Senior Service Hydrologist Wins U.S. Department of Commerce Bronze Medal Award

Post by Aubry Bhattarai – Journey Forecaster

The National Weather Service in Des Moines is pleased to recognize Senior Service Hydrologist Jeff Zogg as a recipient of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bronze Medal Award. The Bronze Medal is the highest honor award that the Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere may bestow. The Bronze Medal recognizes outstanding and significant contributions which have increased the efficiency and effectiveness of the National Weather Service. Medals are awarded at a ceremony held near Washington D.C.

Jeff Zogg pictured with the Bronze Medal Award

Jeff Zogg pictured with the Bronze Medal Award

Jeff was a member of a team including Mike Callahan, Senior Service Hydrologist from Louisville, KY, and Richard Sloan, retired Service Hydrologist from Dodge City, KS. The team designed and implemented a new method for displaying river flood warnings. Previously, when a river flood warning was issued for a specific section of a river’s reach, the entire county (or counties) which were impacted were highlighted on the National Weather Service’s webpage, or other displays. However, only a small portion of the county may actually be under threat from the river flood. By highlighting the entire county, other hazards which may affect the county may be missed, or individuals outside of the threat area may believe they were affected by the hazard. The new method, developed by Jeff and his team, utilizes detailed geographic information to create a polygon of the specific threat area along the river. This new method significantly reduced the geographic area highlighted by warnings, by as much as 90% less, and allows for more accurate information and easier identification of the specific threat area. This new approach has been adopted by National Weather Service forecast offices across the country.

Congratulations to Jeff, Mike and Richard on their well earned award!

An example from the National Weather Service in Paducah, KY of the new River Flood Warning polygons in use.

An example from the National Weather Service in Paducah, KY of the new River Flood Warning polygons in use.