Fully staffed at National Weather Service Boise

Meet the Staff at National Weather Service Boise!

RDRobert Diaz—Meteorologist in Charge:  Bob grew up in Northern Idaho and attended Boise State University where he completed his BS in Math.  He then attended the University of Wisconsin for Meteorology and was hired some 30 years ago by the National Weather Service, where he began his career in Redwood City, California.  He has been in ten different positions within the NWS.  He is a huge Boise State Football fan and loves to golf and travel.

TBTim Barker—Science and Operations Officer: Tim is originally from Phoenix, Arizona. He came here via Salt Lake City, Utah and Missoula, Montana.   In his spare time he likes to hike, geocache, and do landscaping.

TLTroy Lindquist—Senior Service Hydrologist: Troy is originally from Nebraska and attended the University of Nebraska in Lincoln to study meteorology. He has worked at NWS offices in California, Colorado, Kentucky, Maryland, Indiana and Idaho. Outside of work, he enjoys spending time with his family, a variety of recreational sports, gardening and other projects around the home.

JBJason Baker—Information Technology Officer:  Jason grew up in Las Vegas, NV.  He has been the NWS Information Technology Officer in Boise for almost 15 years.  In his free time he likes camping, ATVing and fishing with his wife.

DDDavid Decker—Observing Program Leader: Dave is originally from Terre Haute, Indiana, and has lived in various places across the country and world, while in the U.S. Air Force. He has over 25 years of experience as a weather forecaster and program manager. In his spare time he enjoys golf and tennis.

 

JB1Jay Briedenbach—Warning Coordination Meteorologist: Jay is originally from Florida and attended Florida State University for his BS and MS degrees in Meteorology.  For fun, he enjoys hiking in the summer and skiing in the winter.  He loves living in Idaho!

TMTravis Mayer—Electronic Systems Analyst: Travis has enjoyed working on computers and electronics since he was in the Marine Corps. He is always amazed at how electronics are integrating with each other. There are many different types of electronics that keep our weather office running so each day is an adventure for the electronics shop. He has lived in Boise almost his entire life. He enjoys camping, fishing and ATVing with his family. Featherville and Island Park are his two favorite recreation destinations but he continues to explore new areas of the state. Travis just went over the 10 year mark of federal service, with six of those years working for the Boise weather office.

KJKelly Jardine—Administrative Support:  Kelly has lived in Idaho since her senior year of high school and has enjoyed life in Idaho with her kids, family and friends! NWS is the fourth federal agency she has worked for during her career, having also worked for the VA, BLM and the Forest Service. In her free time, she likes to ski, hike, garden and travel.

WHWasyl Hewko—Hydrometeorological Technician: Wasyl hales from western Pennsylvania, from a humble upbringing in one of America’s well known steel towns. He attended Penn State University for three years, joined the military, where he acquired 27 years of weather experience, after which he received a BS degree in IT from Capella University in 2007. He signed on with the NWS in 2009, starting with an interesting tour on Saint Paul Island, Alaska. Wasyl’s hobbies include sports and fitness training of all types, playing the guitar, and periodically studying math and statistics.


Senior Meteorologists

LCLes Colin: Les was born in New York City and arrived at Boise via New Jersey, Minnesota, and California. He has a BA in Math from the University of Minnesota and an MS in Meteorology from San Jose State University.  His hobbies include blitz chess, travel, and hitting baseballs.

VMValerie Mills:  Valerie is “from all over” having grown up in an Air Force family.  She holds a Master’s Degree in Meteorology from the University of Maryland, College Park. For summer 2015 fun she took a locomotive driving lesson and swam the McCall Parks & Recreation one mile open water swim.

BWBill Wojcik: Bill was born and raised in Buffalo, NY – renowned for prolific lake-effect snow storms. His passion for meteorology was developed at a young age due in part to the wild snow storms. He studied meteorology at Oswego State University and SDSM&T. His career with the NWS began in Phoenix, followed by Pocatello and Boise. He enjoys the outdoors and spending time with his family.

