NOAA 2004-R201
Contact: Ron Trumbla
NOAA News Releases 2004
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The Council of the American Meteorological Society (AMS) announced today the election of Daniel Smith, chief of the Scientific Services Division, National Weather Service, Southern Region, as a Fellow of the Society. The announcement was made during the Society’s 84th Annual Review and Fellows Award ceremony at the Washington State Convention and Trade Center in Seattle, Wash. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Weather Service (NWS) is an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce.

“Only two-tenths of one percent of the membership are approved as a Fellow each year,” said AMS Executive Director Ronald D. McPherson. “Election to the grade of Fellow serves as a recognition of outstanding contributions to the atmospheric or related oceanic or hydrologic sciences, or their applications, during a substantial period of years.”

Smith launched what would turn into a career when he began working at the National Hurricane Center (NHC) in Miami while still a high school student. He continued that work at NHC during the summer as a U.S. Weather Bureau student trainee while he earned a bachelor of science degree in meteorology (1966) at Florida State University (FSU). A masters degree (1967) and additional post-graduate studies followed at FSU before he assumed a full-time Weather Bureau (soon to be renamed National Weather Service) position in 1970.

He moved to the NWS Southern Region Headquarters in Fort Worth, Texas where he served as Techniques Development Meteorologist (1970 -1976) for the Scientific Services Division (SSD). In this capacity, Smith pioneered the development of computer applications for routine operations in local weather forecast offices (WFO). He developed software to automate the process of generating text forecasts, and he also developed the Manually Digitized Radar (MDR) program. MDR was the first operational procedure for using digitized observations from the nation’s WSR-57 radars.

Smith served as an operational forecaster (1977-1978) at the WFO in Birmingham, Ala., before returning to southern region headquarters in 1979. A year later, he was promoted to his present position of chief of the Scientific Services Division. During his tenure as division chief, Smith has vigorously supported the professional development of meteorologists throughout the region. He has been instrumental in providing the critical training needed to help them become successful field forecasters.

Smith also actively promoted collaborative research between the NWS and the academic community. Under his leadership, the first NOAA/NWS cooperative institutes were created at Texas A & M University and FSU. The cooperative program quickly grew to include many beneficial interactions between National Weather Service Forecast Offices and universities throughout the nation.

The recipient of numerous NOAA and NWS awards and performance commendations, Smith is a member of a number of other professional societies, including the National Weather Association (NWA). He authored nearly two dozen professional papers published in Monthly Weather Review, Journal of Meteorology, Bulletin of the AMS, Weather and Forecasting and National Weather Digest.

He has served as the editor of National Weather Digest and the NWS Southern Topics monthly newsletter. In 1996, Smith organized and coordinated a 50th year commemoration and reunion for participants of The Thunderstorm Project. Launched in Florida in the summer of 1946, the project used, for the first time, a combination of aircraft penetration, balloon soundings and a dense network of surface instruments to gather observations which led to an understanding of the structure and life cycle of thunderstorms. The project also marked the first use of radar as a new tool for the study of storms.

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.

The Commerce Department's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 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.

The AMS, founded in 1919, is a scientific and professional organization that promotes the development and dissemination of information on atmospheric, oceanic, and hydrologic sciences. The Society publishes nine well-respected scientific journals, sponsors scientific conferences, and supports public education programs across the country. Additional information on the AMS, the Annual Meeting, and other award winners is available on the Web at:

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