Port Meteorological Officers Hold A Workshop

Paula Rychtar
Editorial Supervisor
Mariners Weather Log


This past August (26th-28th), the Port Meteorological Officers (PMO) attended and participated in a long overdue workshop / conference at the Stennis Space Center, Mississippi. Our keynote speaker for this conference was Laura Furgione, the Deputy Director of NOAA’s National Weather Service and John Murphy, the Director of the National Weather Service Office of Science and Technology. It was confirmed that the Voluntary Observing Ship Program (VOS) was ranked in the top 50% among all the NOAA observing systems. It was also noted that VOS observations (your shipboard marine weather observations) are essential to the numerical weather prediction models and dozens of NOAA’s National Weather Service marine products. The VOS program is important to NOAA’s National Weather Service; which equates to what we convey to our VOS Program participants all the time, you and your marine observations count!

We applaud your dedication to our VOS program, Thank you!

Over the course of this three day conference, many policies and expectations were discussed; all dedicated to the improvement and commitment to the VOS program, collecting high quality data, supportive measures for PMO’s, best practices, standardization in procedures with our international colleagues and supporting our Voluntary Observing Ship fleet.

In addition to all of our PMO’s presenting on some of their unique issues and showcasing their many activities some of the guests and participants included: Steve Pritchett – VOS Program Manager; Paula Rychtar - VOS Operations Manager; Sarah North, United Kingdom –VOS Ship Observations Manager; NDBC Branch Chief - Joe Swaykos; NDBC Deputy Director – Kathleen O’Neil; Eric Freeman- Marine Observation Analyst for the National Climatic Data Center; Christy Schultz – Meteorologist for the Ocean Prediction Center; Shawn Rickard- Marine Networks Specialist/PMOHamilton Ontario, Environment Canada; Terry Brisbin – Environmental and Safety Program Manager for Southern Region Headquarters; Commandant Jack Frost-USCG Search and Rescue Ops Manager / AMVER Program; Jennifer Lewis – Senior International Program Analyst for Headquarters; Dan Sobien- NWS Employees Organization, President; Wayne Weeks – Meteorologist for the National Weather Service Headquarters; Shaun Dolk and Francis Bringas representing Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory (AOML) Miami; Photography: Stuart Hayes, NTSC Commander Jeremy Adams –NOAA –Office of Marine and Aviation Operations (OMAO) Liaison to the USCG; LCDR Lindsay Kurelja-NOAAOMAO Crew Supervisor; Captain Scott Putty- Assistant Professor for Texas A&M Maritime Academy; Captain Rick Smith- Master of the training ship EMPIRE STATE, New York Maritime Academy.

Laura Furgione

Laura Furgione, Deputy Director of NOAA’s National Weather Service

John Murhpy

John Murphy, Director of the National Weather Service Office of Science and Technology

Joe Swaykos

Joe Swaykos, NDBC Mission Control Center Branch Chief and VOS Program Manager Steve Pritchett

Chris Fakes

Laura presenting Houston, Texas PMO Chris Fakes with an award in recognition of outstanding performance and dedication to VOS.

Matt Thompson

Laura presenting Seattle, Washington PMO Matt Thompson with an award in recognition of outstanding performance and dedication to VOS.

Lori Evans

Baltimore PMO Lori Evans and NOAA Corp Christine Shultz

weather ready nation

Laura addressing the PMO’s role in a “Weather Ready Nation”

Charleston Pmo

PMO Tim Kenefick, Charleston, South Carolina

Jacksonville Pmo

PMO Rob Niemeyer, Jacksonville, Florida

Duluth Pmo

PMO Ron Williams, Duluth, Minnesota

Norfolk Pmo

PMO Pete Gibino, Norfolk, Virginia

Multiple Pmos

from right to left, Miami PMO David Dellinger, Shaun Dolk AOML, Jacksonville PMO Rob Niemeyer, and Francis Bringas AOML

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