DGDave Groenert: Dave is a Navy child, so he has moved around quite a bit, but eventually settled in the Washington DC area. He has been a forecaster at NWS Boise for 12 years. In his free time he enjoys getting outdoors.

SPStephen Parker: Stephen is originally from a small town in Virginia, and came here by way of Oklahoma, Texas, Nebraska, and Tennessee. He enjoys spending time with family and friends, learning how to increase the amount of love and peace in his life, staying healthy, and following the SF Giants and 49ers, the Virginia Tech Hokies, and of course, the BSU Broncos!


Meteorologists

JAJeanne Allen:  Jeanne earned her Meteorology degree at SUNY Oswego, NY.  Her first weather job was a summer job while still attending college and worked on the Fire Weather Program at the Fairbanks, AK NWS office.  After college Jeanne spent a few years as a civilian weather observer for the Air Force in Niagara Falls, NY.  Jeanne then joined the National Weather Service and spent a year in Glasgow, MT before being transferred to Boise, ID.  Jeanne has been at the Boise National Weather Service office for almost 25 years.  In her spare time Jeanne likes to go hiking and doing photography, but really enjoys spending time with her dogs and doing dog agility.

EPElizabeth Padian: Elizabeth has been with the NWS for 4.5 years.  She grew up in Phoenix and has worked at the Phoenix and Pocatello NWS offices. Her and her husband arrived in Boise for her promotion to forecaster in October of 2014. In her spare time she fosters animals and enjoys the art and culture of Boise.

KAKorri Anderson:  Korri was born in Seattle and raised in eastern Washington. He became fascinated in meteorology at a young age while experiencing the erratic weather of the Palouse, and watching his mother take weather observations for Horizon Air.  Korri completed his meteorology degree at MSU of Denver and his MS Civil Engineering at Boise State.  He has worked at the Anchorage, Alaska and Boise NWS forecast offices as a student. He enjoys photography, skiing, hiking, traveling, cooking and staying active.

JSJosh Smith: Josh is from Vermont and received his degrees in Meteorology and Computer Science from Lyndon State College. He has worked in the Burlington, Vermont and Grand Forks, North Dakota NWS offices before moving to the Boise office as a forecaster in 2005. He enjoys getting outside.

JTJoel Tannenholz: Joel is originally from Battle Creek, Michigan, where he developed an interest in weather at an early age. He and his family have lived in Boise since 1983. He is a University of Utah graduate in Meteorology. His many interests include hiking, Celtic music, and art, mainly watercolor painting.


 Fire Weather Meteorologists

CRChuck Redman: Chuck  was born and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico.  He earned his BS in Meteorology from San Jose State University in 1935. (And doesn’t he look great for 102!?) Chuck’s been the Fire Weather Program Lead here at Boise WFO since 2001. Chuck’s hobbies include swinging golf clubs, mowing the lawn, and discussing the advantages and disadvantages of various protein bars.(But in all seriousness, Chuck was busy forecasting on a wildfire near Omak, Washington and I took some liberties here. – Megan) MTMegan Thimmesch: A born and raised Minnesotan, Megan prides herself on her cold-weather resilience and pronunciation of the word ‘about’. Her love of weather was spurred early on when she discovered the power of the winter storm, i.e. snow days! Megan attended the aptly named St. Cloud State University in St. Cloud, Minnesota; earning her BS in Meteorology in 2004. Her career path with the National Weather Service has included a summer internship in Juneau, Alaska and three different forecasting positions at NWS Boise. Fire weather is now her primary focus.

