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Internet outages caused issues at Medford NWS office

A host of problems affecting the National Weather Service communications network and internet services Tuesday impacted local offices across the U.S., including Medford, Weather Service officials said.

The Weather Service central office in Silver Spring, Maryland, tweeted out a statement about the problems at 7:29 a.m. Tuesday.

“The National Weather Service is experiencing intermittent communications network issues and temporary outages of some web services,” the statement said. “We are working on repairs and determining the root cause.”

The statement added that the issues were not affecting the Weather Service’s ability to deliver weather watches and warnings. Those can be accessed through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration website, wireless emergency alerts, the Emergency Alert System, the Emergency Managers Weather Information Network, and the Weather Service’s social media accounts.

In Medford, the most severe issues from the nationwide problem manifested between about 1 and 5 a.m. Tuesday, said meteorologist Ryan Sandler.

“It got really bad overnight,” he said.

The main impacts were to the office’s internet access, which severely stunted the agency’s ability to perform a variety of tasks, Sandler said. They included pushing out forecasts and gathering modeling data. It also affected the agency’s internal chat system.

The Medford office was still able to produce forecasts, but they were delayed. Officials were able to get some modeling data from satellites, and the office also relied on an iPad connected to a cellular network as a temporary workaround.

“It’s good that it wasn’t during the day,” Sandler said, adding that many of the issues seemed to have resolved on a local level early Tuesday afternoon.

“All of our stuff we were able to push out this morning, I understand,” Sandler said.

The Weather Service main office said it would issue additional information as officials learned more.

Reach Mail Tribune web editor Ryan Pfeil at 541-776-4468 or rpfeil@rosebudmedia.com. Follow him on Twitter at @ryanpfeil.