National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

Severe Weather and Excessive Rain in the Ohio and Tennessee Valley; Dangerous Heat in the South

Widespread strong to severe thunderstorms may produce large hail, damaging wind gusts, a few tornadoes, and flash flooding across parts of the lower Missouri Valley into the Ohio and Tennessee Valleys. Dangerous and potentially record-breaking heat continues across parts of Texas, the western Gulf Coast, southern Florida, and Puerto Rico. Read More >

Katie Garrett

The Office of the Chief of Staff (OCoS) provides support to the Assistant Administrator for Weather Services (AA) and Deputy Assistant Administrator (DAA) through the development, integration and implementation of policies, strategies, programs, and procedures. This includes advising the AA and DAA on all corporate decisions, both tactical and strategic, to support the efficient and effective execution of the agency’s mission. OCoS staff record and track all actions which require AA or DAA approval, and ensure actions assigned by the AA and DAA are comprehensive, well-coordinated, comply with policy, are completed on time, and meet high professional standards. OCoS manages calendars, travel logistics, meeting times and dates, meeting locations, and proper coordination within NWS, across NOAA, and with external partners, for the AA and DAA. OCoS staff also mentor and train the NOAA Program Coordination Officer, a critical part of the internal communication and coordination between NWS HQ and NOAA HQ. As needed, OCoS staff accompanies the AA and/or DAA, and/or represents the AA and/or DAA, at internal and external meetings. OCoS helps coordinate communication and negotiations with the National Weather Service Employees Organization (NWSEO). OCoS staff is responsible for providing direction and guidance to the Congressional Affairs Division and the Communications Division. This includes drafting, editing, and coordinating internal and external communications including any official NWS communication with NOAA, the Department, Congress, and the Executive Office of the President. OCoS staff is also responsible for providing oversight, direction and guidance to the Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity Management.

+Congressional Affairs Division

+Communications Division

Chris Vaccaro


The Communications Division provides comprehensive and proactive strategic and tactical communications, including the development and coordination of communication policies, strategies and activities. The Division advises senior management, develops NWS-wide strategic communication objectives and provides guidance and strategies on all communication issues including complex and politically sensitive aspects of the agency's programs, policies or positions to program offices, regional offices, national centers and WFOs to engage partners and stakeholders. The Division builds and fosters relationships with external constituency groups, including the Weather, Water and Climate Enterprise, other Federal agencies, and state, local, tribal and territorial offices/officials. The Division creates awareness and preparedness materials for field and headquarters personnel to support outreach and education efforts to better prepare emergency management officials, the public and other stakeholders to respond to weather and water events. The Division ensures all outreach and educational materials are consistent and thorough when communicating the programs, services and priorities of the agency to enhance the understanding of, and support for, the NWS mission. The Division determines a strategic approach, standards and guidelines, and ensures consistency in the development and dissemination of NWS digital content and social media messages and NWS web content, and provides guidance regarding the use of emerging communications technologies, and complies with Department of Commerce and NOAA policies. The Division collaborates with the Communication Offices across all NOAA lines and in coordination with NOAA Communications and NOAA Legislative Affairs. Internal Communications includes “executive affairs” responsibilities that assign, track, and archive NWS senior management correspondence and actions including quality control for content and consistency. The staff serves as NWS’ liaison for records management functions, including Memorandums of Agreements, Understanding, and Interagency Agreements.