 


 Entry-Level Meteorologists

ABAviva Braun:  Aviva is originally from Maryland. After earning a BS in Earth Systems from UMA, Amherst, and her MS in Meteorology from Penn State U., she served in Senegal as a Peace Corps agriculture volunteer. She has now returned to her love for meteorology, and is having a blast living in Boise! In her spare time, she loves hiking, backpacking, camping, whitewater rafting, and general outdoor adventuring! JCJessica Caubre:  Jessica grew up in Belfair, Washington.  She joined the Air Force as a Weather Technician after high school and always dreamed of getting out and working with the NWS.  After the Air Force, she attended the University of Washington where she received a BS in Atmospheric Science while working at KOMO News 4 with Steve Poole, before being hired on in lovely Boise, ID.

Electronic Technicians

GBGeorge Buckwold: George grew up in Southern California before he joined the U. S. Air Force. George served all across the country and in Vietnam as a radar technician.  After retiring from the Air Force, George moved to Boise were he has been maintaining our electronic systems since 1995. George is an avid archery hunter.

 

EJEric Johnson: Eric’s career in electronics started in 1990 in the U. S. Air Force as an Avionics Technician on C-130E aircraft.  After his enlistment, he attended Boise State University while also enlisting into the Idaho Air National Guard as an avionics technician.  Eric graduated from BSU with an AS  in Electronics Technology and a BS in Communication and Management.  He holds a master certificate in spark adaptive theory for spark plug gap maintenance.   He has worked at the National Interagency Fire Center for 13 years;  10 years for the BLM working in Remote Weather in wildland fire and the remaining three for the NWS.  He is still in the Air National Guard and is a maintenance officer for the 124FW’s A-10C maintenance group.  In his spare time, he likes to camp and ATV in the mountains; he really likes the outdoors!   He enjoys the customer service part of the NWS, and looks forward to implementing new technology to help in the protection of life and property.

 

Meet & Greet – Ada County Emergency Manager

We at the National Weather Service in Boise, Idaho, strive to keep the citizens of Southwest Idaho and Southeast Oregon safe at all times. One of the ways we achieve this goal is by working closely with the Emergency Managers in each county we serve. In this edition of Sage Winds, we spoke to Crash Marusich, the Emergency Planner for Ada County.

Crash Marusich (right), the Ada County Emergency Planner, with Jay Briedenbach (left), the NWS Boise Warning Coordination Meteorologist.

Crash Marusich (right), the Ada County Emergency Planner, with Jay Briedenbach (left), the NWS Boise Warning Coordination Meteorologist.

NWS: Tell me about yourself and how you moved into the emergency management sector.

Crash: I’m from Arizona originally, where I was a Desert Guide for many years, and then became a Park Ranger. I really loved both of these jobs, but my family and I really wanted to move to the Boise area. I had a background in public speaking and community outreach, so the Emergency Management Department offered me this job 8 years ago and I took it! I didn’t know too much about the job when I first started, but I’ve loved every minute of it. It’s been a great crossover. I’m really glad I started out in community outreach – having to learn about emergency management and how to translate the information into layman’s terms. That has been very helpful.

I am now moving into more of a planning role at my office. I’ll be working with the responders more, which I’m very excited about. It’s an interesting new perspective. I’m moving from how do I get John Q. Public prepared properly for disaster, to how do all of these agencies work together to protect 400,000 people. This new shift has been exciting and I’m enjoying it. Actually, I received big news this week! I’m now a certified emergency manager with the International Association of Emergency Managers.

NWS: Hurrah! That’s great news! Congratulations.

Crash: Thanks. There are about 2,600 of us certified internationally. So, now I’ve gone from a certified Parks and Recreation professional to a certified Emergency Manager. My background has really helped me picture what is going on outside of the urban environment. It’s a good place to come from; I have a good understanding of where I want to go, especially in mitigation – how can we reduce the effects of these hazards, how can we build smarter homes, are there places we shouldn’t build, etc.

NWS: Would you describe the nature of your work for us?

