National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce
Our Office

 

The National Weather Service is a federal government agency which is a part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), which is a part of the Department of Commerce (DOC). The mission of the National Weather Service is to protect lives and property and to enhance the economy. We do this by providing weather forecasts and weather warnings and advisories to you, our customers. We keep a constant eye on the weather across the nation 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, every day of the year. A highly trained and dedicated staff of around 5,000 men and women accomplish the mission with the help of high-speed computer networks, weather satellites in outer space, and ground-based weather observation and radar systems.

 The National Weather Service Office in Pueblo provides forecasts, warnings, and other meteorological information to the general public, media, emergency management and law enforcement officials, the aviation community, and other customers. We are staffed around the clock with two meteorologists and around 17 hours a day by one hydrometeorological technician or meteorologist intern. Most of the time, though, there are many more skilled staff in the office, working as a team to carry out our mission of protecting lives and property by OBSERVING the weather, PREDICTING the weather, and most importantly INFORMING you of our findings. Of prime interest to most of our customers is the 7-day forecast, which allows the general public, businesses, farmers and ranchers, and commerce to plan activities which are weather sensitive.

 Serving as the nerve center for official government weather services across much of southern Colorado, the staff at the NWS in Pueblo ensures the delivery of timely information on critical weather. Our office issues forecasts and severe weather warnings, with the invaluable resource of the Doppler radar, for 21 counties in the Upper Arkansas River Valley (north to the Leadville area), south central, and southeast Colorado. The population of our County Warning and Forecast Area (CWFA) is nearly 900,000. The largest metropolitan area is Colorado Springs, with a population of over 500,000. Over 100,000 people live in the Pueblo area. Other larger communities in our CWFA include Alamosa, Canon City, Walsenburg, Trinidad, La Junta, and Lamar. Click here for a map of our County Warning and Forecast Area. Our area is as diverse, both topographically and weatherwise, as you can get. Annual precipitation normals range from around 6 inches in the high "desert" valleys, to over 60 inches in the southwest mountains. The headwaters of two major river basins are in our area on the Continental Divide, the Rio Grande and the Arkansas River. Elevation in our area of responsibility ranges from just under 3,400 feet near Holly near the Kansas border in Prowers county to the highest point in Colorado, Mount Elbert in the eastern Sawatch Range, at 14,440 feet MSL. Seven mountain ranges tower above the surrounding plains and valleys in our CWFA. It is truly a beautiful and very challenging 32,000 square mile area for which to forecast weather.

 Our staff consists of 22 in all: 13 meteorologists, 2 meteorlogist interns, 2 hydrometeorological technicians (HMTs), 1 ITO, 3 electronic technicians, and an administrative assistant. Forecasters make the decision to issue and then prepare critical watches, warnings, and advisories, and prepare public forecasts, aviation forecasts, river information, and broadcast on our NOAA Weather Radio stations. Meteorologist Interns and HMTs prepare critical watches, warnings, and advisories, monitor the ASOS weather observations, provide public service, broadcast on our NOAA Weather Radio stations, collect disseminate river and rainfall data, and prepare local climatological data.

 The Meteorologist-In-Charge (MIC), Jennifer Stark(email: jennifer.stark@noaa.gov), oversees all office staff and is responsible for all operations conducted in and out of the office. The MIC is assisted by the Warning Coordination Meteorologist (WCM), the Science and Operations Officer (SOO),  and the Electronic Systems Analyst (ESA) and an Admistrative Assistant. 

The WCM is the primary focal point for external relations and training. The SOO administers internal office training, research and operations.  The ESA and ITO oversee computer hardware/software operations and electronics issues. The senior meteorologists/forecasters on shift, serves as the shift supervisor for the journeyman forecasters, Meteorologist interns, HMTs, and other forecasters or managers who help out on the forecast shift when the workload becomes heavy.

 In addition to getting weather information from our Web site, our latest forecasts and warnings as well as climatological information are available on NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards. We broadcast on stations WXM-54, 162.475 MHz, Alamosa;  WXM-56, 162.475 MHz, Colorado Springs;  KJY-81m 162.500 MHz, Canon City;  WXM-52, 162.400 MHz, Pueblo;  WNG-579, 162.450 MHz, Walsenburg;  WWG-44, 162.425 MHz, Fowler;  WWG-23, 162.500 MHz, La Junta; WNG-664, 162.400 MHz, Springfield, and KWN-60, 162.525 MHz, Lamar.  Our forecasts and warnings are also made available to the media via AP, UPI and the NOAA Weather Wire, and to the public on the World Wide Web.

 

National Weather Service Pueblo, Colorado Office Information 

   

Office Location:

WFO Pueblo is located approximately six miles east northeast of downtown Pueblo in the Airport Industrial Park.   (38.280 LAT, -104.521 LON)

 

The "backyard" of WFO Pueblo with the Pikes Peak Region 40 miles north-northwest.

