National Weather Service opens new facility in Charleston
On Oct. 20, a ribbon-cutting ceremony was held for the new National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Weather Service (NWS) office in Charleston, West Virginia (RLX).
GSA collaborated with the NWS to procure the 5,400 square foot lease, where the agency provides real-time Impact-Based Decision Support Services to federal, state and local partners before, during and after severe weather, hydrologic or other critical disaster events. The new space includes emergency power to support a 24x7 facility; a 60 foot tower for over-the-air communications; a ground mounted 12 foot diameter satellite dish for communications with multiple weather satellites; and a special array of data cabling communications. All of these systems are linked into the situational awareness display system for use in receiving and conveying real-time critical weather information.
NWS led the design and onsite construction with GSA supporting the contract administration. The partnership between these two federal agencies led to a successful outcome that will greatly benefit the public and first responders alike.
“We are thankful for the partnership between GSA, NOAA and the NWS that led to the fantastic new facility in South Charleston,” stated Jamie R. Bielinski, Meteorologist in Charge, NWS RLX.
“This new location will not only provide greater access for public tours and educational opportunities but also quicker travel by local employees to support various partners throughout the county warning area. We look forward to many wonderful years in this amazing, state-of-the-art facility!”
Ceremony attendees were able to view the Science on a Sphere (SOS) display, which projects a variety of weather patterns and other scientific data on a globe as a teaching tool for groups including school children. This SOS teaching tool was obtained through a grant written by the West Virginia Regional Technology Park and BridgeValley Community and Technical College.
This article is part of the Winter issue of the FOCUS newsletter. Please visit the Focus Newsletter page to read our newsletter.