April 20, 2017
Contact: Mike Theune - NPS
Contact: Christine Riley - NWS
SEQUOIA AND KINGS CANYON NATIONAL PARKS, Calif. April 20, 2017 – It is with great excitement through a new partnership with the National Weather Service Forecast Office in Hanford, Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks are now Weather Ready Nation Ambassadors.
The Weather Ready Nation Ambassador program is about building community resilience in the face of increasing vulnerability to extreme weather. Working together to provide and gather vital information for the protection of life and property for staff and visitors alike is paramount to safety for all that visit and enjoy our national parks. There are only 14 national parks of the 417 National Park Service units in the country with this status
“We are humbled to be honored by the National Weather Service as a Weather Ready Nation Ambassador. It’s through this partnership we can better inform our staff and visitors as they work-in and enjoy these national parks,” stated Woody Smeck, Superintendent of Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks.
“Having a Weather-Ready Nation Ambassador such as Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks ensures we both reach more people who need weather information when visiting national parks. This commitment will, undoubtedly, strengthen our already strong partnership with the National Park Service," said Kevin Lynott, Meteorologist-in-Charge
The NWS and NPS have already started building this relationship by working on a number of projects that will enhance and provide for a safer more informed visitor experience. This includes:
For more information about the Weather Ready National Ambassador program or join, please visit: http://www.nws.noaa.gov/com/weatherreadynation/.
- Electronic weather and park info displays being developed and expected to be functional by summer 2017 at Lodgepole, Ash Mountain, and Grant Grove.
- NWS is adding additional NPS campgrounds and other landmarks into advisory/watch/warning language.
- Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks are now setup to have watches/warnings automatically emailed to dispatch, who will then radio information to back country rangers.
- Continued work with the parks’ Search and Rescue, NWS provides SAR SPOT training.
- NWS working with Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks Rangers to get more accurate and useful weather information for Ranger Stations.
- NWS and Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks working on joint social media campaigns for added planning and safety messages for the public.
About National Weather Service Forecast Office, Hanford
The National Weather Service office located in Hanford California forecasts for a large portion of the central California interior. The forecast area lies between the crests of the Diablo Range and the Sierra Nevada from Merced and Mariposa Counties south through the Tehachapi Mountains, just beyond Bakersfield. It also includes all of Yosemite National Park, Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, and the Kern County portion of the Mojave desert. Elevations vary from only 90 feet above sea level near the Merced County line, to 14,505 feet at the peak of Mt. Whitney (the tallest mountain in the contiguous United States.) The Hanford office is responsible for issuing weather watches, warnings, and advisories for this large area in central California.
About Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks
These two parks, which lie-side-by-side in the southern Sierra Nevada in Central California, serve as a prime example of nature’s size, beauty, and diversity. Over 1.8 million visitors from across the U.S. and the world visit these parks for the world’s largest trees (by volume), grand mountains, rugged foothills, deep canyons, vast caverns, the highest point in the lower 48 states, and more. Learn more at https://www.nps.gov/seki or 559-565-3341.