The Wichita Eagle reports that the U.S. Department of Commerce says they are considering two branches of the National Weather Service to receive their highest honorary award.
The spotlight is shining on the National Weather Service in Wichita and Topeka, Kansas. The gold medal would be given for their work leading up to and during last year’s tornado outbreak on April 14.
The medal is awarded for “distinguished performance characterized by extraordinary notable, or prestigious contributions” that affect the Commerce Department. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is a unit of that department.
The significant outbreak last May was one of the worst in 20 years in south-central Kansas. There were 24 tornadoes including an EF-4 near Kanopolis Lake with winds near 200 miles per hour and two EF-3 tornadoes. One of the EF-3 twisters hit the outskirts of Wichita after sundown.
The U.S. Department of Commerce should announce the gold award recipients within the next few weeks.