Crash: I do mitigation and response planning for the county. We are also currently reviewing our standard operating procedures and emergency operations plans for the county. We want to make sure that our staff is capable of doing their job in any given emergency.  We are also working on a wildfire mapping project. We’re going to get a LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) into the foothills and we’re going to do some multispectral photography over the entire county. The goal is to clearly define the entire wildland-urban interface.  This mapping will hopefully include a number of factors that will assist with both response and mitigation planning.

NWS: What has been the highest impact weather event for Ada County this season?

Crash: That would have to be when that wet thunderstorm hit on July 8th, where the North End and the Bench experienced areas of flooding. We just got a report from the Ada County Highway District detailing all of the calls they received and the responses they took.  The storm drains were overwhelmed by the sudden volume, became clogged, and ended up flooding a lot of places where it normally wouldn’t have otherwise.

NWS: What year was it that the big wind event took place at the Ada County Fair?

Crash: August 2010. There was a microburst at the Fair; there quite a few minor injuries sustained due to the winds.  A lot of the tents got whipped up and blown away.  It was totally unexpected.

NWS: So, how did your office respond in these events?

Crash: We are a coordination and support agency. We try to get the community ready before the disaster so that we sustain as little damage as possible.  We coordinate with agencies responding to an event, and after all of that, we plan for the “new normal.”  We work in the background, always learning from each event so that we can respond more effectively next time.

NWS: So, when do you use the Emergency Operations Center?

Crash: During a major event we would have it up and running. We will open it as an exercise during the Western Idaho Fair this year. We also had it open for the Special Olympics that were held here in 2009. The National Weather Service was there giving daily morning briefings!

NWS: How does your office get in touch with the public other than through the media?

Crash: For now we have something called “ISAWS” (Idaho State Warning System) that the public needs to sign up for.  Communication has been really hard ever since we started moving away from landline phones!  There’s nothing linking cellphone numbers to an address, so if we wanted to evacuate a certain area, we would be hard pressed to do so solely using the phone as the main line of communication. We’re currently in the process of moving our County Mass Notification System to a program called “Code Red.” We just hired a new employee whose job will include working on getting our social media outlet established. Now, I do encourage everyone to own a NOAA Weather Alert Radio – that’ll alert you to that 3 AM warning that you probably wouldn’t see or heard anywhere otherwise. It includes all threats and all hazards. It’s a great resource.

NWS: Does the Spotter Network have an impact on the work your office does?

Crash: Yes. A lot of the damage reports that we get are from them through your office; it’s important to track what goes on and why. It helps immensely that you have this network set up and that we have such a great relationship with your office. The open communication that we can call on when needed is fabulous!

NWS: I know that we do a lot of collaborative work, such as our joint river mapping work, which is featured on our website.

Crash: Yes, that is a great example. Because of our work together, one can plot possible minor, moderate, or major flooding events on an Ada County map and see where the river would go.  It’s a great resource for everyone.

NWS: Well Crash, that is all I have for you! Thank you for your time!

Crash: Thank you for having me.

 

August 2015 Climate Summary for Boise

AUG2015

August mean temperature of 77.4°F was warmer than July (76.6°F), which happens about one of every four years. The temperature reached 100°F five times in August, with two record highs set on Aug 11 and Aug 13 (106°F).  It may have been warmer, but most of the area was plagued by smoke from wildfires.  Smoke retards daytime heating by scattering sunlight but has no effect on overnight temperatures.

Precipitation was close to normal.

The month started out very hot with a high pressure ridge covering most of the western and southern states south of the Canadian border.  On the 1st and 2nd temperatures soared into the triple digits for the first time since July 4 at Boise.  A few cooler days followed as low pressure systems from the Gulf of Alaska attempted to dislodge the ridge.  By the 11th the ridge had regained control sending temperatures back up to the triple digits in the lower valleys.  The ridge maintained its strength through the 14th.  But by the 15th it had retreated south and east allowing northwest flow to bring a temporary respite from the above normal temperatures.  On the 23rd the ridge had returned for a week-long encore, but the heat was less intense than earlier in the month.  A low pressure trough which had stalled offshore swung inland bringing measurable rain to northern Idaho and northeast Oregon by the 30th.

