June 6, 2013 | Vol. 117 -- No. 7

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

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

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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.

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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