As a Lead Meteorologist, Andrew serves as the shift leader. The National Weather Service keeps watch over the weather 24/7/365, meaning rotating shifts are necessary. On a routine basis, they provide a variety of weather, water, and climate related services. In addition to public forecast information (high temperature, sky cover, snow amounts, etc.), they provide marine forecasts for the Maryland Chesapeake Bay and Tidal Potomac River, tide level forecasts for a number of shoreline locations, aviation forecasts for six airports, and (with the assistance of the Mid Atlantic River Forecast Center) river level forecasts for the Potomac, Shenandoah, and Rappahannock basins. Through their forecasts and observational analysis, they are the official source for weather watch and warning information for the greater Baltimore and Washington region. Andrew and his team also provide weather briefings and other decision support services to government partners so they can prepare and plan to keep the citizens of the area safe during hazardous weather while ensuring responses are proactive instead of reactive. Finally, they collect weather observations from volunteer observers and local airports for inclusion in the national climate database.
In addition to his routine duties, Andrew is also the office program leader for the aviation, training, and Graphical Forecast Editor (software with which we edit the forecast) programs. That means he must ensure the program areas run efficiently, remain up to date, and that staff are sufficiently trained. Some of his more interesting work occurs with the aviation program. Andrew keeps track of verification statistics, maintains the aviation forecast software, and keeps in touch with aviation users. Before the pandemic, they would annually visit the major airport air traffic control towers to observe how their forecasts were being used and to solicit feedback on their usefulness. Andrew’s team also recently created an aviation "users group" consisting of partners from commercial airlines, business aviation, local airports, and air traffic control facilities. In the inaugural meeting in November 2019, they discussed the biggest weather challenges in the region, national weather service products, suggestions for improvements, and forecasting best practices. Andrew and his team felt this endeavor was successful, as several suggestions by their partners have already made it into our national policy directive!