Contact: James Scarlett
NOAA News Releases 2003
NOAA Home Page
NOAA Public Affairs


Mark Trail Award to Norman Parrent for Installing Weather Warning Transmitters

NOAA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, today presented a Mark Trail NOAA Weather Radio Award to Norman Parrent, of Miles City, Mont., for support of NOAA Weather & All Hazards Radio. Parrent is a representative of the Montana Division of Emergency Services District IV. NOAA is an agency of the Department of Commerce.

Parrent is the only recipient of the award from Montana, one of 19 nationwide. He was nominated by the NOAA National Weather Service forecast offices in Billings and Glasgow and received the award during a Capitol Hill ceremony in Washington, D.C. The program honors individuals and organizations that use or provide NOAA Weather Radio receivers and transmitters to save lives and protect property.

“NOAA is proud to honor Norman Parrent,” said retired Navy Vice Adm. Conrad C. Lautenbacher, Ph. D., under secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator. “His actions have enhanced the safety of citizens in Montana.”

Julie Adolphson, Meteorologist in Charge (MIC) in Glasgow, said that Parrent worked to get four new NOAA Weather Radio transmitters in the towns of Baker, Broadus, Circle and Jordan, by getting commitments from rural utility cooperatives and county commissioners in Fallon, Garfield, McCone and Powder River counties. He coordinated installation of the transmitters with the county Disaster and Emergency Services and two NOAA National Weather Service offices. He worked closely with the Mid Rivers Telephone Cooperative to provide weather radio transmitter tower locations.

"Because of the efforts of Norm Parrent, we have expanded our Weather Radio network in Montana. The NOAA National Weather Service is providing improved severe weather detection and forecasting capabilities, and is a proven formula for saving lives," said Vickie Nadolski, director of the NOAA National Weather Service’s Western Region.

Parrent said, “It was a team effort with all the counties, cooperatives and agencies involved. All the people involved in this project and NOAA are providing a very important safety system for the citizens of the great state of Montana.”

Billings Weather Office Meteorologist in Charge Keith Meier, said, “The U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Utility Service NWR Grant Program has provided a great opportunity for rural communities across America to obtain funding for weather radio transmitters in locations that have no stable means of transmitting emergency messages to the public.”

The Mark Trail awards are named for the nationally syndicated comic strip character, which serves as the campaign symbol for the NWR program. Since 1995, Jack Elrod, writer and illustrator of Mark Trail, and King Features Syndicate, have been strong advocates for the use of NWR. The strip's education message explains that anyone listening to the NWR has instant access to the same lifesaving weather reports and all-hazards emergency information provided to meteorologists and emergency personnel.

NOAA Weather Radio is a nationwide network of radio stations broadcasting continuous weather information nearby NOAA National Weather Service offices. NWR broadcasts NOAA National Weather Service warnings, watches, forecasts and other hazard information 24 hours a day. There are more than 800 NWR transmitters, covering all 50 states, adjacent coastal waters, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the U.S. Pacific Territories.

NOAA's National Weather Service is the primary source of weather data, forecasts and warnings for the United States and its territories. The National 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.

The Department of Commerce’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather and climate-related events and providing environmental stewardship of our nation’s coastal and marine resources.

On the Web:


NOAA Weather Radio:

NOAA National Weather Service: