The United States Contract Weather Observing Association, a 501(c](6]Non-Profit Organization, was founded and incorporated in late December 2016. It was designed and organized by a few concerned and ambitious weather observers that were passionate about the importance their profession brings to aviation safety. The Association members currently consist of several federally contracted weather companies, contract weather observers, and Airport Authorities and Agencies. The main purpose and objective of the association is to be a vehicle of preservation for the FAA Contract Weather Observation Program and to promote weather education and proactive interaction with government leaders, lobbying groups, and the aviation community. We believe in preaching aviation weather safety with more accurate and timely weather observations. The Association also promotes more enhanced public understanding and awareness of the importance of accurate weather reports and what positive and effective impacts they have on air traffic and airport operations. The Association advocates more precise and timely weather observations for maintaining excellence in aviation safety, subsequently leading to safer and more efficient airport operations.
Membership or Donations
Contract Weather Observers donate $0.20 for every hour they work.
Contract Weather Companies donate $2,000 for an annual membership.
Airport Authorities, Airport Executives donate $500.00 for an annual membership.
Annual Membership for anyone outside of the CWO Community and Association of American Airport Executives (AAAE) is $50.00 for an individual and only $250.00 for any corporation.
Donations of any denomination are also accepted and can be paid to the order of USCWOA and sent to:
806 East Tara Lee Avenue
Medical Lake, WA 99022
OFFICERS, DIRECTORS, AND ADVISORS
Mr. Charles Starrett
Mr. Todd Skobjak
USCWOA Vice President/Co-Chairman
Charles Starrett began his weather career in the United States Air Force in 1989. He has over 30 years’ experience in weather forecasting operations and weather observing. He served with the 7th Weather Squadron in Germany and supported the U. S. Army’s 2nd Armored Calvary Regiment and the 3rd Infantry Division along with the 45th Medivac Company.
He is currently employed as a part-time weather observer at Hartsfield-Jackson Airport in Atlanta, Georgia. He has served as the Supervisor and Manager of the Chattanooga FAA Federal Contract Weather Office for more than 23 years. Prior to moving to Chattanooga he served as a Meteorological Technician for the National Weather Service and worked as a sea state forecaster for a forecast consulting company in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. And prior to that he worked for a National Weather Service contract in Lafayette, Louisiana. He has extensive training in weather radar operations and monitoring.
Mr. Starrett is married to Laurie
Rogerson. They have one daughter. Their daughter is currently a senior at the University of Texas in Austin, Texas. Mr. Starrett is a devoted family man and enjoys spending time with his wife and daughter. He is very active with his local church where he serves as a deacon and teaches AWANA classes and the Youth about the Bible. He enjoys running, numismatics, genealogical studies, and loves SEC college football. He is currently a member of the Sons of the American Revolution and enjoys participating in Heritage and Civic events.
Todd Skobjak has been working in the field of meteorology, mostly as a Weather Observer, since September 1995 (24 years), which was right after graduating with a BS in Meteorology from the State University of New York (SUNY) at Brockport. He is also an instructor (High School and Junior College) of Physics, Chemistry, Earth Science, Environmental Science, Astronomy, and Meteorology) and has a MS in Secondary Science Education from SUNY Buffalo. He has also represented (KROC CWO) as the Union Steward for more years than he can remember and is actively involved in his Teacher's Union.
Mr. Skobjak has 3 Children and a wife of 18 years. His oldest child (daughter) will also be graduating college from SUNY Brockport with a BS in Nursing this Spring. His middle child (son) will be graduating high school this Spring and plans to attend college, and his youngest child (son) is currently a sophomore in high school. His wife is currently pursuing a degree in Nursing. Unfortunately, other than when having the possibility of getting a day off from school, no one in his family really follows the science of meteorology. Perhaps that's because of his love of and continual broadcasting of weather conditions far and wide around his home!
Mr. David Law
Dave Law originally joined the Spokane CWO part-time in 2001 and became the SWO in 2014. In addition to his observing duties, he continues to work as part of the KHQ-TV Weather Team where he’s served as an on-air Meteorologist since 2005. Also a decorated veteran, Dave says, "Weather assignments have taken me around the planet and allowed me to experience an unbelievable breadth of phenomena and responsibility." The abbreviated list of weather assignments included: Korea, Persian Gulf, Micronesia, North Carolina, California, and many more locations. Responsibilities ranged from Rawinsonde operations, hurricane evacuations, rescue operations, to satellite space launches and NASA shuttle landings. His final stop was as Fairchild AFB's, Chief Meteorologist, where he retired from military service in 2005. "It was awesome to return home to Washington." With 35 years in the weather discipline, Dave had definitely "seen it and done it." A graduate from the Air Force's Advanced Meteorology curriculum and Mississippi State, he holds degrees in "Weather Technology" and "Operational Meteorology."
Dave's an avid fisherman/fly fisher. On any given day, he could be on one of the Pacific Northwest’s treasured lakes/rivers or exploring a fresh gem. "I actually make plans based on my weather knowledge…and that sure-fire advantage ensures I know when to go, where to go, and I'm prepared for Mother Nature." As far as best weather experiences…there are thousands, and they're all about "a spot-on weather call."
