noticed a call for recruits to begin meteorology 1953, Miller and Fawbush were awarded the USAF training at the army's new training facility in Grand Commendation Medal for their effort in develop- Rapids, Michigan, and reapplied. This time he ing and improving tornado forecasting techniques. passed the eye examination and entered the me- In January 1956, he moved with the SWWC to teorology training program at Grand Rapids, Michi- Kansas City, Missouri, where it became collocated gan, in January 1943, graduating in September 1943. with the Weather Bureau's SELS Unit, which had moved there in 1954. Also in 1956, Fawbush and Most of Miller's WWII service was at Morotai, Miller were awarded the American Meteorological Dutch New Guinea, forecasting for Dutch KLM, Royal Air Force, American planes carrying troops Society's Clarence LeRoy Meisinger Award. In to the Pacific Theater, and some fighter squadrons. 1958 he was assigned to Squadron Officer's School After returning to Long Beach, California, in De- and then to High Wycombe, United Kingdom, cember 1945, Miller decided to remain an army where he was chief forecaster at the USAF Weather weather officer. After several short assignments, on Center. On 15 March 1961, the SWWC was deac- 1 March 1948, he was detailed to Tinker Air Force tivated when the Weather Bureau assumed respon- Base (AFB), Oklahoma. sibility for severe thunderstorm and tornado forecasting for the Department of Defense. Shortly thereafter, on 20 March 1948, a devas- tating tornado hit Tinker Field. In the days follow- In September 1961, Miller was reassigned from ing that tornado, Miller (then a captain) and Ernie the USAF Weather Center in High Wycombe, United Fawbush (then a major) researched ways to fore- Kingdom, to the USAF Terminal Forecast Facility cast the storms and on 25 March 1948 they issued in Kansas City, Missouri. The first AWS Moorman the first official tornado forecast that included Award (best forecast unit) was presented in 1964 Tinker AFB. The forecast verified spectacularly to the Terminal Forecast Facility where Miller was when another tornado touched down on Tinker chief forecaster. The Terminal Forecast Facility was AFB about 100 yards from where the first one had rapidly converted to the USAF Military Weather struck just five days earlier. Warning Center (MWWC) when the USAF decided it needed specialized warning services that the The Fawbush and Miller team worked for sev- Weather Bureau could not provide. Also in 1964, eral years thereafter to improve the forecast tech- the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astro- nique they used for the first tornado forecast. This nautics awarded him the Robert M. Losey Award work was instrumental in the establishment of the first Severe Weather Warning Center (SWWC) for for his service in providing aviation with warnings the USAF in February 1951. Eventually, the of tornadoes and related severe weather. He retired Weather Bureau opened its own Severe Local Storms from the USAF in 1966 and for six months worked (SELS) Unit in Washington, D.C., in March 1952. as a lead forecaster in the SELS Unit. Also during the 1950s, Miller was associated After his time as a SELS forecaster, he was hired with a project called Tornado Alley, in which the as a civilian to be chief forecaster of the USAF Sixth Mobile Weather Squadron deployed mobile MWWC. In 1967 he published the famous AWS ballooning units to give more detailed upper-air in- Technical Report 200 (or, simply, TR-200), de- formation needed for tornado forecasting. This scribing the techniques pioneered by Miller and project foreshadowed the National Severe Storms Fawbush. In 1970, the MWWC moved to Offutt Laboratory's spring field programs. In January AFB, Nebraska, to become part of the Air Force Global Weather Center (AFGWC). Miller became the chief scientist of the Analysis and Forecast Sec- tion of the AFGWC, but his main focus remained severe thunderstorm and tornado forecasting. 3n ji/iemxydarri For his work with the severe weather forecast section in AFGWC, he was awarded the 1970 AWS Forecaster of the Year Award (Centralized Facil- ity). In May 1972, he revised TR-200; this revised version is used widely as a reference on severe weather forecasting to this day. Miller was elected a Fellow of the American Meteorological Society Vol. 79 , No. 7 7, November J 998
Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society – American Meteorological Society
Published: Nov 1, 1998
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