Saturday, April 12, 2008

Where Do NWS Personnel Take Shelter?

The brave and diligent souls who man (or woman) the helm during severe weather in the Ozarks are not immune to taking shelter during severe weather. During the January 7th-8th outbreak, they were forced to take shelter as a storm moved over the National Weather Service office on the edge of the Springfield-Branson Regional Airport.

One wonders, "Where do NWS employees take shelter?". After all, they always remind the public to seek shelter in a basement. Do they have one? The answer is no. But what they do have, is a concrete and steel reinforced safe room in close proximity to the forecast center.

It's not like a safe room you or I would install in our home. Theirs is special. What makes it special? Not the addition of remote radar display equipment, or backup forecast tools. What makes it special is the refrigerator and dining area. Yes folks, their safe room is their break room! It makes you wonder, if forecasters are working hours on end through an event like January 7th-8th, do they hope for a tornadic supercell to go over the office so they can grab a coffee and a doughnut?

All joking aside, I hear it's not easy to get the NWS folks into shelter, they are a very dedicated bunch. When they do take shelter for a couple of minutes, warnings are coordinated through other pre-determined neighboring forecast offices.


Josh said...

Do they have a TV there?

JMo said...

I didn't see one... :)

But it's likely they have a ham operator or two in there with them.