The National Weather Service is a federal government agency which is a part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), which is a part of the Department of Commerce (DOC). The mission of the National Weather Service is to protect lives and property and to enhance the economy. We do this by providing weather forecasts and weather warnings and advisories to you, our customers. We keep a constant eye on the weather across the nation 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, every day of the year. A highly trained and dedicated staff of around 5,000 men and women accomplish the mission with the help of high-speed computer networks, weather satellites in outer space, and ground-based weather observation and radar systems.
The National Weather Service Office in Pueblo provides forecasts, warnings, and other meteorological information to the general public, media, emergency management and law enforcement officials, the aviation community, and other customers. We are staffed around the clock with two meteorologists and around 17 hours a day by one hydrometeorological technician or meteorologist intern. Most of the time, though, there are many more skilled staff in the office, working as a team to carry out our mission of protecting lives and property by OBSERVING the weather, PREDICTING the weather, and most importantly INFORMING you of our findings. Of prime interest to most of our customers is the 7-day forecast, which allows the general public, businesses, farmers and ranchers, and commerce to plan activities which are weather sensitive.
Serving as the nerve center for official government weather services across much of southern Colorado, the staff at the NWS in Pueblo ensures the delivery of timely information on critical weather. Our office issues forecasts and severe weather warnings, with the invaluable resource of the Doppler radar, for 21 counties in the Upper Arkansas River Valley (north to the Leadville area), south central, and southeast Colorado. The population of our County Warning and Forecast Area (CWFA) is nearly 900,000. The largest metropolitan area is Colorado Springs, with a population of over 500,000. Over 100,000 people live in the Pueblo area. Other larger communities in our CWFA include Alamosa, Canon City, Walsenburg, Trinidad, La Junta, and Lamar. Click here for a map of our County Warning and Forecast Area. Our area is as diverse, both topographically and weatherwise, as you can get. Annual precipitation normals range from around 6 inches in the high "desert" valleys, to over 60 inches in the southwest mountains. The headwaters of two major river basins are in our area on the Continental Divide, the Rio Grande and the Arkansas River. Elevation in our area of responsibility ranges from just under 3,400 feet near Holly near the Kansas border in Prowers county to the highest point in Colorado, Mount Elbert in the eastern Sawatch Range, at 14,440 feet MSL. Seven mountain ranges tower above the surrounding plains and valleys in our CWFA. It is truly a beautiful and very challenging 32,000 square mile area for which to forecast weather.
Our staff consists of 22 in all: 13 meteorologists, 2 meteorlogist interns, 2 hydrometeorological technicians (HMTs), 1 ITO, 3 electronic technicians, and an administrative assistant. Forecasters make the decision to issue and then prepare critical watches, warnings, and advisories, and prepare public forecasts, aviation forecasts, river information, and broadcast on our NOAA Weather Radio stations. Meteorologist Interns and HMTs prepare critical watches, warnings, and advisories, monitor the ASOS weather observations, provide public service, broadcast on our NOAA Weather Radio stations, collect disseminate river and rainfall data, and prepare local climatological data.
The Meteorologist-In-Charge (MIC), Jennifer Stark(email: firstname.lastname@example.org), oversees all office staff and is responsible for all operations conducted in and out of the office. The MIC is assisted by the Warning Coordination Meteorologist (WCM), the Science and Operations Officer (SOO), and the Electronic Systems Analyst (ESA) and an Admistrative Assistant.
The WCM is the primary focal point for external relations and training. The SOO administers internal office training, research and operations. The ESA and ITO oversee computer hardware/software operations and electronics issues. The senior meteorologists/forecasters on shift, serves as the shift supervisor for the journeyman forecasters, Meteorologist interns, HMTs, and other forecasters or managers who help out on the forecast shift when the workload becomes heavy.
In addition to getting weather information from our Web site, our latest forecasts and warnings as well as climatological information are available on NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards. We broadcast on stations WXM-54, 162.475 MHz, Alamosa; WXM-56, 162.475 MHz, Colorado Springs; KJY-81m 162.500 MHz, Canon City; WXM-52, 162.400 MHz, Pueblo; WNG-579, 162.450 MHz, Walsenburg; WWG-44, 162.425 MHz, Fowler; WWG-23, 162.500 MHz, La Junta; WNG-664, 162.400 MHz, Springfield, and KWN-60, 162.525 MHz, Lamar. Our forecasts and warnings are also made available to the media via AP, UPI and the NOAA Weather Wire, and to the public on the World Wide Web.