 

 

The Royal Gorge Bridge near Canon City, CO, approximately 1 hour west of Pueblo, CO.   

 

The Great Sand Dune National Park with the Sangre de Cristo Mountains in the background, located on the East edge
of the San Luis Valley

 

This picture was taken in the San Luis Valley, looking toward Blanca Peak (14,345 feet)

 

This image looks over Chaffee County and the Eastern Sawatch Range (The Collegiate Peaks) which consist of many 14,000+ foot
peaks.  This region is also known as the Upper Arkansas Valley.

 

Mt. Elbert (shown; 14,440 feet) is the highest peak in Colorado, as well as the highest peak in the Rocky Mountains that are in
the contiguous United States.

 

America's Mountain, Pikes Peak (14,114 feet), shown in the background of the Garden of the Gods, a
geologically complex structure located in our most populous city (Colorado Springs; Population: ~445,000)
and county (El Paso County; Population:~663,000).

 

Office Activity:

The National Weather Service Office in Pueblo (PUB) is a full-scale Weather Forecast Office (WFO) with a County Warning and Forecast Area consisting of 21 counties. We forecast from 3300 feet MSL to 14,440 feet MSL, which includes seven mountain ranges.  Even in benign weather situations, forecasting is a challenge. 

We compose aviation forecasts for three sites: Alamosa, Colorado Springs, and Pueblo.  

We have a comprehensive hydrology program, with two major drainage basins (Arkansas River and Rio Grande), dozens of high risk dams, and several river forecast points.  We have never had a Service Hydrologist. 

We have a large, active Fire Weather Program, composing graphical forecasts year around, and filling between 300 and 400 spot forecast requests annually.  We have two IMETs, who spend weeks a year outside the office, providing weather support for wildland fires across the country.

We have 10 full time forecasters (5 Senior Forecasters and 5 General Forecasters).

The surface observation program is limited to the supplemental climatological observations (SCD/ SDO). ASOS observations are augmented by the Pueblo Tower.

There is no upper air program at WFO Pueblo.

The office offers seven separate programs on NOAA All Hazards Weather radio transmitters:  Alamosa, Canon City, Walsenburg, Pueblo/Fowler, Colorado Springs, La Junta, and Lamar/Springfield.

We have one WSR-88-D Doppler radar, covering most of southcentral and southeastern Colorado.

We have an active outreach program with ongoing training and support for spotters, the media, emergency managers, and the general public. Our aviation outreach program is important due to the complex terrain (seven mountain ranges) and resultant weather of southern Colorado. DOS Aviation, a training facility for screening pilots, is based at the Pueblo Memorial Airport, and is just down the road from the office.

Our Cooperative Observation Program is also large with around 80 sites in operation.

  

Description: 

The city of Pueblo is located at the junction of I-25 and US-50 in the heart of southeast Colorado.  The city of Pueblo has a population over 100,000 and Pueblo County has nearly 150,000 residents.  The immediate area has shown steady growth in recent years, with the business and service industry providing a wealth of shopping and dining opportunities.  

The Pueblo area has a natural beauty within the high plains desert region.  Recreational opportunities and very good transportation access make Pueblo the hub for commerce and recreation in southeast Colorado.  The Pueblo Reservoir is located just west of Pueblo and south of the rapidly growing community of Pueblo West.  The reservoir is a popular attraction for people from southeast Colorado north to the Denver metro area.  Picturesque mountains views exist to the north and west of Pueblo, with the Wet Mountains some 40 miles in distance. 

The Pikes Peak Region (Colorado Springs area, pop. 663,000) is less than an hour’s drive to the north, where recreational and tourist attractions  abound as well. 

Click  this link  and  this link  and  the Pueblo Chamber of Commerce  for details about life in Pueblo County. 

Accommodations: 

There are a number of excellent hotel and motel accommodations in the Pueblo area.  During late August through Labor Day weekend, accommodations fill as the Colorado State Fair attracts tens of thousands of people from Colorado and surrounding states.  Go to this link  and this link  for a sampling of accommodations in the Pueblo and Pueblo West areas.

Local Transportation:

There is municipal transportation available (but not to the NWS office), and cabs operate in the Pueblo area.  The Pueblo Memorial Airport is a regional hub.  Flights from Pueblo typically take you to national hubs, Colorado Springs (50 miles north) or Denver (110 miles north).   The major north-south interstate route across the Rockies and western Great Plains (I-25) runs through Pueblo, providing easy access to New Mexico, the Colorado Springs and Denver metro areas (including the I-70 east-west corridor), and Wyoming.

Restaurant and Dining Facilities:

Dining opportunities are numerous in the Pueblo area.  Cuisine varies from fine dining to fast food, with Mexican cuisine abounding.  Colorado Springs, less than an hour to the north offers more opportunities for different local dining experiences.

Taxes:

There is a state income tax of 4.63 percent, and city and county sales taxes. Compared with the rest of the country, property tax in Pueblo County and Colorado is low.  For more information on Pueblo County, click the links in the description section above.