Mr. Dennis Rainwater
Dennis Rainwater began gathering his experience as a Weather Observer in 1987 when he joined the USAF from his home in California's Napa Valley. While serving the Air Weather Service, he was assigned to McChord AFB in Tacoma, WA, and the joint bases of RAF Bentwaters and RAF Woodbridge in Suffolk, England. He has served as a FAA Contract Weather Observer at Piedmont Triad International Airport in Greensboro, North Carolina since 2003. He assumed the duties of Senior Weather Observer there when the previous supervisor retired in 2013.
Dennis has been married 27 years. He has 3 daughters. The oldest daughter is married, the 2nd is serving in the USAF at Seymour-Johnson AFB, and the youngest is in college.
Serving the aviation community for many years has endowed Dennis with a passion for flight. While he enjoys many activities such as travel, reading, and time spent with family and friends, he is, at last, getting to indulge his thirst for 'slipping the surly bonds of earth' by finally acquiring his first aircraft -- an ultralight, for now. He loves taking rides with his wife in one of his classic Jaguars.
Mr. Matthew Harding
Mr. Jeff Bloomer
Jeff Bloomer attended the University of Minnesota and the Meteorological Technical Institute in 1998. He has over 21 years experience as a professional weather observer at Des Moines International Airport and 4 years as Upper Midwest forecaster for Snowforecast.com - focusing not only on short term weather but a heavy emphasis on long term trends in the 7-21 day range. His passion for the weather is unparalleled and it shows in the quality product he delivers as a professional weather observer. His forecasting dream was launched in 2010 (all learned by self study) when he started work for Snowforecast.com as their Upper Midwest winter forecaster primarily focusing on Lutsen Mountains and the UP of Michigan.
Mr. Bloomer's hobbies and other passions in life are winter sports, winter camping, ice fishing, wilderness canoeing, water sports and spending quality time with his wife, His 11 yr old son and widowed mother take up most of his free time when he is not working professionally in the weather field. Amateur Astronomy is also a serious passion of his. He is an accomplished athlete and a few notable athletic accomplishments are 1990- Swimming - ranked 49th in the World - Mens 1500 meter Freestyle 15:54.81 (21st in the USA). Numerous All American awards in swimming. September 2015- 210 mile Minnesota Voyageur Canoe Challenge from Crane Lake, MN to Grand Portage, MN completed in 149 hours-- 1st place. September 2016- 210 mile Voyageur Canoe Challenge from Crane Lake, MN to Grand Portage, MN in 126 hours 45 minutes- 1st place as well as standing record.
Mr. Derek Ortgies
CONTRACT WEATHER OFFICE HISTORY
1994 Quillayute, Washington Upper Air Station
1995 Gallup, New Mexico, Worland, Wyoming
1996 - 1999 Billings, Montana
2000-Present Billings, Montana
Mr. Ortgies experience includes Station Senior Weather Observer, and FAA Contract Management from 2000-2005.
He is happily married and has two sons ages 19, and 15. He is currently dual employed, and work for Franz Family Bakeries. Family and DIY projects keep him busy in his spare time.
Mrs. Robin Miller
Ms. Robin Miller has worked as a weather
observer at the Jackson-Evers International
Airport (KJAN), located in Jackson, MS for
13 years. She is currently the site’s Senior
Weather Observer and employed by Vero
Ms. Miller obtained a bachelor’s degree
in Meteorology. In 1998 and later obtained
her Master’s degree in Public Health,
both from Jackson State University.
She worked in the University’s Meteorology
and Public Health departments assisting
in research, recruitment, student advising
and many other duties prior to becoming
a weather observer.
She has served as the Weather Observer for the Vicksburg Music and Arts Festival for the past 16 years and counting.
Ms. Miller is the proud mother of five children, two currently in college. She is active in her local church and devoted to the ministry of prayer. She enjoys sewing, events planning,
DIY projects, traveling and camping.
Matthew Harding Matthew Harding originally joined CWO Wichita in February 2011 as a part-time weather observer. A weather geek since birth, Matthew has been in and seen many types of weather, from blizzards to hurricanes. In addition to his duties as supervisor of Contract Weather office at Wichita's Eisenhower National Airport, Matthew is an accomplished journalist, having won several awards for field reporting, severe weather coverage and special programming.
When he is not watching the skies, Matthew enjoys spending time with his wife Shaylon and their two dogs, Misty and Zoey, watching Wichita Thunder hockey and KU basketball, and still loves a good storm chase.
Mr. Daryl Bargiband
USCWOA Technical Advisor
Mr. Daryl Bargiband is currently the Senior Weather Observer at the airport in Ontario, CA.
Mr. Bob Hepler
Bobby Hepler began weather career in the United States Air Force as a weather observer in the Air Weather Service from 1980 - 1986. After working with two private weather firms, he became a contract weather observer at JFK International Airport in New York, July 1990.
Part owner of HEPWELL Company LTD while continued full time work at JFK from 1993 - 2005. Since then, have worked as full time observer and site supervisor at the JFK / FAA Contract Weather Office in New York under 3 separate vendors; Control Systems Research, Pacific Weather, Inc. & most recently IBEX Weather, Inc.
Married for 32 years with two boys in college.
Mr. Hepler was very instrumental with his ideas to form the USCWOA and he actually designed our logo for the Association.