NOAA 2002-R229
Contact: Marilu Trainor
NOAA News Releases 2002
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The U.S. Department of Commerce has awarded its Bronze Medal to the staff of the NOAA National Weather Service Phoenix Forecast Office for outstanding work for developing a partnership with the Salt River Project, a local utility company, to collect critical data to improve weather forecasts with wide-ranging economic benefits. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is an agency of the Commerce Department.

Michael Bruce, who serves as the Data Acquisition Program manager, represented the local office and was presented the award today be retired Navy Vice Adm. Conrad C. Lautenbacher, Ph.D., undersecretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator. The award ceremony was held at the University of Maryland in Adelphi, Md.

“The staff was commended for establishing and nurturing an partnership with the Salt River Project to collect upper air weather data over Phoenix to improve local weather forecasts and services. The data also has wide-ranging economic benefits to the local community,” said Vickie Nadolski, NOAA Weather Service Western Region director.

Nadolski noted the Bronze Medal is the highest honorary award given by NOAA. It is granted by the administrator for a significant contribution to NOAA or the department.

According to Phoenix’s NOAA Weather Service Meteorologist In Charge, Anton Haffer, “The results of the Phoenix partnership has national implications. By collecting upper air data above the nation’s major metropolitan areas, we could realize a potential significant economic benefit by reducing the annual cost of electricity for the country and, at the same time, the potential to improve NOAA’s weather forecasts for the nation’s major cities.

“Similarly, homeland security could be bolstered by having a better understanding of the winds above the major metropolitan areas to improve trajectory forecasts associated with the release of hazardous materials into the atmosphere from terrorist, or other sources. This effort clearly demonstrates how public and private sector service-oriented entities can work together to provide positive results for their customers,” said Haffer.

NOAA National Weather Service is the primary source of weather data, forecasts and warnings for the United States and its territories. The NOAA Weather Service operates the most advanced weather and flood warning and forecast system in the world, helping to protect lives and property and enhance the national economy.

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