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Meteorologist-in-Charge 14

GS-1340-14

I. INTRODUCTION

This position is that of the Meteorologist-in-Charge (MIC) of the National Weather Service (NWS) Weather Forecast Office (WFO). The incumbent carries full managerial, supervisory, and technical responsibility for the provision of weather warning, forecast, services, and support activities within the area served by the WFO.

II. MAJOR DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES

1. This position has as its primary emphasis the provision of weather and flood warnings and forecasts to the populace, governmental entities, aviation and other commercial interests throughout the area served. The incumbent must accomplish this through the direction and management of an area staff engaged in the ongoing weather warning, forecast, services, observational and weather support programs of the WFO directed to meet the needs of all of its public, aviation, governmental and other commercial user interests.

The particular weather service program responsibilities of the MIC are further documented and defined in the WFO Station Duty Manual and includes the following programs:

A - The public, aviation, hydrometeorological and any applied warning, forecast and service programs provided by the Weather Forecast Office (WFO) at SEE ATTACHED . This includes responsibility for forecast coordination with the surrounding forecast areas of: SEE ATTACHED , , , , and ; and with the River Forecast Center.

B - The area hydrologic service programs provided from the WFO, including the SEE ATTACHED River and the River and their tributaries.

C - The area-wide weather preparedness and coordination program administered from the WFO with key state, county municipal governments and other civic organizations.

D - The area-wide service evaluation and improvement program conducted to ensure the provision, development or modification of products and services which are useful to and serve the needs of the many users of WFO products and services.

E - The WFO science evaluation and improvement activity, including a product verification program, and professional/technical training and development efforts.

F - The overall program to integrate scientific and technological advances into WFO programs. This includes the active development of local forecast techniques and algorithms by WFO staff, and the continued interaction and technology transfer with hydrometeorological experts from academia and from the scientific community.

G - The overall data management, acquisition, integration efforts and real-time weather observational programs provided for the WFO, including WSR-88D weather radar, upper air (if applicable), ground-truth and verification sources, climatic data collection activities, observer certification, and volunteer observing networks.

H - The systems management, integration, maintenance and integrated logistic support activities necessary to insure the operation of NWS and other electronic systems and equipment vital to the collection, distribution, processing, and dissemination of public health and safety weather information both within and outside of the service area.

2. The incumbent bears overall responsibility for the ongoing planning, implementation, delivery and maintenance of these important weather services in the WFO area. The WFO meteorological and hydrologic services require the MIC to supervise and direct an authorized professional and technical workforce in the WFO as follows:

1 GS-13 Science & Operations Officer
1 GS-13 Warning Coordination Meteorologist
5 GS-13 Senior Forecasters
5 GS-12 General Forecasters
1 GS-12 Data Acquisition Program Manager
1 GS-12/13 Service Hydrologist
5-6 GS-9/11 Hydrometeorological Technicians
1 GS-13 Electronic Systems Analyst
1-2 GS-10/11 Electronics Technicians
1 GS-6 Secretary

With respect to the WFO Hydrometeorological Technicians, the incumbent is the immediate supervisor and rating official for the DAPM, and the approving official for those supervised by the DAPM. The MIC has responsibility for ensuring the continued efforts to enhance employee performance through counseling, training, incentive awards, and successful labor relations. The MIC bears responsibility for the timeliness and quality of the hydrometeorological technician staff work products.

3. The MIC bears overall responsibility for ensuring the responsiveness and technical soundness of the warning and forecast programs and products in the area to meet user needs. These significant program evaluation and scientific assessment activities require the MIC to ensure regular consultation with users throughout the service area to seek their advice, counsel, and opinion as to the quality of service. It also requires the MIC to establish an internal system of reviewing the technical quality of WFO products. When technical problems arise or services require adjustment, the MIC is responsible for deciding the action to be taken by the WCM, SOO or other appropriate subordinate office staff to correct the problem or initiate service modifications or tailoring.

4. The MIC is responsible for ensuring the application of the latest advances in the science to WFO operations. This includes the conduct of developmental activities, such as the tuning, adjustment and refining of new algorithms, the development of local forecast models, and the conduct of analytical studies designed to enhance local forecasting techniques at the mesoscale level in order to meet local needs.

