Crowley Maritime Corp. has been selected as
a 2011 Company Award winner in NOAA’s Voluntary Observing Ship program.
The selection was based on Jacksonville, Fla.-based Crowley’s
48 vessels providing 204,430 highly accurate and timely weather observations
for the U.S. VOS program in 2011. Crowley’s St. Louis Express, a cargo
vessel, contributed 4,926 observations in 2011, ranking her the second-highest
reporting vessel in the entire U.S. program.
The VOS program, which was established in 1853, relies on
volunteer crewmembers on nearly 1,000 ships around the world to monitor the
weather at their locations and submit the observations to national
meteorological services. This data is used to create marine weather forecasts
and is archived for future use by climatologists and other scientists.
“Our vessels’ crew members have been contributing first-hand
weather data to VOS for decades,” said Mike Golonka, general manager of Crowley’s
ship management division, in a company press release. “As a former volunteer on
board our vessels, I am especially proud of Crowley’s history with the program.
This company is committed to continuing to support it. We see the impact it has
each day on our own vessel operations, and we are very appreciative of this
Weather forecasters in the United States rely upon Crowley’s
reports heavily, the company says. These observations are used to produce the
daily weather forecasts, charts, warnings, coastal-marine warnings and
tropical-prediction forecasts which are distributed by NOAA’s National Weather
Service forecast offices, including the Tropical Analysis and Forecast branch,
the Storm Prediction Center and the National Hurricane Center. Observations are
also sent to all World Meteorological Organization partner countries to help
produce global weather charts, advisories and forecasts imperative for the safe
movement of private and commercial shipping.
“The invaluable efforts provided by the Crowley fleet of
ships collecting and disseminating weather and oceanographic observations,
during their voyages, is greatly appreciated by the VOS program,” said Helmut
H. Portmann, director, National Data Buoy Center of the NOAA, in a letter to
Crowley. “Your crews’ hard work and dedication has reflected great credit upon
your company and the maritime community. Your contributions make a world of