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What is a WCM?
One of the key positions at the Charleston Weather Service Forecast
Office is the Warning Coordination Meteorologist (WCM). The WCM is a highly
visible person with a majority of time devoted to making sure that the
products and services available to the public from the Charleston Forecast
Office are the best and most effective they can be. Another way to look
at the WCM is to consider the position to be a customer service representative
dealing with all the service programs provided by the office. These include
severe weather watches, warnings and statements along with routine forecasts,
public safety education and the promotion of the science of Meteorology
to schools and civic groups. The WCM also trains and helps maintain the
SkywarnTM network of weather spotters. These networks form a vital data-gathering
component of the observational system. Forecasters need spotter observations
to verify weather away from the office, which often times leads to more
timely warnings and watches.
The WCM is in regular communication with all the users of weather information
supplied by the office. Among those clients served are emergency managers,
the media, law enforcement officials and others who depend on rapid and
dependable access to all types of weather information. This communication,
facilitated by the WCM, allows problems to be identified and corrected
before they become serious...as well as encouraging ideas to expand and
improve overall service.
Essentially, the goal is service, with potential life-saving information
the product which must be delivered and strictly quality controlled. Since
both data sources and forecast distribution methods are becoming increasingly
complex, the WCM is dedicated to ensure that the lines of communication
between the weather office and both suppliers and users of weather information
remain open and operate effectively.