NOAA 2004-R207
Contact: Ron Trumbla
NOAA News Releases 2004
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Two National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Weather Service (NWS) Southern Region forecasters have been selected to receive a national Isaac M. Cline Award. Honored in the meteorology category, Lead Forecasters Christopher Darden and William Schaub are being recognized for their outstanding work at the NWS Weather Forecast Office (WFO) in Huntsville, Ala., during a severe weather event in May of last year. NOAA is an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce.

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 National Weather Service mission.

Darden and Schaub demonstrated exceptional meteorological skill and professionalism during the operationally challenging north Alabama flash flood and tornado event of May 6, 2003. In the midst of this severe episode, which caused widespread flash flooding and several tornadoes – they maintained excellent situational awareness. They issued a series of Tornado Warnings, with an average warning lead time of 23 minutes, and Flash Flood Warnings with lead times up to 45 minutes. These early warnings were credited with saving numerous lives. The consistent quality and timeliness of the severe weather information disseminated during this difficult and dangerous weather event is a testament to their dedication, technical proficiency and leadership skills.

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 NWS 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 in an era when meteorology was in its infancy and ship-to-shore communications – were non-existent.

“The memory of Isaac Cline has exemplified the devotion of duty and courage that is so much a part of the 133 year history of the National Weather Service,” said Bill Proenza, director, NWS Southern Region. “It is fitting that we honor excellent employees like Darden and Schaub with awards that bear his name.”

Before winning national recognition, Darden and Schaub were honored as NWS Southern Region Cline Award recipients in their category.

The 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 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.

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