Grand Teton Recognized as First StormReady National Park

June 16, 2009

StormReady poster.

High resolution (Credit: NOAA)

Add severe weather to the list of natural wonders Grand Teton National Park rangers are prepared to handle. On Thursday, June 18, NOAA’s National Weather Service will recognize Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming as the first StormReady® national park in the United States.

To earn the StormReady designation, park officials completed several steps to ensure the safety of the park’s nearly 3 million annual visitors. StormReady requires implementation of a rigorous set of severe weather warning criteria and action plans to ensure public safety.

Communications links with NOAA’s Riverton, Wyo., National Weather Service office and redundant warning systems will improve warning services at the park’s visitor centers and to National Park Service personnel. Delivering timely warning information to park rangers and concessionaires is vital for improving visitor safety.

“Making  484 square miles of peaks, valleys and trails StormReady was a gargantuan task, but it helps park officials make decisions that will protect a myriad of visitors year-round” said Lynn Maximuk, director of NOAA’s National Weather Service Central Region.

Herd of American bison in Grand Teton National Park.

Herd of American bison in Grand Teton National Park.

High resolution (Credit: NOAA)

“At Grand Teton National Park, we take seriously our role to provide a safe environment for both the local Jackson Hole community and for the millions of people who visit the park each year. As a new StormReady site, we will do all we can to alert local residents and park visitors to severe weather events,” Superintendent Mary Gibson Scott said. “Being the first national park to achieve StormReady status is especially gratifying, and we hope to serve as an example for others to follow.”

Kevin Lynott, meteorologist-in-charge of the Riverton National Weather Service office, will present a recognition letter and special StormReady signs to Gibson and other park officials at 1 p.m. on June 18 at park headquarters in Moose, Wyo. StormReady recognition will be in effect for three years, after which park personnel will go through a renewal process.

To earn StormReady designation, a community must:

NOAA understands and predicts changes in the Earth’s environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and conserves and manages our coastal and marine resources.

StormReady® is a registered trademark used by the National Weather Service.