July 2015 Climate Summary at Boise

JUL2015July temperatures averaged close to normal after a very hot start. With an average temperature of 76.6°F, July was almost cooler than June which averaged 75.9°F.  High temperatures were 100°F or warmer the first four days of July, extending the consecutive day streak of 100°F+ days to nine continuing from late June.  The nine consecutive days tied a record.  The hot weather was due to a strong and persistent ridge of high pressure aloft over the western U.S. which finally broke down around July 5.  A trough gradually replaced the ridge and temperatures dipped below normal July 12-18.  An even cooler air mass came in with an upper level low pressure system July 26-27.  The low temperature of 51°F on the 28th was the coolest July low since 2010.  And the high of 75°F that day was 18°F cooler than normal.  High pressure aloft quickly replaced the departing low and temperatures neared 100°F by month’s end.

Thunderstorms containing monsoon moisture dropped 0.62 inch of rain on Boise July 8, resulting in areas of urban flooding.  The rainfall was highly variable with some nearby locations reporting as much as two inches of rain.  Boise had measurable rain seven consecutive days (July 8 through July 14), very unusual for a month that normally totals 0.33 inch.  That much rain fell in only 5 minutes on July 8.  The total rainfall this July was 0.97 inch, almost three times that of normal.

June 2015 Warmest June ever in Boise

June 2015 was the warmest June ever in Boise. 2.8°F warmer than previous warmest June in 1934. 110°F on 28th was the warmest June day on record.  Mean high and low temperatures were also the warmest on record.  June had 16 days over 90°F (average is 5), and 5 days over 100°F, which was the most recorded in June.

June 2015 Climate Stats at Boise

Burns, Oregon; McCall and Jerome, Idaho also had their warmest June on record.

Annual Timing of Severe Weather in the NWS Boise forecast area.

As we move into spring, we also enter severe weather season in the NWS Boise forecast area. Research conducted locally on severe weather reports in our area from 1955 to 2005 yields important information about the onset of each of the major severe weather threats in our area: tornadoes; hail; wind; and flooding. NOTE: Hail is defined as 1″ or greater, wind is defined as 58+mph.

This first image shows time as a circle, with Jan 1 at the top and June 30 at the bottom, and time progressing clockwise. The four different colored lines indicate the relative frequency with which separate types of severe weather occur. The numbers on the concentric circles indicate the total number of occurrences of a given type of severe weather in a moving 19-day window (to smooth the raw data a bit and make it more presentable). As you can see below, wind (red) and hail (purple) reports ramp up rapidly in April, with flooding (green) increasing in May. Tornadoes (blue), while minimal in number, show a narrow peak in late April and a longer peak in from late May into early July. The hail (purple) maximum is in late June. Wind has two significant peaks in activity, with one in late June and another from late July to early August. The late June peak is probably associated with stronger late- Spring weather systems, while the second peak is associated with hot (relatively) dry days when evaporation of rain produces downbursts.

severeweathertimingBOI

The second image contains the same data presently differently. The height of the peak for each day is the total number of reports (within the moving 19-day window) of all four phenomena. This is a good way to view the period with the highest overall threat of severe weather. Here we can see that the period of maximum severe weather shows the same basic two peaks as the wind (red) reports. This makes sense because wind is our most common form of severe weather. Clearly, June is our “busiest” month, with late July into August a close second.

BOISevereWx

One type of “severe” weather not touched on in this study is fire weather. Experience indicates that the storms that lead to the second wind maximum often start fires via lightning and then may lead to rapid spread due to the high winds.

Finally, here’s a map showing the location of severe weather reports from roughly 1955 to 2010. The brownish dots are wind, the green are hail, and the purple are tornadoes (Note: this map was originally created for a different study and therefore the colors do not match the graphs above).

BOISevereMap