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Summer Time

Summer time and the living is easy! The weather is beautiful – the sun is shining and feels wonderful! And yet, not to be out done by the other seasons, Summer has plenty of weather challenges:

  • Tornadoes, Thunderstorms, and Lightning
  • Flooding
  • Heat
  • Hurricanes
  • Rip Currents
  • Wildfire and Air Quality
  • Drought

So how can you be prepared and take action??

Educate yourself on what weather conditions are prevalent in your area and where you travel by looking at the videos and materials on the Weather Ready Nation website.

To help you better understand Hurricanes and prepare, we are reposting our Hurricane Preparedness article from last year.

New, Next-Generation NOAA Polar-Orbiting Satellite is Now Operational

Weather forecasters officially have a new tool in their arsenal, as the first satellite in NOAA’s new Joint Polar Satellite System has passed rigorous testing and is now operational.  Launched last November as JPSS-1 and renamed NOAA-20 once it reached orbit, the satellite features the latest and best technology NOAA has ever flown in a polar orbit to capture more precise observations of the world’s atmosphere, land and waters. Data from the satellite’s advanced instruments will help improve the accuracy of 3-to-7 day forecasts.

“Improved weather forecasts can save lives, protect property and provide businesses and communities valuable additional time to prepare in advance of dangerous weather events,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross.

NOAA-20 provides NOAA’s National Weather Service with global data for numerical weather prediction models used to develop timely and accurate U.S. weather forecasts. In addition, high-resolution imagery from the satellite’s Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite, known as VIIRS, will enable the satellite to detect fog, sea-ice formation and breaking in the Arctic, volcanic eruptions and wildfires in their very early stages. This advanced modeling and imagery information, shared with international and governmental partners, will help businesses, the emergency preparedness and response communities and individuals make the best decisions possible in the face of weather-related hazards.

NOAA-20 joins Suomi NPP – the NOAA-NASA demonstration satellite launched in 2011 – giving the U.S. the benefit of two sophisticated spacecraft in nearly the same orbit. Each circles the Earth in a polar orbit 14 times a day, collecting global observations that form the basis for U.S. weather prediction.

“NOAA-20 is especially beneficial for tracking developing storms in the Arctic, Alaska and Antarctica. Forecasts for these remote regions are critical for the U.S. fishing, energy, transportation and recreation industries, which operate in some of the harshest conditions on the planet,” said Neil Jacobs, Ph.D., assistant secretary of commerce for environmental observation and prediction.

JPSS-2, the second in the series, is scheduled to be launched in 2021, followed by JPSS-3 in 2026 and JPSS-4 in 2031. JPSS satellites are designed to operate for seven years, with the potential for several more years. The JPSS mission will deliver its critical data and information for at least the next two decades to support a Weather-Ready Nation.

Press Contact:

John Leslie,, 301-713-0214

Maureen O’Leary,, 301-713-9000


Congratulations to Fairfax County Public Schools!

Congratulations to the students and teachers excelling at science and engineering concepts!

Twelve Fairfax County High School students earned grand prize awards at the 63rd annual Fairfax County Regional Science and Engineering Fair held March 17-19 at Robinson Secondary School.


Brian Kennedy, chemistry teacher and director of the Chemical Analysis and Nanochemistry Research Laboratory at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology (TJHSST), has been recognized by the American Chemical Society as the 2018 recipient of the James Bryant Conant Award in High School Chemistry Teaching, sponsored by the Journal of Chemical Education and ChemEd X.   He was honored March 20 at the ACS national meeting in New Orleans.




Spring Weather

We all anticipate spring weather eagerly looking forward to warmer weather, blooming gardens, and outdoor activities. But spring can also be temperamental and bring its own weather challenges – Tornadoes, Thunderstorms, Flooding, and Hurricane Season starts June 1!

To help you better understand Hurricanes and prepare, we are reposting our Hurricane Preparedness article from last year.

Kudos to Emily for working with her class and her mom to make an emergency plan and be prepared!! She asked JeTSI to share a great site created for kids  –

So like Emily and her mom….  Be Prepared! Make a family plan in case of a natural or national disaster.

Spring Weather Hazards

Warnings vs Watches

  • Warnings mean a weather event is occurring – take action!
  • Watches mean conditions are favorable for a weather event – be prepared!



South Lakes Robotics Team

Congratulations to the South Lakes High School robotics team, the <C://>Hawks!

