If I haven’t had the chance to meet you over the last several months, I am Jessie Smith, a meteorologist at NWS Melbourne. I’ve worked with Derrick and Scott closely over the last couple of years to learn the ins and outs of ham radio, operators, and mainly, Skywarn Recognition Day to become the point of contact this year forward! 

I thoroughly enjoyed working the 2018 SRD event through setting up, operating, and just getting to know so many of you who are dedicated operators and critical to the mission of the NWS. I learned SO MUCH (it was almost overwhelming), but ended very excited for the events going forward.

Important news concerning the 2019 SRD:

The Radar Operations Center in Norman, OK has scheduled a refurbishment for the KMLB WSR-88D radar the first week of December. As occurred several years ago, the radome will be taken off of the tower & will sit in our parking lot for the duration of the work that week. This, plus equipment for the ROC crews, means our parking lot will be out of commission, with not much room available for SRD setup the first weekend of December.

Myself and Derrick, along with local management, met to discuss the fate of SRD this year related to the scheduled radar work. We felt it best, in keeping with the spirit & purpose of SRD, as well as safety concerns with the work that will be going on, to not host/participate in the event this year. We know how dedicated each one of you are to participating, and we just feel that we couldn’t put on an event that is up to the MLB & SKYWARN standard with the ongoing work.

With that being said, we do plan to have an “in lieu of” Open House, which also celebrates the 30 years of National Weather Service Melbourne, which opened in 1989. Planning for this event is in progress, but I wanted to give you all a heads up to mark your calendars for February 22, 2020 (back up date Feb 29). Although we likely won’t be operating like we do for SRD, I hope to have an area to recognize ham radio during this event, maybe through a booth or other means.

Thank you for understanding, and I hope to see each of you for our Open House in February, and for Skywarn Recognition Day 2020!

Best regards,
Jessie Smith

Jessie Ruth SmithWX4JRS
Tsunami Program Leader
National Weather ServiceMelbourne Forecast Office
421 Croton Rd
Melbourne, FL 32940