5. The incumbent is responsible for planning and assuring the integration of the output of NWS Doppler weather radar system WSR-88D into the warning and forecast operations of the WFO. Because of the advanced complexity and volume of additional weather data provided to WFO forecasters by the NEXRAD system, the incumbent plays a lead role in planning for and deciding the ultimate applications of that data to the severe weather analysis and prognosis roles of the NWS in the service area.

6. The incumbent is responsible for ensuring that the complex set of interrelationships between the NWS efforts under the MIC's management, the public, the governmental agencies involved in emergency services, the media, the FAA and local aviation interests, other NWS offices, and other commercial weather user interests, are maintained and improved. Frequent consultation and coordination with these interests must be maintained to ensure the effectiveness of the warning, forecast and service programs. The incumbent serves as the NWS chief spokesperson within the area, charged with the lead role in planning the coordination of services and service changes with the media and government.

7. The incumbent is responsible for the management of WFO human resources. The MIC is responsible for acquiring appropriate professional and technical personnel to meet the high level requirements of NWS systems delivery and operations. This includes responsibility for identifying and obtaining the required training, education, and professional development of the staff at the most advantageous times, as well as for providing an environment which offers scientific and technical challenge, high morale, and motivation for improvement.

The MIC is responsible for managing the WFO workforce, scheduling and assigning their work, evaluating performance and reviewing evaluations by the DAPM or consolidating the input on the performance of non-supervisory staff from senior forecasters, making selections for all WFO positions within delegations, resolving grievances and complaints, conducting disciplinary actions or counselling, and for EEO/affirmative action activity.

III. FACTOR LEVELS

Factor 1 – Knowledge Required by the Position

- Mastery of the theories and principles associated with operational meteorology and hydrologic services, generally equivalent to a Master's degree in meteorology or the equivalent in depth and breadth of operational weather forecast and warning experience.

- Knowledge of all meteorological and hydrologic service requirements and observational programs assigned to the NWS offices within the service area. A basic understanding of radar meteorology is essential.

- Knowledge of the operational characteristics of complex electronic and electro-mechanical equipment and systems utilized by the NWS in data acquisition, communications and services delivery within the service area.

- Knowledge of and skill in the application of sound management and supervisory practices and leadership principles, with emphasis on planning techniques and project/program implementation management.

- Thorough understanding of the theories of interpersonal relationships.

- A high order of skill in both written communications and in public speaking, as well as a basic understanding of the approaches and techniques employed by the electronic and newsprint media.

- Basic understanding of relevant DOC, NOAA, and NWS policies governing the management and supervision of employees and of the provision of weather services, including Federal EEO principles.

Factor 2 – Supervisory Controls

The incumbent operates under the broad administrative direction of the Regional Director. The incumbent is independently responsible for the accomplishment of all assigned programs and tasks throughout the area. This includes the accomplishment of the planning, development, and delivery/implementation of programs, products and services to the varied users within the state.

The work is assumed to be technically authoritative, and the after-the-fact review by the Regional Director is only in the context of overall program goal accomplishment and in the effectiveness of services provided to the varied users. The MIC is the NWS spokesperson with the media, state, county, municipal and civic organizations, and the numerous and varied commercial interests within the area served regarding weather warning and forecast programs and services.

Due to this close working relationship with the various user communities throughout the service area, the MIC has broad latitude, within existing resources and within general national and regional program guidelines, to develop, modify and/or tailor forecast and service operations to meet the service needs of the users served. Opportunities for such program development will abound. Such program development efforts go unreviewed until after they are put into effect and become part of the state's NWS office operational procedures. Further program development efforts requiring substantial resource increases are effectively recommended to the Regional Director whose decision is primarily based on availability of resources and conformance with general regional/national program guidelines and priorities.

Factor 3 - Guidelines

Existing national/regional guidelines are very general in nature and provide only a broad framework for conducting operational warning and forecast programs. Few, if any, applicable guidelines exist for the overall direction, management or development of those programs to meet user needs. The primary mission of the NWS is service to the communities served. This requires a strong, proactive relationship on the part of the MIC with the many and varied communities of users throughout the state.

