SYRACUSE, Ind. (WANE) – The National Weather Service Northern Indiana office has named a new Warning Coordination Meteorologist. Dustin Norman is pleased to be taking over the position, which was vacated when Michael Lewis retired in November of last year.
The Warning Coordination Meteorologist is a position mandated by the federal government. The role is designed to provide decision support services so people can make informed decisions on the local, community, county, state, and federal levels. This includes the public and the weather service’s core partners, which includes the media, emergency managers, and others. It is codified in law that the National Weather Service will provide these support services to make sure partners are making the best and most informed weather-related decisions to secure the safety of their community.
Norman comes to Indiana after career stops in Tampa, Florida, and Reno, Nevada. He is originally from Florida and received his Bachelor of Science degree in Meteorology from Florida State University.
While in Tampa, Norman gained tropical weather experience and was the Port Liaison to the Port of Tampa. He met with emergency managers, partners, and stakeholders, plus created many hurricane-related safety exercises. He took this experience to Reno and added plenty of winter weather experience to his resume, as Reno gets about as much snow as Fort Wayne does each year. In fact, the Sierra Nevada Mountains had upwards of 800 inches of snow last winter in his forecast area!
This is Norman’s first time being the Warning Coordination Meteorologist. He finds great enjoyment in engaging with the weather service’s partners and the public. He also loves attending various meetings with emergency managers.
The National Weather Service is all about protecting life and property. Norman wants to continue building deeper relationships between the media, emergency management, and the public as he begins at the Northern Indiana office. He wants to examine how the weather service best fosters these relationships and how information can best be communicated; he was just presenting at a meeting with the Indiana Department of Transportation on Tuesday. He also will be constantly evaluating the products and services delivered by the weather service. For example, Norman has already worked on coordinating the changing of snowfall alert criteria for this upcoming winter. He hopes to evaluate more products coming up.
Norman is a flexible person and is willing to try new things. He wants to explore new ideas if they enhance services available to people. He is always open to communicating with the public and doing different outreach events. Onsite work supporting an emergency manager is a way his work will impact everyday life. He encourages people to participate in events and even reach out to come tour the weather service office. He also wants teachers to contact him and already is giving a classroom presentation here in November.
Ultimately, Norman’s job is 25 percent forecasting, 75 percent outreach and maintaining relationships with the 37 counties the Northern Indiana office serves across three different states. He wants to ensure the needs of all of these counties are met equally.
Norman looks forward to storm spotter training sessions that will return in the spring and he encourages the public to sign up and ultimately be able to relay measurements and reports. With winter coming up, he says to make sure you take it slow when encountering that first winter storm of the season when it gets here. Always use good judgement and be safe.