From the Harford County Department of Emergency Services:
(Forest Hill, MD) – A 19 year-old student from the University of Maryland spent several hours at the Harford County Department of Emergency Services (DES) conducting meteorological projections for snowfall during a recent severe weather event.
Michael Natoli, a resident of Bel Air, is a sophomore at the College Park campus majoring in Atmospheric and Oceanic Science.
Natoli came to the Emergency Operation Center (EOC) at the request of Director Russell J. Strickland. Director Strickland, who was familiar with the youth, asked Mr. Natoli if he could compute snow fall projections for Harford County based upon information the Department had received. Mr. Natoli gladly accepted the opportunity and within a short time completed his calculations which indicated on an hourly basis the projected snowfall the county would most likely receive. The student’s projections proved accurate.
The Harford County Department of Emergency Services receives informational reports on projected snowfall from the National Weather Service (NWS) in Sterling, Virginia. The Department participates in state-wide and regional conference calls with multiple agencies, departments and organizations prior to and during all significant weather events.
Although the Department provides emergency notifications and emergency preparedness messages to Harford County residents and businesses, projected snowfall amounts often vary throughout the course of a storm due to a number of factors. The Department provides updates as needed based upon the most current information available from the National Weather Service.
Commenting on the assistance provided by Mr. Natoli, Director Strickland said, “We are fortunate to have such a bright and talented student to come to the EOC during a major storm and provide us with his technical skills. Michael’s projections were very accurate and gave Emergency Manager Rick Ayers another tool to use in helping us manage a serious winter weather event,” Strickland added.
The Mission of the Department of Emergency Services is provide quality emergency and support services to address the public safety needs of citizens, businesses and emergency responders in Harford County. Our services will be delivered in a manner that is professional and reflects our commitment to excellence.