Spotlighting the National Weather Service in Memphis

MEMPHIS, TN (WNBJ) - The National Weather Service has been in operation for over a hundred years and some viewers may be wondering how those little alerts on your phone translate to the overall service.

The weather service in Memphis has been through a lot of growth since its inception in February of 1871.

There is a crew of about 23 employees who currently provide 24/7 service to eastern Arkansas, west Tennessee, north Mississippi, and the Missouri Bootheel.

The warning coordination meteorologist with the service has always been fascinated with violent weather and says those weather events can be stressful.

“Issuing warnings and warning operations are a lot like being a trauma surgeon in an emergency room. It may appear chaotic, but there is organized chaos. Everyone is just working to make sure we provide good service because that’s when it really counts when life and property are at stake,” said Gary Woodall, the Warning Coordination Meteorologist at the National Weather Service.

Woodall adds he spends a lot of time at work on the road speaking with emergency management personnel, conducting safety preparedness programs, or teaching storm spotter classes.

The lead forecaster at the facility talks about some of the most difficult days on the job.

“The most exciting weather that we get excited about can also be the most dangerous and has an impact on people’s lives so that’s the hardest part is after a tornado outbreak, we are seeing the damage and destruction and how it tears people lives apart,” said Scott McNeil, the Lead Forecaster at the National Weather Service. '

Mcneil also says the weather has always been a passion for him and encourages the youth to follow their dreams.

“I just encourage the kids who love the weather to look at meteorology as a field to study because it’s exciting, rewarding, and to always follow your passions," said McNeil.

The staff at the National Weather Service says they are dedicated to providing top-quality weather forecasts, warnings, and education to the public.

You can follow the National Weather Service on all social media platforms.

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