Dec. 8, 2021 – NSF December Forum: “Winter is Coming! You know something…Chris Smallcomb”

Dec. 8, 2021 – NSF December Forum: “Winter is Coming! You know something…Chris Smallcomb”

Winter is Coming!
You know something…Chris Smallcomb

Chris Smallcomb

Meteorologist and Public Information Officer, National Weather Service, Reno

with NSF discussants

Kevin Schaller, President, NSF Board of Directors
Mike Matthews, DHS/CISA Protective Security Advisor for Nevada


Welcome NSFers to our next program – yes, it’s a Zoom event (but there is real hope for a return to in-person events soon!

You are invited to a Zoom webinar:

  • When: Dec 8, 2021 09:00 AM Pacific Time (US and Canada)
  • Topic: NSF Event – Winter is Coming? The 2021-2022 Winter Outlook
  • Register in advance for this webinar:
    https://us06web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_ujYSxQzlSS-hikydsmcdVw
  • After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

NSF presents our 2021 Holiday Program…
just in time for you to get that snowblower out!

First, I want to thank all the NSFers who attended our last program on Zoom with Dr. Alexis Reed. She led a fascinating discussion about Nevada’s own nuclear incident response capabilities that protect the nation and the world. I do hope everyone is resting better knowing that Dr. Reed and her colleagues working at the Nevada Nuclear Security Site (NNSS) are on the job both at home and abroad.

Second, I want to thank the intrepid NSFers who joined us for a delightful, intimate reception at Montreux with Dr. Reed. The event gave attendees a great opportunity to get to know Dr. Reed better and learn more about how Nevada is home to the world’s premier nuclear security capabilities. Even better we are now positioned to reconstitute our tour to NNSS in the spring when NNSS opens its doors for visits again. Stay tuned as we work logistics with Kena Anderson (NNSS, Dir. Communications) for a trip in the March to May timeframe. This will be an excellent opportunity for NSF members to see first-hand the people and technologies that keep us safe.

Third, thank you again to all of you who have given us feedback on we can successfully return to in-person events. The NSF Program Committee and Board of Directors are developing new options for in-person programs (probably quarterly) intermixed with Zoom programs (in other months) starting (we hope) in February. We expect that our revamped program offerings and venue will entice you back and keep you engaged both in-person and virtually. Stay tuned for more updates in December.

Now for the feature event…

Some say the world will end in fire, 
Some say in ice. 
From what I’ve tasted of desire 
I hold with those who favor fire. 
But if it had to perish twice, 
I think I know enough of hate 
To say that for destruction ice 
Is also great 
And would suffice.

(Robert Frost)

NSF recognizes that national security encompasses a lot more than just conflicts, diplomacy, and crises abroad. It also captures how we respond to extreme events at home including those wrought by Mother Nature. To bring this perspective into focus, we are thrilled to have Mr. Chris Smallcomb (NWS meteorologist, emergency manager liaison, and author of the Freakout Chart) talk to us about the 2021-2022 Winter Outlook. Chris leads communications with federal, tribal, state, local and private sector emergency managers to help them anticipate and respond to extreme weather events in our region and to increase resilience in our communities to disruptions to life, property, and critical infrastructure that fire and ice can cause.

After a summer of drought, mega fires, never-ending smoke, and record heat – will this upcoming winter save us all?

Chris will look into the latest projections for the balance of winter, ranging from the current week to months in advance. The major October atmospheric river and La Nina in the Pacific have some interesting ramifications for our coming winter that he’ll touch on. He’ll also talk about the predictability of weather hazards in our region ranging from atmospheric rivers, to inside sliders, to post-fire flooding. Chris will finish with how the changing climate and improved weather modeling are impacting his experiences in day-to-day weather forecasting.

Kevin and Mike will then rejoinder Chris with how we can make our emergency management community more resilient in the face of an increasing seasonal progression of extreme weather events that strain our response capabilities and threaten our critical infrastructure.

You don’t need to watch reruns of Game of Thrones to get the real story of Fire and Ice…just join us for the NSF version of holiday fun!

Please join us for a very enlightening discussion and be ready with lots of questions about what skis to use when and whether you should really plan that outdoor wedding in Tahoe in February.  

Chris Smallcomb is a meteorologist and the Public Information Officer at the National Weather Service forecast office in Reno. In this role since 2012, he has worked with emergency management, public safety, and media partners in the eastern Sierra and western Nevada on weather hazards preparedness and decision support for the community ahead of significant storms, floods, and fire weather. Recent major events he’s provided support for include: 2014-15 severe drought, 2017 atmospheric rivers and floods, and 2020-21 dense smoke and wildfires. He’s been in the NWS for nearly 22 years including forecasting positions in Texas and Kentucky, science & technology transfer in Reno and Salt Lake City, and staffing agency political leadership in DC. Chris holds M.S. and B.S. degrees in Atmospheric and Oceanic Science from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. Outside of work, you’ll probably see Chris running along our many amazing mountain and desert trails, or perhaps run-commuting into work during a snowstorm.