needs, solicit feedback on services, and validate whether the products meet their 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 WMO on the provision of marine and coastal weather services to the international community.