NOAA 2006-R224
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Jim Teet
3/17/06
NOAA News Releases 2006
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COMMERCE DEPARTMENT AWARDS BRONZE MEDAL
TO NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE FORECAST OFFICE IN GLASGOW

The U.S. Department of Commerce has awarded its prestigious Bronze Medal to the staff at the National Weather Service forecast office in Glasgow, Mont. The staff is being recognized for its outstanding forecast and warning services during the record-breaking winter of 2003-2004.

Many areas in northeast Montana shattered record seasonal snowfall totals as the region received numerous blizzards and heavy snowfall during an eight-week period. On at least three occasions, blizzards impacted the entire region, shutting down roads, trapping people in their vehicles and sending rescue crews on search and rescue operations. The massive snowpack over the region also caused concern as the spring flood season approached.

“Saving lives and property is the central function of each National Weather Service forecast office and this Bronze Medal demonstrates the hard work of the Glasgow forecast office to accomplish this goal,” said retired Air Force Brig. Gen. David L. Johnson, director of NOAA's National Weather Service.

Staff members worked through grueling ground-blizzard conditions to maintain transmitters for NOAA Weather Radio All-Hazards, and coordinated a massive snow-water equivalent survey conducted in partnership with the Army Corps of Engineers. They also worked closely with the National Operational Hydrologic Remote Sensing Center and the Missouri Basin River Forecast Center to collect snowfall and snow water equivalent information used during snowmelt to produce hydrologic outlooks, watches and warnings.

Frequent briefings via phone, e-mail and in person were conducted with the media, local officials, State of Montana Disaster and Emergency Services, State of Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation and then Governor Judy Martz. The staff’s actions were praised by county commissioners, state and local disaster and emergency services personnel, as well as the media.

A letter from the Valley County Commissioners stated, “Thank you for all the many hours you gave to the county and surrounding area. Your willingness to help only confirms what an asset you are to our community and we appreciate what you have done, and continue to do.”

Dan McGowan, state administrator of Disaster and Emergency Services, added, "Our partnership with the National Weather Service is invaluable. The information they communicate to the public is timely and life saving, and the information they share with our agency during and after a disaster is crucial to response and recovery operations."

The award will be presented to Julie Adolphson, meteorologist-in-charge of the Glasgow forecast office, during a special ceremony today in Washington, D.C. Secretary of Commerce Carlos M. Gutierrez will present the Bronze Medal. The award is presented to Commerce Department offices and employees who have made outstanding or significant contributions in support of the overall departmental goals that serve the nation.

The National Weather Service is an office of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, an agency of the U.S. Commerce Department. 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. Through the emerging Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS), NOAA is working with its federal partners and 60 countries to develop a global monitoring network that is as integrated as the planet it observes.

On the Web

NOAA: http://www.noaa.gov

NOAA’s National Weather Service: http://www.nws.noaa.gov

National Weather Service forecast office in Glasgow: http://www.nws.noaa.gov