Restructure and modernization of the National Weather Service began in the mid 1990s. Modernization was needed to make use of new technology such as the Dopplar radar and the AWIPS computer system. During construction, a portion of operations were moved into a temporary office in a single-wide trailer.
The observing function remained in the old building, while the warning function of the office moved to the trailer below the radar tower. Communication between the dual offices was conducted by telephone.


After installing the antenna for the WSR-88D radar at WSO Jackson, the tower for the old WSR-74S had to be removed. These pictures show the careful dismantling of the old radar. Unfortunately, no pictures could be found of the installation of the 88D itself.




In the picture below, the rare site of 2 radar domes. The smaller one was for the WSR-74S which was replaced by the much more powerful Doppler radar (WSR-88D). Shortly after the 88D became operational, the 74S antenna was dismantled. You can see the crane next to the dome in the process of taking the older radar tower down.

The new building was dedicated October 1st, 1996, with the ribbon cutting ceremony. The new office more than doubled the square footage of operational space, going from about 2,000 sq ft to 4900 sq ft. and increased the county warning area from 17 counties to 33 of east Kentucky.

As the Jackson Weather office looks today from the air with the operations building on the front right. The building behind the weather office is the airport hanger. The radar tower and the observing site of ASOS equipment is in the upper right and center.

The National Weather Service in Jackson has been watching the skies over eastern Kentucky since 1981. The organization consists of:

The Office Management and Administrative Team:

  • Meteorologist in Charge (MIC) - who oversees all office activities
  • Warning Coordination Meteorologist (WCM) - who is the primary public liaison providing educational resources to the public
  • Science Operation Officer (SOO) - who provides ongoing training to the staff and works with the latest technology and scientific research advances
  • Service Hydrologist (SH) - who is responsible for the river flood warning program
  • Data Acquisition Program Manager (DAPM) - who is responsible for the cooperative observer program, data acquisition from all sources, and quality control of data
  • Electronic Systems Analyst (ESA) - who is responsible for all the electronics in the office and ensuring that the hardware of all computer components work together.
  • Information Technologist (IT) - responsible for making all computer programs work on different operating platforms.
  • Administrative Support Assistant (ASA) - makes sure that all the administrative aspects of a government office is taken care of.

The Operations team:

  • Forecasters - prepare all public forecast and warning products, and issue aviation forecast products tailored for pilots using the London-Corbin Airport, Somerset and Jackson, and prepare fire weather forecast, which are specialize forecast designed to assist the forest service with managing the outbreak of forest fires. They also monitor incoming meteorological and hydrological data, including river and stream gage information. Forecasters work 24 hours a day on rotating shifts.
  • Hydrometeorological technicians (HMT) - gathers, transmits, and monitors all incoming data and performing data quality control. The HMT assists the forecaster as needed, handles telephone requests from public, and works closely with the cooperative observer program.
  • Electronic Technicians (El Techs) - provide the daily maintenance on all equipment.

 For more information about our office and our local community, please read our Station Digest.

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