Education:

The Primary and Secondary schools in Pueblo County are good.  There are two school districts, one covering most of Pueblo County, and the other generally within the city of Pueblo.  Click  this link  or  this link  or  this link  for more information on public education in Pueblo County.  Pueblo Community College and Colorado State University – Pueblo are located in the city of Pueblo.

Economy:

The local economy in Pueblo County is slowly growing.  A number of industries are in the area, including food, manufacturing and green technology facilities.  Ranching and agriculture (near the Arkansas River) also are a part of the local economy.   Pueblo County peppers are some of the best in the nation.

Climate:

To see climate information, click  this link  to the NWS Pueblo Web site.  In general, Pueblo has a high plains desert climate, with an average of 11 inches of liquid precipitation each year.  Pueblo County boasts an average of over 300 days with sunshine each year.  Normal daytime high temperatures in January dip into the middle 40s, and rise to the lower to middle 90s during the summer months.  The heat of summer is tempered by low humidity and temperatures that quickly drop off in the early evening hours.  WInters are fairly pleasant, with plenty of sunny, low humidity days, which makes it seem warmer than it is.  Pueblo, on average, receives around 30 inches of snow each year.

Recreation:

There are some excellent golf courses in the Pueblo area.  The Pueblo Reservoir is a major attraction for people around the region, offering boating, camping, and miles of walking, ATV, and biking trails.  Pueblo West is located just north of the reservoir.  Mountain opportunities lie just an hour or so away to the west, including the Wet Mountains and picturesque Wet Mountain Valley and Sangre De Cristo Mountain Range.    There are hundreds of miles of hiking, ATV, and biking trails in the mountain areas.  Vistas in the Rockies are magnificent.  Monarch Ski Resort (2 1/2 hours), Wolf Creek Ski Resort (3 hours) and Breckenridge Ski Resort (2 1/2 hours) are accessible for day trips.  Colorado is simply a beautiful state to live in and to explore.  For more information, feel free to call our office.

 

History of NWS Pueblo, Colorado


 
June 27, 1888 The first office, in the Thatcher and Gast building at 417 1/2 Santa Fe Avenue, was occupied for about one year. All weather instruments were 60 to 68 feet above street level.

July 1, 1889 The office moved into new facilities at 5th and Summit Streets, 600 feet north-northeast of the previous location. The thermometers were 23 feet above ground, the wind instruments 51 feet above ground, and the rain gage 13 feet above ground.

March 1, 1891 The office moved to the Swift Block at 6th and Main Streets, 800 feet west-southwest of the previous location. The thermometers were 74 feet above ground, the wind instruments 81 feet above ground, and the rain gage 65 feet above ground.

September 1, 1898 The office moved into the new Post Office building at 5th and Main Streets, 400 feet south of the previous location. The thermometers were 78 feet above ground, the wind instruments 86 feet above ground, and the rain gages 71 to 72 feet above ground.

February 1, 1932 An office opened at the Pueblo Municipal Airport, 3 1/2 miles southwest of the city office, which continued to operate. At the airport office, the thermometers were 5 feet above ground, the wind instruments 36 feet above ground, and the rain gage 5 feet above ground.

July 1, 1940 The city office closed, and operations were combined into one office at the Pueblo Municipal Airport.

June 1, 1954 The official weather observation site for Pueblo and the office moved to the Pueblo Memorial Airport (in Building T-134), 10 miles east-northeast of the previous location and 6 miles east of the old office at the downtown Post Office Building. The new airport was formerly an Army Air Base, used to train bomber pilots during WW II. The thermometers were about 5 feet above ground, the wind instruments 22 to 34 feet above ground, and the rain gages 3 to 5 feet above ground. On September 30, 1969 the office moved to the Terminal Building of Pueblo Memorial Airport, 350 feet north-northwest of the previous location.

October 1, 1992 ASOS is commissioned as the official observation platform for Pueblo in the midst of the airport runway complex.

September 20, 1994 With NWS modernization in full swing, NWSO Pueblo moved into its new building at the Pueblo Memorial Airport Industrial Park.

December 9, 1994 The Doppler Radar is installed approximately 18 miles northeast of the weather office in a remote part of northeast Pueblo county 5313 feet MSL. This site offers the best location for radar coverage of the southern Colorado area. On June 1, 1995, the NWSO Pueblo County Warning and Forecast area expanded to include 20 counties in southeast and south central Colorado. Responsibilities and services of the Weather Service Offices in Alamosa, Colorado Springs, and Denver continued to be transferred to NWSO Pueblo through 1999.

 


In Colorado Springs, weather records date back to 1873 when the Army Signal Corp. established offices in both Colorado Springs and on top of Pikes Peak. An ASOS system now records data at the Colorado Springs Municipal Airport. In Alamosa, weather records date back to 1891. An ASOS system now records data at Bergman Field, on the south side of Alamosa.