Joint Responsibilities

Joint responsibilities include the following:

Meetings between the NWS offices and the natural resource agencies.

The Virginia Interagency Coordination Center conducts at least two meetings per year, roughly every spring and fall, with all natural resource agencies and NWS offices serving Virginia invited to attend. These meetings typically will be held at the Virginia Interagency Coordination Center (VICC) in Charlottesville, to minimize travel distance. Although the agenda includes many internal division matters they are of interagency consequence. Therefore, the NWS is a Strategic Partner and is invited to these meetings since topics often include NWS operations.

Conference Calls.

During times of very high or extreme fire danger, the Virginia Interagency Coordination Center (VICC) may initiate a conference call to discuss fire danger and weather. This call may include various partner agencies, and either some, or all of the NWS offices serving Virginia, depending on the extent of the area of concern. When more than one NWS office is participating, VICC will ask one NWS office to lead the weather discussion, which may be followed by input from the other NWS offices for their area. At times when the entire state is the area of concern, the NWS State Liaison Office in Wakefield will normally lead the discussion, but this may vary if the area of concern is skewed toward another NWS office's area. Conference calls will normally be held in the late morning, when NWS offices are beginning to consider their afternoon forecast package.

Maintenance and Revision of the Annual Operating Plan.

The AOP should be revised each year by the end of January, with cooperation and participation from each NWS office and each natural resource agency. The National Weather Service Office in Blacksburg, Virginia, will be custodian of the plan.

Notification of NWS Changes in Operating Procedures.

From time to time, NWS headquarters, or NWS Eastern Region Headquarters, will send draft versions of future directives to their forecast offices for review and comment. To ensure that the natural resource partner agencies have an opportunity to review and comment on proposed changes, the NWS State Liaison Office in Wakefield will forward a copy of draft directives to VICC when they are received. VICC will then forward draft NWS directives to the rest of the natural resource partner agencies for review. Comments and suggestions can be forwarded to the NWS State Liaison Office in Wakefield, which will forward them to NWS Eastern Region Headquarters.

Agreements on Services Provided.

Agreements on services and standards are normally reached at statewide meetings, but may be achieved at by a series of local meetings or by other means such as telephone or e-mail. NWS offices and land mangers should be aware of the ripple effect an agreement might have on other NWS offices and their customers, particularly when service areas cross state lines.

Workplace Visits.

Natural resource agencies and the NWS collaborate on familiarization of personnel in each others fields of expertise, operations and equipment. Visits to offices and work centers, as well as field job sites can meet part of these requirements.

Service Evaluation.

Services provided by the NWS, and delivery of observations and information from the natural resource agencies to the NWS in support of these services, shall be under constant evaluation by both parties.

Numbering and archiving of observation stations.

The GACC, when requested to do so by a natural resource agency, shall assign a station ID number for fire weather observation platforms.

The land management agency will provide the station name, location (county, latitude, and longitude), and elevation to the GACC meteorologist.

The GACC meteorologist will assign the number and assist the station owner in establishing a station catalog in WIMS.

The numbering convention uses a six digit number, starting with 44 (for VA). The following two digit number designates the county, and the counties are numbered from 01 in the northwest, to 99 in the southeast.

The GACC meteorologist is responsible for maintaining a database of RAWS stations in their area. This information can be provided to the NWS regional program manager upon request.

The master list for the state of Virginia can be found in the appendix of this operating plan, which will be updated at least annually with any new or changed stations.