NOAA 2006-R277
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Audrey Rubel
12/13/06
NOAA News Releases 2006
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ALASKA CELEBRATES 30 YEARS PROVIDING CRTITICAL WEATHER TELECASTS

December 13 marks the 30th anniversary of the nation's only federally funded weather telecast. Known as “Alaska Weather,” the program is broadcast live across the state every night at 5:30 p.m. from KAKM-TV, the PBS station in Anchorage.

“Alaska Weather” is KAKM's longest running and most popular television program. Part of its success is due to the large number of pilots and mariners in Alaska who depend upon specific aviation and marine weather forecasts. "Alaska Weather" is the only program that provides these particular forecasts and, in some areas of Alaska, is the only available source of weather information.

“Because many Alaskans live in villages, towns or the bush, weather is not just a topic of idle conversation, but an essential part of everyday life,” said Laura Furgione, director of NOAA’s National Weather Service Alaska region. “Alaska residents depend on aviation and marine forecasts for their livelihood and many people in the bush find themselves at the mercy of the weather on a daily basis. Their safety depends on current, accurate weather forecasts and ‘Alaska Weather’ advances the National Weather Service’s mission of protecting lives and property.”

"Alaska Weather" is the result of a partnership between public broadcasting and NOAA's National Weather Service. Jim Peronto, a meteorologist at the Anchorage weather forecast office, has been the program’s chief television meteorologist since 2000.

"I know how important the program is to Alaskans, so I take great pride in producing and broadcasting each program knowing that the weather information is critical to their daily lives," said Peronto. Several other meteorologists from the Alaska weather forecast office produce and present the 30-minute weather program.

Peronto recently earned the American Meteorological Society’s Certified Broadcast Meteorologist designation, a professional recognition of the quality of his weather broadcasts. Peronto is the second broadcast meteorologist in Alaska to earn the new designation. Among radio and television meteorologists, the CBM designation is sought as a mark of distinction and recognition.

With the coming of HDTV, plans are underway to upgrade the “Alaska Weather” program’s appearance and perhaps add more content. More details can be found online in the Anchorage weather forecast office’s newsletter.

In 2007, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, an agency of the U.S. Commerce Department, celebrates 200 years of science and service to the nation. From the establishment of the Survey of the Coast in 1807 by Thomas Jefferson to the formation of the Weather Bureau and the Bureau of Commercial Fisheries in the 1870s, much of America's scientific heritage is rooted in NOAA.

NOAA is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather and climate-related events and information service delivery for transportation, and by providing environmental stewardship of our nation's coastal and marine resources. Through the emerging Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS), NOAA is working with its federal partners, more than 60 countries and the European Commission to develop a global monitoring network that is as integrated as the planet it observes, predicts and protects.

On the Web:

NOAA: http://www.noaa.gov

NOAA’s National Weather Service in Anchorage: http://pafc.arh.noaa.gov

Anchorage Weather Forecast Office's Newsletter:
http://pafc.arh.noaa.gov/newsletter/Fall_2006b_files/page0003.htm

Anchorage Weather Forecast Office TV Weather: http://pafc.arh.noaa.gov/tvwx.php

KAKM Alaska Weather Program: http://www.kakm.org/weather

AMS Certified Broadcast Meteorologist Program: http://www.ametsoc.org/amscert