The storm deepened
dramatically between December 12 and December 13, with a minimum
central pressure of 924 millibars early December 13, tying the record
for lowest wintertime pressure in the north Pacific Ocean since
records began in the winter of 1969-1970. The previous strongest
storm in this region occurred in 2014. OPC forecasts and social
media information were shared in lengthy social media articles by
media partners including The Washington Post and The Weather Channel.
Damage was reported in Adak, AK as a result of the storm. OPC
coordinated with Alaska Region on the forecasts for the storm system
ensuring a collaborated response, and advanced forecasts allowed
ships to avoid the very dangerous conditions.
on December 30, another very strong winter storm system affected the
north Atlantic, including Iceland, with a minimum central pressure of
925 millibars. This storm will be in the top ten on the all-time
list of minimum central pressures for the north Atlantic. OPC
forecasters again accurately forecast the strength and progress of
the storm as it moved over the north Atlantic and the United Kingdom.
OPC advanced forecast information was highlighted on the United
Kingdom version of the digital media website Mashable. The storm
would unfortunately result in the death of an energy-industry worker
when a giant wave swamped an oil rig in the North Sea.
all of the active weather, quality OPC social media information
reached over 135,000 people from December to early January.
Washington Post and Mashable.com
View of the Bering Sea storm December 12 at 2140UTC from the Himawari satellite
OPC’s Bob Daniels Received NOS Rafting Award
OPC’s Bob Daniels received a group NOS Rafting Award, along with NOS Coast
Survey Development Lab’s Lyon Lanerolle, for outstanding day-to-day
collaborative efforts involving cross-cutting programmatic tasks that
contributed to the accomplishments of the NOS mission.
Daniels and Lanerolle are members of the Pathogens Team, within the NOAA
Ecological Forecasting Roadmap, that has developed forecast systems
and tools to help predict the occurrence and growth of dangerous
Vibrio species in U.S. coastal waters. These forecasts and tools are
aimed to serve boaters and swimmers who may encounter Vibrio
vulnificus; and shellfish managers, harvesters, and consumers who
deal with Vibrio parahaemolyticus accumulating mainly in oysters.
Daily forecasts have been demonstrated and are available from the web
for several U.S. coastal regions. The forecast systems run on a
daily basis being fed by regional NOS model data generated by
NWS/NCEP supercomputers, and are maintained and currently hosted by
the OPC. Bob and Lyon performed a skill assessment using 2011 data
for the Chesapeake Bay Vibrio vulnificus forecasts. The forecasts
performed well against observations and the team is aiming to go
operational with the system next summer.
Bob Daniels (second from left) receives the NOS Rafting Award
OPC Staffing Changes
(Tom) Cuff became Director of OPC on November 30. Prior to joining
the National Weather Service, Tom had been the Technical Director for
the Naval Oceanographic Office since 2009. As that command’s
senior civilian, he oversaw oceanographic support to naval and
defense forces worldwide. With a strong background in oceanography,
he managed the transition of research and development activities into
operations to ensure products were scientifically sound and met the
Navy’s requirements. Tom holds a M.S. in Meteorology from the
University of Maryland and is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy,
where he received a B.S. in Oceanography. He served in the Navy on
active duty from 1984-1992.
greatly appreciate Joe Sienkiewicz’s superb leadership during 2015.
Joe held three leadership positions for much of the year, serving as
acting director of OPC for eight months while also serving as acting
branch chief for the Ocean Forecast Branch and keeping up with his
permanent position as branch chief for Ocean Applications.
December 13, Darin Figurskey officially started his service as the
Ocean Forecast Branch Chief for OPC. Darin returned to OPC following
a two-month detail as branch chief last summer. Darin was previously
the Meteorologist-in-Charge of the NWS office in Raleigh, NC.
Prosise, Senior Marine Forecaster at the Ocean Prediction Center,
retired January 3 after over 39 years of government service. Scott,
originally from College Park, MD, joined the military in 1976 as an
aerographer’s mate in the Navy, gaining further education through
various Naval schools, along with classes at the University of
Maryland and San Jose State University. Scott’s degree is in
Information Systems from Columbia Union College in Takoma Park, MD.
a meteorologist, Scott spent nearly all of his professional years
with OPC. Before working at OPC, Scott was a Meteorological
Technician at the forecast office in Washington, D.C., and he also
worked in the Basic and Aviation Weather branches at the National
Meteorological Center (NMC), which became NCEP in 1995. Immediately
before coming to OPC, Scott worked for the National Ocean Service
(NOS) doing marine data quality control. The NOS unit closed and was
absorbed by what is now the OPC.
a long-time National Weather Service Employees Organization (NWSEO)
Steward at the OPC, Scott was a key team member in the process of the
NCEP move from the World Weather Building in Camp Springs to the NOAA
Center for Weather and Climate Prediction in College Park, MD. Scott
also helped to bring about many changes and improvements in services
for NWS customers and partners, particularly as the long-time
tropical focal point for the OPC. Scott’s teamwork,
professionalism, and contributions to public service will be
remembered fondly at the OPC.
Scott Prosise in action at the OPC Atlantic Regional Desk
Employees Selected for Leadership Program
December, two OPC employees were selected for participation in the
Eastern Region Leadership Development Program; Fran Achorn and Frank
Musonda. The objectives of this two-year program, open to NCEP
employees as well as those throughout the Easter Region, are to
prepare leaders to take on higher and broader roles and
responsibilities, provide opportunities to obtain experience
understanding regional and agency-wide issues, and to create a
culture of collaborative leaders who focus on achieving valuable
results in their own offices and beyond. This is the first year that
NCEP has partnered with the Eastern region in this program.
Congratulations to Fran and Frank!