Status Update of National Weather Service Offices

Found the following information from an administrative message from the NWS Southern Region Headquarters.

http://mesonet.agron.iastate.edu/wx/afos/ and enter "ADASRH" as the product type.


* NWS New Orleans (Slidell): All phone communications down; HAM radio comms have been established. All staff accounted for. Regional HQ sending a "relief convoy". Can receive information over the AWIPS computer system (comes in via satellite), but cannot transmit. Mobile AL NWS is conducting warning and forecast operations for Slidell.

* Lake Charles LA: Phone communications down (MCI comms). Can receive information on AWIPS but not transmit. Houston NWS office is providing warning and forecast operations for Lake Charles; some of the Lake Charles staff sent to Houston to help out.

* Jackson MS: MCI phone comms down, same as Lake Charles (can receive products but not transmit). Can receive incoming calls but not make outgoing calls. Huntsville AL NWS office providing warning and forecast operations for Jackson; staff from Jackson will be sent to Huntsville to help out (should arrive late evening).

Shreveport LA: Operational, using backup communications. No Internet access.

Mobile AL: Operational, backing up New Orleans. Routine operations transferred to Tallahassee, so they can concentrate on New Orleans and their own hurricane operations.

Tallahassee FL: Operational, backing up routine Mobile operations.

Memphis TN: Serving as a temporary site for the Lower Mississippi River Forecast Center (normally located at Slidell); some RFC staff on site for assistance.


Chris G.
 
Thanks for that...was curious how the offices down there were doing. Any word whether the Slidell 88D is still standing?
 
Update:

An earlier question was posted on the status of the Slidell radar. The latest message from Southern Region HQ states that it was "down", but I believe they are referring to the overall operation and not that the radar was physically destroyed. A team from the Radar Operations Center in Norman OK is headed to the site to work on it.

Additional communications with the Slidell NWS office have been added in the form of a satellite phone. One staff member may be in a shelter and has not been heard from yet. Other staff are all accounted for. Several had complete destruction of their homes, others minor or moderate damage.

No other changes to communications status at other offices.

Chris G.
 
I can't for sure, but I believe the 88D in Slidell is actually physically destroyed. A TDWR in Miami that was equipped with the same type of radome was fairly well beat up last Friday during Katrina's landfall there (dome looked a crushed ping pong ball), though it was not completely destroyed. As I understand it, the Slidell radar uses the same type of radome and it is highly unlikely that it survived Katrina's Gulf coast landfall.

Gabe
 
I can't for sure, but I believe the 88D in Slidell is actually physically destroyed.

All I can go by at the moment is the exact wording in the Southern Region HQ administrative message:

RADAR IS DOWN AND ROC TEAM IS ON THE WAY TO THE OFFICE TO WORK ON IT.

I've seen a few messages from Southern Region, and from the NWS director in E-mail, and none have said the radar was destroyed. If the area was under water, it could be a lot of the computers and other mechanics at ground level suffered serious damage.

Meanwhile, the latest from Southern Region:

* MCI estimates that communications may be down for up to another week. NWS offices being affected are Slidell, Lake Charles, Jackson MS, Shreveport (although SHV is using backup comms right now). Regional HQ looking into alternatives as well.

* Slidell staff now has 2 satellite phones, and 4 more are on the way. Two relief convoys are headed there from the regional HQ. Contents include generators, 4 NWR antennas, an ice machine, weather equipment normally used for wildfire deployment, and other supplies.

* No contact has been made with some of the staff of the NWS's National Data Buoy Center, which I believe is located at Stennis Space Center in MS.

* The following radar sites should now be available on the web: KDGX, KPOE, KEVX, KGWX. Comms were re-routed. Efforts still ongoing to restore KLCH dissemination.

* Tallahassee still backing up Mobile, who is backing up Slidell. Two forecasters from Birmingham headed to Mobile to augment staffing, which would allow Mobile to do their own forecasts as well as Slidell's.

* Memphis still the "temporary" home of the Lower Mississippi River Forecast Center, with some RFC staff there. Other RFC staff will head to the West Gulf River Forecast Center in Fort Worth on Thursday and take over RFC operations at that site.

Chris G.
 
I can assure you the Del Rio radar went down in well below 150mph winds. besides... all it takes is airborne debris to trash the radome/antenna. One dent in the dish and you're toast.

Aaron
 
Chris, where are you getting this information from? Is it on an issued product by a certain office?

It is from an "Alert Administrative Message" issued by the NWS Southern Region Headquarters:

http://mesonet.agron.iastate.edu/wx/afos/ and enter ADASRH as the message type. Probably available elsewhere if you know where to look.

I also work for the NWS, and have gotten a few E-mail messages from national headquarters (transmitted to all NWS staff), with periodic updates on the situation.

Chris G., NWS Lincoln, IL
 
It doesn't really matter if it's still standing... my point is, none of us know the status of the radar.

It may be operational and down due to communications or physically damaged. The fact that ROC went out makes me think there are some damage issues.



Aaron
 
Here is the situation on the Slidell radar. I got this information from a status report to Washington by Southern Region HQ.

The radar outage is caused by a failure of the "bull gear". Our electronics technician here says that is in the area where the antenna pedestal connects to the antenna dish itself. His speculation was that perhaps it was damaged by the tower swaying in the wind. He's only heard of about 5 or 6 similar failures of this part of the equipment, and the Radar Operations Center personnel are usually involved in its repair. It's a major job to repair it, as it weighs several hundred pounds, and involves taking the dish off the pedestal.

Chris G.
 
Further update on Slidell radar (from NWS Southern Region HQ 4pm administrative message):

RADAR OPERATIONS CENTER PERSONNEL HAVE INSPECTED LIX RADAR, AND HAVE CONCLUDED IT IS IN GOOD WORKING ORDER. PLANS ARE UNDERWAY TO RE-ESTABLISH LIX RADAR FLOW WITH OUTSIDE WORLD VIA A MOBILE SATELLITE CONNECTION PROVIDED BY MCI. THIS CONNECTION COULD BE ESTABLISHED AT LIX AS EARLY AS LATE TOMORROW.

Chris G.
 
Slidell Radar

Problem is with oil leak in the pedestal. Radar is still standing.
 
Did everyone remember to save that last scan of Katrina from LIX? Like Andrew's, another classic perhaps... ?

LastKLIX.gif
 
The latest update on the Slidell radar is while there might be some damage to the bull gear, the radar is functional and is now operating. If the bull gear damage is severe enough it might fail eventually, but getting the radar up and running at least temporarily is the most important priority in support of rescue operations. They are now trying to set up temporary satellite comms to get the data out to the rest of the field.
 
Man, does this tell a story, or what?

Slidell Airport

Not a Current Observation


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