Weather Wednesday: NWS Guam working on ways to improve communication | News


If you recall my column a couple weeks ago, I wrote about my trip to Madison, Wisconsin, to meet with my fellow warning coordination meteorologists from across the agency, as well as National Weather Service personnel from regional and national headquarters, and other NWS offices from throughout the nation. A meeting long overdue, we made the most of this time together in full plenary sessions and multiple breakout sessions to discuss all things regarding our external partnerships across the counties, cities, states and territories in which we serve.

This meeting was particularly useful for me, allowing me to meet, face-to-face, folks I’ve been working with virtually for years; to better network with colleagues from across the nation; and to share ideas and best practices from region to region.

The OCONUS (outside of the continental US) participants had strong representation from Guam, American Samoa, Hawaii, Alaska, Puerto Rico, and the Tsunami Warning Centers.

Key topics during the week centered on service equity: Reaching all people within our area of ​​responsibility, and IDSS: Impact-Based Decision Support Services. Guam, and the larger Pacific Region, stands as a beacon of light to the rest of the agency in regards to the diversity, complexity and challenges of meeting our mission to protect life and property. This is a reason I take great pride in the work that I do at NWS Guam, and the work that my office does 24/7 for the region in which we serve.

How do we meet our mission? How do we best serve the public? How do we communicate weather forecasts, threats and hazards to the public? Where do people on Guam get their weather information? How about the people on Kosrae?

In my discussions, I was able to share ideas and methods with my counterparts in Alaska, whose many tribal villages are spread across a large, isolated area, reachable only by plane or boat. I also spoke with my counterparts in Puerto Rico and American Samoa to hear of methods they use to communicate within their territories.

At this moment, we have three summer interns in our office working on a variety of projects. One project focuses on our Local Statement (a text bulletin issued for islands under a tropical storm or typhoon watch or warning). The Local Statement provides detailed storm and impacts information for each of those individual islands.

Current work is focusing on all communication methods available at each of our island ‘warning points’ across the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Palau and the Marianas. Knowing the communications capabilities of each location will be of great use to better reach and communicate with each island.

This work will be forever ongoing as society, and the ways it communicates, changes. As always, I want to hear from you. What works for you in our weather forecasts and communications? What does not work so well? How can our services and communications be improved? Please send me an email as I look forward to hearing from you.

Landon Aydlett is the warning coordination metorologist for the National Weather Service Guam. You can reach him at marcus.aydlett@noaa.gov.

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