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Eye On the National Weather Service

By Ed O'Keefe

Arguably, no other group of government employees has as much impact on your daily life as the forecasters, scientists and technicians of the National Weather Service.

Emergency medical and management personnel; city, county and state governments, and local media all make use of the Weather Service’s research and monitoring. Their forecasts help you decide what to wear to work and how to plan your weekend. They can also provide weather-related talking points for those awkward chitchats with coworkers or perfect strangers.

The suburban Washington office is located on a large field adjacent to Dulles International Airport and last September the 25 staffers moved across the field from their old offices into a new, energy efficient facility.

Today, The Eye launches a series of occasional video profiles of federal government employees with an insider's view of the Weather Service. "Eye On..." will focus attention on the people that have challenging, unique or just plain exciting federal jobs, and we hope each profile conveys the enthusiasm, passion and sense of mission demonstrated by the people we meet.

Our pilot episode, produced by Washington Post video journalist Akira Hakuta, profiles the National Weather Service Baltimore/Washington Forecast Office in Sterling, Va. Click the video player above and meet Meteorlogist-in-Charge Jim Lee, Warning Coordination Meteorologist Chris Strong, Science and Operations Officer Steve Zubrick and Hydro-Meteorological Technician Trina Heiser.

"Eye On..." will continue as an occasional Federal Eye feature. Who should we profile next? Leave your suggestions in the comments section below or e-mail them to

By Ed O'Keefe  | February 23, 2009; 10:43 AM ET
Categories:  Agencies and Departments, Eye On..., Video Report  
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Next: The Hand That Giveth to the Census, Also Taketh Away


It's unfortunate that these employees are at risk for losing their jobs if they dare say the truth, which is "Global warming is a scam!!"

Posted by: cschotta1 | February 23, 2009 4:50 PM | Report abuse

Another message, above, from the lunatic Right. Big conspiracies. Traitors everywhere. Commies. Socialists. Muslim spies. There ain't warming, instead, it's gonna get colder. All them pointy-headed scientists are extreme liberals. If they aren't, their bosses will fire them for revealing the right wing truth!!! Where do these cats come from?

Posted by: AncientTerp | February 23, 2009 5:13 PM | Report abuse

cschotta1, you have it exactly backwards: the Bush administration intimidated them into making statements confirming the validity of global warming science. Your view of the situation is predictably at complete odds with reality, i.e. delusional.

Posted by: PutDownTheKoolaid | February 23, 2009 5:18 PM | Report abuse

Obviously I meant:

"Bush administration intimidated them into NOT making statements confirming the validity of global warming science."

Posted by: PutDownTheKoolaid | February 23, 2009 5:19 PM | Report abuse

Global Warming is the newest religion of the left. Its GW's fault if it is too warm, if it is too cold, if their is a Hurricane, and I have even heard if there is an Earthquake. The old religions of pro-abortion and pro-evolution seems to be passe'. Maybe they can follow their movie star leaders and adopt some third world children, that should give them something to do.

Posted by: fly66 | February 23, 2009 6:12 PM | Report abuse

For 27 years I've relied on NOAA to provide
accurate information on weather conditions
that are critical to my work. Wind shifts
and speeds, temperatures, moisture, storm
conditions, all predicted and charted on the
"Hourly Weather Graph" of NOAA's gridpoint
forecast sites, have made my life better and,
because the predictions govern my travel,
much more efficient. Thanks and
congratulations for jobs well done!!

Posted by: jfst | February 23, 2009 8:40 PM | Report abuse

If people knew how much NOAA makes do with too little, they'd really be surprised. Weather is hard work, and it's not something that gets the resources it needs usually.

Posted by: timscanlon | February 23, 2009 8:49 PM | Report abuse

I used to work at Commerce, NOAA needs a lot of oversight because it is filled with self important arrogant scientists that think that they are above the law. I also learned from working there there there is quite a bit of information to prove that there is no such thing as global warming.

Posted by: StLouis | February 23, 2009 9:11 PM | Report abuse

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