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Charged to save lives and property

National Weather Service’s West Plains station on Rambo Road use a variety of methods to forecast the weather


John McCallum

National Weather Service warning coordination meteorologist Andy Brown shows an instrument package that is attached to a weather balloon to a visiting Boy Scout troop.

There’s a saying: “If you don’t like the weather, wait 10 minutes. It will change.”

How it changes and what it changes into is the main reason why warning coordination meteorologist Andy Brown and the rest of the 26-person staff man the National Weather Service station on Rambo Road northwest of Airway Heights 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

“It may not seem like it but we have 4-5 people a shift, rotating shifts,” Brown said.

Their job is to forecast the weather to “save lives and property,” which is the NWS’s mission as part of the Department of Commerce. The service...

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