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NWS New York (Upton) NY
Open House
August 8 2011

NWS New York (Upton) NY located on the ground of the Brookhaven National Laboratories on Long Island

Antennas for both Ground Based (including several for amateur radio) and Satellite communications are at the ready

The view through the front parking lot shows the setup underway for the Open House and the KOKX Doppler Radar tower

Just a few of the over 1000 visitors making their way through the various demonstrations and information setups around the site

Tour Groups arrived via a shuttle bus from the visitor center at Buckner Hall every few minutes and were shown demonstrations of weather technology and community support from NWS partners such as the Red Cross, OEMs, CERT, amateur radio and SKYWARN

A representative from NWS's Eastern Region Office showing several of the many tools NWS uses to collect data from sensor sites located through out the country and also from the air via Weather Balloons

Gary Conte, NWS New York's Warning Coordination Meteorologist, seen greeting one of the many tour groups as they arrived on site

Several of NWS's partners, here its Suffolk County NY's CERT organization, were on hand to support the event and provide information on their organizations to the visitors 

As far as supporting the event, the NWS's own SKYWARN Program had a setup where local SKYWARN Spotters distributed Weather Safety and other information, as well as talked to many people, both amateur radio operators and not, about the SKYWARN program

Suffolk County OEM had their mobile command and communications vehicle on site and gave presentations to all the many tour groups on their abilities and capabilities

Inside the main work area of the Forecast Office. One of several staffed and operational workstations. Meteorologists gave almost continual presentations as the groups moved through, explaining what all the different workstations and overhead monitors were for. 

As the NWS is a 24/7/365 operation, even with the tours moving through every few minutes, other meteorologists were working to update forecasts in the workspace just as they would on a normal day

These consoles control the NOAA All Hazards Radio system and broadcasts. Converting the Text Forecasts into Digitally spoken words for broadcast from several local transmitters, 24/7/365

One of several large overhead mounted LCD screens. You can see the NJ and NY coastlines here, with several different overlays of meteorological information

An overhead monitor with an animated composite (combined from several different NWS Doppler Radar site images) Doppler Radar image of the Northeastern US

Another overhead monitor with an animated view of the greater NYC metro area as seen from Space and the GOES satellites. This view is of the visible image, at night, infrared sensors on the satellites allows a similar view even in darkness

A typical NWS workstation consists of several computer screens on which the meteorologist can view Doppler Radar, Satellite images, Weather Forecast models and more, to develop both short and long term weather forecasts. This is done in over 120 local forecast offices throughout the US, 24/7/365

Close up of a satellite image (left) and a graphical depiction of a Weather Model forecast (right)

More workstation monitors showing surface observations (METARS) on the left, another Weather Model Forecast grahic (center) and a listing of text products available to be called up as needed (right)

Several different Weather Model Forecast displayed together (left) with a plot of many local weather sensor locations and their data (center 2 screens) and additional supporting tools to be called up as needed on the right screen at this workstation

An overview of the Situational Awareness and Weather Warning workspace. Amateur Radio station WX2OKX is located just behind the red partition and operators at the radio have direct contact through the partition cutout (under the center overhead monitor) with the meteorologist in the Forecast office when needed

The VHF/UHF radios for WX2OKX. From left to right, 6m, 2m, 2m, 70cm and 2m Packet/APRS. Not shown but soon to be added to this setup is a Kenwood 480 for HF communications. Also soon to arrive is a computer workstation for the radio desk that will allow the operator communications on the NWS system with local SKYWARN Coordinators and staff meteorologists as well as direct access to updated weather bulletins  as they are issued

The radio tower located just to the rear of the Forecast Office

Over 100 feet tall with a full array of antennas mounted at the top

On the left are 2 6m vertical antennas for the Receive (top) and Transmit (lower) 6 meter amateur radio repeater planned for SKYWARN Coordinators to use for direct communications with the Forecast office during severe weather events

The crossarm with its full complement of amateur radio and NWS systems antennas. Amateur radio antennas are provided for 2m and 70cm voice communications as well as digital modes. From the forecast office, direct communications with SKYWARN Nets throughout the NWS Upton NY's County Warning Area is now possible, if and when needed

ARRL Hudson Division Director Joyce Birmingham - KA2ANF and ARRL Hudson Division Vice Director Bill Hudzik - W2UDT were on hand for the Open House

Bill and Joyce in front of the ground based Satellite communications antenna located beside the Forecast Office

Joyce and Bill took the opportunity to test several of the radios, including making successful contacts with SKYWARN Spotters in several locations more than 75 air miles from the Forecast office

Walter Wenzel - KA2RGI, Suffolk County NY SKYWARN Coordinator and ARRL Hudson Division Assistant Director for NWS Operations, joins Joyce at the WX2OKX radio desk

The NWS Doppler Radar tower as seen over the pine trees. NWS Upton is one of several NWS Forecast Offices with a co-located Doppler system. There are over 120 systems in use by the NWS across the US, some operated by the NWS and some by the military, but all accessible to the NWS

Close-up view of the top of the Doppler Tower (KOKX). KOKX is one of the tallest free standing Doppler Radar towers in the system

The Upper Air Inflation Building where twice daily weather balloon launches are prepared and released by NWS meteorologists. Twice a day, every day, all around the world, at the same time (0z and 12z) weather balloons with radiosondes are released to gather data on the atmosphere for input into the digital weather model programs

As the crowd watched, a Weather Balloon with an attached sensor was launched. Typically, these rise to 100,000 feet or so before rupture. The Sensor pack returns to earth via an attached parachute. With NWS Upton located so close to the ocean, and prevailing upper level winds out of the west, most all of their sensors are never recovered and come down in the Atlantic Ocean

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