The team has advanced to the FIRST (For Inspiration & Recognition of Science and Technology) Virginia State Championship after winning a place for the Inspire Award at the recent Tech Challenge. The Inspire Award is given to the team that demonstrates respect and gracious professionalism, is an ambassador for FIRST programs, and demonstrates and documents their work in their community. The team will be participating at the Virginia State Championship on Saturday, February 24 in Richmond engaging their robot in the Relic Recovery Challenge, finding treasures and returning them to their rightful place in history.

You can support the local team through their home page:

JeTSI at AMS 2018

JeTSI team member, Patrick Barnes presented the poster, “Utilizing MBSE to Modularly Architect the NESDIS Ground Enterprise” at the American Meteorological Society’s 14th Annual Symposium on New Generation Operational Environmental Satellite Systems . The power of Model-Based Systems Engineering (MBSE) lies in the relationships built between the systems, activities, and functions within the model. Rather than a flat, two-dimensional view, MBSE allows for interweaving relationships in architecting a system of systems. The model can be updated to keep it current, and linked as a subset to a larger architectural model providing a view of the total enterprise.

This poster shows the JPSS ground system as a subset in the larger NOAA NESDIS ground architecture model. The NESDIS Ground System consists of segregated systems, operations, networks, and facilities. This amalgamation of systems and system of systems is often referred to as the NOAA “stovepipes.” With the transition of GOES-16 and JPSS-1 operations to NOAA, we will see an increase in the complexity of the overall NESDIS Ground System. The addition of hundreds of systems, servers, and network nodes make understanding the system as a whole a daunting task. Modern architecture tools and disciplines, such as Model-Based Systems Engineering, can be used to clearly define the as-is state of a ground system regardless of complexity.

The poster is viewable in Published Papers on the JeTSI website.

Winter Weather is Here!

Are you prepared for Winter Weather?

Do you know the difference between a Winter Storm Watch, Winter Storm Warning and a Winter Weather Advisory?

  • When a warning is issued: TAKE ACTION!
  • When a watch is issued: Get Prepared!
  • When an advisory is issued: Take Precautions!

Find out more at:

Review Winter Weather Safety with your family to better understand the weather and to be prepared.

Will there be rain, ice, or snow???

Bundling up in layers and staying dry is one of the best things you can do to stay safe this winter.


JPSS-1 Launch A Success!

The Joint Polar Satellite System-1 lifted off from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, at 1:47 a.m. PST November 18, 2017. The satellite’s next-generation technology will help improve the timeliness and accuracy of U.S. weather forecasts three to seven days out.

For more information on the launch:



JPSS-1 Launch

The second attempt to launch NOAA’s JPSS1 satellite on November 15 at 1:47 am was scrubbed due to excessive upper level winds. The team is assessing their options.

JPSS will bring the latest and best technology NOAA has ever flown in a polar orbit to capture more precise observations of the atmosphere, land and waters. JPSS-1, which will be known as NOAA-20 when it reaches orbit, will join Suomi NPP, the joint NOAA-NASA weather satellite, giving the U.S. the benefit of two, sophisticated polar satellites in the same orbit. Each will circle the globe 14 times a day, 50 minutes apart and provide full, global observations for U.S. weather prediction. Forecasters will use the data to better predict weather events and hazards, such as a hurricane’s track, and when a hurricane will intensify or weaken, identify power outages and locate and evaluate damage after a storm.

For more news on JPSS-1:

Earthquakes – Be Prepared!

Know what to do if an earthquake strikes and be prepared ahead of time. Take part in the Great ShakeOut Earthquake Drills, part of America’s PrepareAthon.

In MOST situations, you will reduce your chance of injury if you Drop, Cover, and Hold On:

DROP where you are, onto your hands and knees. This position protects you from being knocked down and also allows you to stay low and crawl to shelter if nearby.

COVER your head and neck with one arm and hand

  • If a sturdy table or desk is nearby, crawl underneath it for shelter
  • If no shelter is nearby, crawl next to an interior wall (away from windows)
  • Stay on your knees; bend over to protect vital organs

HOLD ON until the shaking stops.

  • Under shelter: hold on to it with one hand; be ready to move with your shelter if it shifts
  • No shelter: hold on to your head and neck with both arms and hands.

Continue to read for further recommended earthquake safety actions.

Prepare in advance!

Steps to Prepare, Survive, and Recover

  • Secure your space
  • Prepare a disaster plan
  • Prepare a communication plan
  • Have a personal and household disaster supply kit
  • Organize important documents in a grab and go bag
  • Prepare for reconnecting and recovery