Pearl Harbor, HI (NNS) -- On June 14, the Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) hosted a Make a Wish Foundation child Mr. Connor Woods and family to fulfill his dream of becoming a meteorologist. Since he was young, Connor, of Pennsylvania, has been fascinated by extreme weather events and natural disasters like hurricanes and tsunamis.
The Make a Wish Foundation flew Connor and his family to Oahu to tour the JTWC, which forecasts for tropical cyclones in the Pacific and Indian Oceans, where 80% of the world's total tropical cyclones occur. Mr. Owen Shieh and Lt. Dave Price of the JTWC Training Department gave Connor and his family a tour of the JTWC watch floor.
Shieh said, "Many meteorologists can relate to Connor's childhood fascination with the weather, so it was an honor to host his visit and to help make his wish of visiting an operational tropical cyclone forecast center come true."
Watchstanders at the Command Duty Officer, Satellite Analyst, Typhoon Duty Officer, Geophysical Technician and Forecast Duty Officer positions explained their responsibilities and contribution to tropical cyclone forecasting and tsunami response, another mission that JTWC performs for Department of Defense assets worldwide. Shieh and Price discussed the physics and thermodynamics that drive tropical cyclones, the tropical cyclone forecasting process, and which variables and data sources are considered when estimating current and future track and intensity for tropical cyclones.
At the end of his visit, command leadership presented Connor with command coins, a command T-shirt, a book entitled "The Ultimate Guide to America's Weather" and an honorary Information Warfare Officer pin to welcome Connor into the Naval Oceanography community as an honorary meteorologist.
Connor's father, a retired Navy veteran, expressed his and his son's gratitude for the visit, saying he and Connor "can't thank you and the command team enough [for an] amazing day."
While on Oahu, the Woods family also toured the National Weather Service's Honolulu Weather Forecast Office and Central Pacific Hurricane Center, located on the campus of the University of Hawaii at Manoa, to experience forecasting for a local civilian population. They visited the Pearl Harbor memorial and were given a private tour of the USS Missouri (BB-63). Additionally, they went zip-lining at Kualoa Ranch, the location of many film scenes, including scenes from Jurassic Park and Jumanji.
JTWC provides tropical cyclone reconnaissance, forecast, safety warning and decision support services for operational advantage to U.S. government agencies operating in the Pacific and Indian Oceans.
JTWC also provides tsunami advisory information and recommendations to shore installations and units, as well as impact forecasts for U.S. Pacific Fleet's airborne Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance and decision support services to U.S. Pacific Command and its subordinate commands, as directed.
JTWC is jointly staffed by U.S. Navy and Air Force personnel and falls under the operational control of Commander, Task Force 80.7-Commander, Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command. U.S. Air Force personnel are sourced to JTWC by the 17th Operational Weather Squadron, a subordinate squadron of the 557th Weather Wing.
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