Service, tech at eye of NWS change

The National Weather Service this week restructured its headquarters office around key functions — including science and technology — in an effort to deliver better services to its customers.

"We wanted to be more efficient," said John Jones Jr., deputy assistant administrator for weather services at NWS. "We wanted to bring to the headquarters level a focus on climate, water and weather [services]. We wanted to look at key functions around the idea of services."

Under the new structure, some of the offices, such as the Office of Science and Technology, are new. Others, such as the Office of Operational Systems, have been revamped.

The restructuring enables NWS to consolidate training programs, resurrect the weather aviation services branch, and provide a single office for weather, water and climate services, Jones said.

Meanwhile, the new science and technology office will help NWS "keep up with cutting-edge" technology and techniques "to provide quicker services and more accurate services and products to the public," Jones said.

The headquarters consists of administrative staff offices, the office of the chief information officer and chief financial officer, and four other main offices:

* The Office of Science and Technology, which has overall responsibility for science and technology plans and programs.

* The Office of Climate, Water and Weather Services, which directs water, weather and climate warning and forecast services.

* The Office of Hydrologic Development, which directs hydrologic development. Hydrology involves the distribution, uses and movement of surface and ground waters.

* The Office of Operational Systems, which manages systems, engineering software management, facilities, communications and logistical services.

There were no layoffs as a result of the restructuring, Jones said.

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