From the PMO Desk: Larry Hubble

From the Desk of Anchorage Alaska Port Meteorological Officer Larry Hubble

PMO Larry Hubble

Scott Anacker, Master, Horizon Anchorage. Award presented at Port of Anchorage AK on 02/05/08.

We are very thankful for those Voluntary Observing Ships which provide support that goes well beyond the call of duty. Their spirit and enthusiasm with these extra observations helps to save lives and improve weather forecasting worldwide. VOS observations are an integral part to the success of the National Weather Service and to the forecasts we produce. Our appreciation can be best expressed from Mr. Andy Brown, a meteorologist stationed at the Forecast Office here in Anchorage. On November 01, 2007, Andy wrote, "I want to acknowledge the Horizon Anchorage’s contribution overnight. Last night, a strong low pressure system was developing south of the Alaska Peninsula and so many times, we find ourselves wishing there was a ship in the area to give us some clue as to how deep the low is....well last night our prayers were answered. The Horizon Anchorage had plotted a course directly through what was forecasted to be the center of a storm force low. We received hourly observations from the ship throughout the night....HOURLY!!! It was of enormous importance to determining the strength and position of the low which had large implications not just on the surrounding coastal water forecasts, but will likely play a large role in the forecast for South Central Alaska including the Anchorage bowl.

Previously, I spent about 10 days at sea on the Horizon Anchorage and was very impressed with their attitude toward the weather and our forecasts so it shouldn’t surprise me that they would make the extra effort to transmit weather observations. They really did us a huge service.

We need to somehow pass on to the Captain how much we appreciated the extra effort last night. It would make our job a lot easier if we had more crews like the Horizon Anchorage that took the time to transmit hourly observations during critical weather."

The Container Ship Horizon Anchorage has been the #1 ship in the Horizon Fleet taking manual observations using AMVERSEAS software for five consecutive years. They set a new ship’s record in 2007 with 2,770 quality observations. The entire Horizon Lines Fleet participates in the VOS Program and Horizon Lines LLC was even recognized in 2007 with a special Company Award for their outstanding VOS support.

So, once again, thank you to the Horizon Anchorage and all the ships like her who unselfishly volunteer to record and transmit real-time meteorological observations in support of the VOS program.

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