OFFUTT AIR FORCE BASE, Neb. (AFNS) --
The latest, up-to-date weather forecasts from around the globe are now just a few mouse clicks away thanks to the staff at the American Forces Network Weather Center here.
AFNWC personnel recently updated their Web site to include daily weather forecasts for Europe, Southwest Asia and the Tropics.
"We got back online Jan. 5," said Staff Sgt. Rebecca Jones, a broadcast weather technician with the AFNWC. "We started using new video editing software last summer that produces a higher quality show than what was previously online."
Visitors to the revamped site can choose between a two-day and an extended forecast, which includes the weather outlook for three days.
The AFNWC Web site
is designed with military members and their families in mind, particularly those deployed or stationed overseas.
"The site is updated daily," said Staff Sgt. Kevin Johnson, a broadcast weather technician with the AFNWC. "In the future we may even add a tropical storm and hurricane update show, so those military families stationed in the path of a strong storm get accurate, up-to-date weather information."
The AFNWC broadcast team relies on information from a variety of sources to produce the most accurate and reliable forecasts for their audience.
"We utilize a lot of data sources. Most importantly, (we use) weather observations and forecasts from military forecasters across the globe," Sergeant Jones said. "We also use tools like satellite imagery and computer model weather data."
The broadcasters at the AFNWC are weather forecasters by trade, but do receive some additional training from the Defense Media Center, located at March Air Reserve Base, Calif.
"Instructors from the Defense Media Center take us through a training course once a year," Sergeant Johnson said. "They also send us additional information throughout the year that helps us out, much like continuation training."
"When I joined the AFNWC it was almost like cross training," Sergeant Jones said. "I get to use some of my skills as a forecaster, but had to soak up every bit of advice from the other forecasters here and study some broadcasting techniques myself."
The AFNWC produces roughly 8,400 forecasts a month that cover 72 locations in 60 different countries. Their broadcasts are one the most popular segments on the American Forces Radio and Television Service and are seen by nearly one-million military members and their families in 175 countries around the world.