No guideline can establish or define the nature of interaction between the NWS office and the community served, nor can a guideline reflect anything but only the generic needs of any typical community. The extent of "service" provided to the community served is very dependent upon the proactive nature of the contacts and interrelationships established and fostered by the MIC with the communities and users served. Because such guidelines do not exist, there will be a heavy reliance on the MIC and his/her independent judgment in planning and developing local forecast programs and services.

Because of the changing nature of the state-of-the-science in mesoscale operations, the MIC leads NWS area-wide technical efforts with virtually no precedents or guidelines. Great reliance will be placed on the MIC's experience, technical prowess, managerial ability, and ingenuity.

Factor 4 - Complexity

While some scientific procedures and techniques are available for the accomplishment of the variety of operational tasks, the injection of the developing science and technology and the operational focus on the mesoscale hydrometeorological situation open new areas for local operational procedures and scientific techniques development. This emphasis in the state of operational meteorology is somewhat unprecedented, leaving the greatest portion of effort up to the scientific leadership and experience of the MIC to establish new procedures, techniques, and approaches to delivery of services.

The MIC is responsible for leading the use of data output and its relevance to the warning and forecast process, establishing and modifying interrelationships with users, and mentoring and leading staff into an evolving scientific environment -- all with the existence of minimal precedents. Adding to this complexity are the normal complications of managing an office which operates on a 24 hour/7 day a week basis where the circumstances affecting the nature and volume or intensity of work and resulting resources needed change very rapidly and defy any sort of planning effort.

Factor 5 – Scope and Effect

An effective warning and forecast program is best measured by how the users receive and react to weather products and services. The MIC is responsible for management and direction of programs which are the core mission of the NWS and which directly impact the safety and property of the general populace in the service area. The survival and well-being of the citizenry during severe weather events are imperiled if the quality of all area program efforts decline. On a daily basis, those products and services directly or indirectly influence the populace and have a significant economic impact on the decision processes of the commercial interests of the service area. Governmental organizations sharing responsibility for weather-related action also are equally influenced.

Factor 6 – Personal Contacts

The MIC has contacts with a broad spectrum of external officials and interests. This may range from contacts Members of Congress and their staffs, with state Governors and other senior state agency officials, with county, and local municipal officials, to contacts with senior management personnel of important area commercial concerns where weather-impact is a business factor. Extensive contacts are with representatives of the media, as well as with officials of other cooperating Federal agencies (such as USDA, Corps of Engineers, SCS, BLM, EPA, FAA, FEMA, USFS, etc.). Contacts are also with members of the academic community, professional societies, local civic groups and associations, and concerned citizens groups.

While each contact has a different setting, most are not routine in nature, but rather are in at least a moderately unstructured environment where the MIC serves as the NWS spokesperson and can commit for the agency in that jurisdiction.

The MIC has considerable input and visibility in various local communities relative to service provision. At times, the MIC is expected to face extreme pressures from local officials who may be opposed to proposed NWS actions to modify, add, drop, diminish NWS programs and services. The MIC is required to respond effectively, with professionalism and with patience.

Factor 7 – Purpose of Contacts

The purpose of the above contacts ranges from that of providing routine factual weather information, through the coordination of work efforts with other cooperating agency personnel, planning and advising agencies and groups who may be hesitant to cooperate or take action, to settling and defending significant actions having broad and controversial impacts. Often, the MIC is placed in the position of defending agency actions or of persuading other interests to cooperate with NWS approaches and plans. Often public safety procedures are the topic and the MIC must persuade agency officials to take emergency actions which can affect thousands of citizens and result in large expenditures of money and perhaps large dollar amounts of business loss.

Factor 8 – Physical Demands

Generally, the position is sedentary in nature, with no unusual physical demands, however the work is frequently stressful.

Factor 9 – Work Environment

The work environment is that of a typical office setting.

FLSA STATUS

FLSA Status meets the exempting criteria of the Fair Labor Standards Act.