ASK TOM: Do the local National Weather Service offices do any weather research?

Dear Tom,

Do the local National Weather Service offices do any weather research?

- Jason Marrs

 

Dear Jason,

In the early 1990s, the weather service created the position of “science and operations officer” (SOO), one at each of its 118 weather forecast offices. Ken Labas, then science and operations officer at the Chicago office, offers these comments: “The practice of meteorology in the (weather service) is primarily structured for providing forecasts and weather warnings, but there is a continuing need for training in both the science and the use of new tools used to monitor and forecast the weather. … The (science and operations officer position) SOO is unique in that it allows an opportunity to work with the latest tools used in operational meteorology as well as do limited research on topics of local interest.”