10th anniversary of National Weather Service on UH Manoa campus

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Tara Hicks Johnson, (808) 956-3151
School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology
Posted: Jul 11, 2005

HONOLULU — The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration‘s (NOAA) National Weather Service (NWS) recently celebrated its 10th Anniversary of the relocation of the Weather Forecast Office (WFO) Honolulu and Central Pacific Hurricane Center (CPHC) from Honolulu Airport to the UH Manoa Campus.

The relocation in 1995 was undertaken to facilitate the interaction of research and operations between the NWS and the UH Meteorology Department. WFO Honolulu and CPHC now occupy part of the Hawaii Institute of Geophysics (HIG) Building, one floor below the UH Meteorology Department.

"The relationship between the Weather Service and Meteorology staff and students has blossomed since the move of the NWS office onto campus," says Kevin Hamilton, chair of the Department of Meteorology at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. "There have been numerous joint projects fostered by the proximity of the Forecast Office and UH faculty and students."

An experimental daily computer forecast of the weather around the Hawaiian Islands is now performed regularly by the Meteorology faculty in collaboration with NWS colleagues in Honolulu and on the Mainland, and the result is used by the Forecast Office as part of their guidance for the official weather predictions for Hawaii.

The close proximity of the programs also provides exciting opportunities for students on campus. "Numerous Meteorology undergraduate and graduate students have worked in a cooperative work program in the Forecast Office, and the staff there now includes several graduates of the UH Meteorology program," says Hamilton. "The Forecast Office collaborates with UH to train weather forecasters from southwest Pacific Island nations through the International Pacific Training Desk Program, administered through the Joint Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Research (JIMAR), also within SOEST. In addition, the Hawaii State Climate Office within the Meteorology Department is now involved in a number of projects with the Forecast Office and other NWS colleagues, including one project that will produce an atlas documenting the occurrence of tropical cyclones over the central North Pacific."

Since 1995 15 graduates of the UH M.S. and Ph.D. meteorology programs have found employment in the National Weather Service. The former students are now working in Weather Forecast Offices in Honolulu, Eureka (CA), San Juan, Key West, Tampa, Cleveland, Elko (NV), Pendleton (OR) and two National Centers (Ocean Prediction Center and Hydrometeorological Prediction Center) outside of Washington DC.

The Honolulu Forecast Office has hosted a total of 12 cooperative work program interns over that time. Six of them moved on to join the NWS as full time meteorologists. Two of those student have won UH's Co-Op Student of the Year Award, and one of them, Treena Loos, went on to win the national Co-Op Student of the Year in 2003.

The proximity of the two programs has also proved financially successful to UH, with over $350,000 in grant monies awarded to UH faculty over the past decade through collaborative projects.
About the National Weather Service Forecast Office for the state of Hawaii
The Weather Service Forecast Office (WFO) in Honolulu, Hawaiʻi has forecast programs for public, aviation, fire weather and marine interests. Forecast operations began on January 27, 1946 at the Honolulu International Airport. Public forecasts are for the state of Hawaii. The WFO also serves as an international hurricane center (Central Pacific Hurricane Center), an international aviation center (Meteorological Watch Office (MWO)), and an internal marine center for the north central, west, and parts of the south Pacific. The office‘s area of responsibility covers over 17 million square miles of the Pacific Ocean, which is approximately 6 times the size of the continental United States.

National Weather Service Forecast Office — Honolulu, HI

High resolution images available for download at

NWS contact:
James Weyman
Area Manager, Meteorologist-in-Charge
National Weather Service Forecast Office Honolulu
Director, Central Pacific Hurricane Center
Phone: (808) 973-5270
Email: James.Weyman@noaa.gov

UH Research contact:
Tom Schroeder
Director, JIMAR (Joint Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Research), University of Hawaii at Manoa
Phone: 956-7476
Email: tas@hawaii.edu

School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology

SOEST in the News

About the School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology
The School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST) was established by the Board of Regents of the University of Hawaii in 1988. SOEST brings together in a single focused ocean, earth sciences and technology group, some of the nation‘s highest quality academic departments, research institutes, federal cooperative programs, and support facilities to meet challenges in the ocean and earth sciences. Scientists at SOEST are supported by both state and federal funds as they endeavor to understand the subtle and complex interrelations of the seas, the atmosphere, and the earth.