8.3 The National Climate Extremes Committee

Thursday, 13 January 2000: 9:45 AM
Andrew Horvitz, NOAA/NWS, Silver Spring, MD; and R. Leffler, M. Changery, and G. Taylor


Andrew Horvitz NWS Office of Meteorology, Silver Spring, Maryland

Robert Leffler NWS Office of Systems Operations Silver Spring, Maryland

Michael Changery, National Climatic Data Center,

George Taylor, President, American Association of State Climatologists


The National Climate Extremes Committee (NCEC) was formed in November, 1997, based on the Montague, New York Snowfall Committee's recommendation. The purpose of the group is to review reported climatological extreme events (such as the 1998-99 reported world record for seasonal snowfall observed at Mt. Baker Ski Area, Washington) that challenge existing national records.

State records continue to be the responsibility of the state climatologists, the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC), and the appropriate National Weather Service Forecast Office (NWS- WFO).

The Committee assesses the scientific merit of reported extreme meteorological/climatological events and provide a recommendation to the Director of the NCDC regarding the validity of the measurement and the Director makes the final decision. The Committee is also responsible for handling media inquiries (through the NWS Public Affairs Office) and dissemination of the declared assessment of the event.

A NWS Forecast Office submits information regarding a specific event to the NWS Office of Meteorology to initiate the NCEC to take action. Background should include the actual measurement, time, location, and the previous record. Acceptance of extreme values is determined by an evaluation of measurement methodology including an assessment of how the measurement was taken as well as a comparison of the previously accepted values. The accuracy of extreme events is of economic value to the weather sensitive industry.

The Committee is comprised of permanent representatives from the NWS, NCDC, and the American Association of State Climatologists, and can be supported by event specific experts as deemed appropriate.

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