Longtime NWS Sioux Falls Meteorologist-in-Charge to Retire - Successor Named

Greg Harmon, Meteorologist in Charge of National Weather Service (NWS) Warning and Forecast Office (WFO) Sioux Falls, South Dakota will retire on December 31, 2010, after nearly 37 years with the NWS.

Mr. Harmon spent an early part of his NWS career in Sioux Falls in the mid 1970s, later to return on December 30, 1990 as the Meteorologist-in-Charge (MIC), a position he held for exactly 20 years. In addition to his responsibilities as WFO Sioux Falls MIC, Mr. Harmon was the South Dakota Area Manager throughout the 1990s presiding over the NWS Modernization and Associated Restructuring for South Dakota and the adjoining areas of southwest Minnesota, northwest Iowa and northeast Nebraska. It was during this time he managed the installation of the NWS Doppler Radar network across South Dakota and the construction and spin up of Warning and Forecast Offices at Rapid City, Aberdeen and Sioux Falls. This NWS field structure remains in place today.

Prior to Mr. Harmon’s late 1990 arrival in Sioux Falls, other NWS duty locations include Salt Lake City, Utah; Medford, Oregon; Wenatchee, Washington; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Sioux Falls, South Dakota the first time; Chicago, Illinois; and Eugene, Oregon.

Mr. Harmon was honored with a Department of Commerce (DOC) Silver Medal in 1988 for designing and implementing the Air Transportable Mobile Unit (ATMU), thereby modernizing and greatly enhancing the NWS Fire Weather Program. Under Mr. Harmon’s leadership, WFO Sioux Falls has been recognized with two DOC Silver Medals, three DOC Bronze Medals, and four NOAA Unit Citations, all for exemplary public forecast and life saving warning services.  The DOC Silver and Bronze Medals are the second and third highest honors given by the Department of Commerce. NOAA Unit Citations recognize groups of employees who, because of their collective efforts, have made substantial contributions to NOAA’s programs. The National Weather Service is an agency within the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), which is part of the Department of Commerce.

Mr. Harmon and his wife Michele will continue to call Sioux Falls home after retirement, although some travel is in the immediate offing.

NWS Central Region Director Lynn Maximuk has named Lisa Schmit as the new Meteorologist-in-Charge of WFO Sioux Falls. Ms. Schmit is currently in the Chanhassen-Minneapolis NWS office, with previous assignments in Des Moines and the Kansas City area.  Ms. Schmit has been active in NWS outreach activities and Decision Support Services, and has staffed Emergency Operation Centers during the Red River of the North flooding and the Republican National Convention in Minneapolis.

A Minnesota native, Ms. Schmit attended Iowa State University where she earned her BS Degree in Atmospheric Sciences. She later attended classes in the Environmental Science Graduate Program at the University of Kansas. While working full time she recently earned a Master’s degree in Management from the College of St. Scholastica in St. Paul, Minnesota. A report date to WFO Sioux Falls has not been finalized.

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