National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

Midwest Heavy Rain and Severe Storms; Poor Air Quality and Elevated Fire Threats In the Northwest; Hurricane Lane Rolls Through Central Pacific

An area of low pressure is expected to lift up through the Midwest and intensify, while producing possible excessive rainfall and severe storms across the Mississippi Valley into the Ohio/Tennessee Valleys. Smoke from wildfires will continue to create poor air quality across parts of Western region. Hurricane Lane continues to move west through the Central Pacific, well east-southeast of Hawaii. Read More >

Helmut H. Portmann

Helmut H. Portmann
Director, National Data Buoy Center


Mr. Portmann is the Director of the NOAA National Weather Service’s National Data Buoy Center since 14 September 2009. He is responsible for directing the operation and maintenance of the U.S. Weather Buoy Network, Hurricane Buoy Network, Tsunami (DART) Network, and the TAO Network that measures El Nino and La Nina. He is a member of the Senior Executive Service.

Previously, Mr. Portmann was head of the Customer Advocate Office at Naval Surface Warfare Center Panama City Division, and the Navy’s Technical Lead for Expeditionary Warfare laboratory oversight and work assignment. From January 2006 to May 2007 Mr. Portmann was the Deputy Product Area Director for Littoral Warfare Systems. The Product Area office provided oversight and work assignment for over $800M of work performed for a broad range of sponsors across four NAVSEA warfare centers. One of Mr. Portmann’s major technical contributions completed during this tenure was leadership of a Navy-wide team that developed a strategy and plan for applying Unmanned Systems Common Control and Standards to all aspects of the Navy’s emergent Littoral Combat Ship Mission Packages. This effort culminated in a report detailing the Navy’s officially approved approach and architectural construct for achieving a common architecture and standards for Navy unmanned systems.

Mr. Portmann served as the Technical Manager of the Joint Unmanned Systems Common Control (JUSC2) Advanced Concept Technology Demonstration (ACTD) from 2003 to 2006, having conceived the JUSC2 concept and championing the adoption of joint interoperability standards and common architectures for unmanned systems within the Navy.

Upon starting his government career in 2000 at Panama City, Mr. Portmann was instrumental in the development of a vision for adaptive and scaleable modular force packaging constructs and standardized deployment schemes for unmanned systems – as co-author of a report titled Shaping the Future of Naval Warfare with Unmanned Systems (CSS/TR-01/09). This work also produced a number of US Patents including 6622063, 6655636, 6665582, 6704618, 6779475, and 6853875 related to modular innovative employment concepts for unmanned systems.

Prior to joining the government, Mr. Portmann had over 18 years experience in Navy RDT&E at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (JHU/APL), where his many assignments included management of the SSN Security Program and SSBN Survivability Program. Mr. Portmann's experience in private industry both before and after JHU/APL includes four years with Schlumberger Offshore Services, two years with SAIC, and two years with Applied Mathematics, Inc. Mr. Portmann holds a BSEE degree from the Georgia Institute of Technology and an MSEE from Johns Hopkins University. He is the recipient of the AUVSI (Association of Unmanned Vehicles International) Pioneer Award for 2004, and the NSWC Panama City Commanding Officer/Executive Director 2003 Guy C. Dilworth Award.

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