NOAA 2001-R201
Contact: Ron Trumbla


National Weather Service employees John Feldt, hydrologist in charge of the Southeast River Forecast Center in Peachtree, Ga.; and, John Michael Coyne, a forecaster and Web master at the Weather Forecast Office in Corpus Christi, Texas, have been selected as recipients of the 2000 National Isaac Cline Awards.

Each year local, regional and national Cline Award recipients are chosen in eight categories including: meteorology; hydrometeorology; engineering, electronics or facilities; hydrology; support services; program management and administration; upper air observation; and, leadership. Presented to individuals and teams, the awards identify and recognize employees for operational excellence in the delivery of products and services in support of the NWS mission.

The prestigious Isaac M. Cline Awards are named for the man whose courage and dedication is credited with saving thousands of lives during the Galveston, Texas, hurricane of 1900. Cline was in charge of the National Weather Service office in Galveston when the popular coastal city was struck with the deadliest natural disaster in the nation's history. The death toll exceeded 8,000, but could have been much higher if not for Cline's acute understanding of the weather and his early hurricane warnings.

"The memory of Isaac Cline has exemplified the devotion to duty and courage that is so much a part of the 130 year history of the National Weather Service," said Bill Proenza, director, NWS Southern Region. "It is fitting that we now honor our best employees with awards that bear his name."

National Isaac M. Cline Awards:

Selected for the national Leadership Award, John Feldt is recognized for instituting organizational changes allowing staffers at the Southeast RFC to maximize their potential. Under his leadership, the office has set the standard in providing products and services to NWS customers and partners. His approach and innovative concepts were successfully tested during Hurricane Floyd when the office provided a level of service never before attempted by an RFC.

The award for Program Management and Administrative Services recognizes John Michael Coyne's numerous programming contributions including development and maintenance of the SNUFFLE program. This innovative program enables forecasters to automatically format text weather products to a computer-generated voice for NOAA Weather Radio broadcasts. This significant accomplishment has saved the NWS thousands of hours of internal programing work. Coyne was also one of the first web masters to develop Advanced Weather Interactive Processing System (AWIPS) and
PC applications to provide public and marine forecasts for NWS web sites.

Regional Isaac M. Cline Awards:

Before winning national recognition, Coyne and Feldt were honored as Southern Region Cline Award recipients in their categories. NWS Southern Region individual and team award winners in the other categories include:

Steven Smart, hydrometeorological technician at the Weather Forecast Office in Corpus Christi, Texas. Smart was selected to receive the Support Services Award for managing a host of administrative functions and special projects in addition to his normal duties.

John Patton, former senior service hydrologist at the Austin/San Antonio WFO. Patton was selected (posthumously) as the recipient of the Hydrology Award. Among his many achievements is a comprehensive historical document detailing Texas floods from 1869 through October 1998. This document serves as a hydrological benchmark for floods in Texas.

The electronics staff at the Austin/San Antonio WFO was designated to receive the Engineering, Electronics or Facilities Award. This innovative team's technical proficiency and initiative consistently provided outstanding radar coverage during critical weather events.

The Shreveport WFO was honored with the Meteorology Award for the staff's performance during two major weather events in 2000. The WFO provided timely warnings and outstanding service during a January 26-27 winter storm affecting portions of Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas. The office also issued 30 timely,
life-saving warnings during a tornado outbreak in Shreveport County, April 23.

The Hydrometeorology Award was earmarked for the Southeast River Forecast Center in Peachtree City, GA. The center played a major life-saving role during Hurricane Floyd (September 1999) by recognizing and warning emergency managers, the media and public of the potential for catastrophic inland floods. The center's aggressive, innovative actions and early warnings achieved an unprecedented level of service for a an RFC.

Corpus Christi WFO was selected to receive the Upper Air Observation Award. The Corpus Christi team consistently set the standard for upper air observation during 1999 – even while working in a tropical locale, in the fourth windiest city in the United States and enduring a major hurricane landfall. The WFO's dedication to the program was amply demonstrated when Hurricane Bret blasted the south Texas coast with 100 mph winds in August. Despite the storm, the team managed to perform 12 successful upper air releases.