96 Emerging Needs for NWS Regional and Local Climate–Informed Decision Support Services

Monday, 7 January 2019
Hall 4 (Phoenix Convention Center - West and North Buildings)
Marina Timofeyeva, NOAA/NWS, Silver Spring, MD; and F. Horsfall, J. C. Meyers, and V. Silva

As the American public increasingly requests information at sub-seasonal and seasonal time scales for decision making, the NWS Climate Services Program is striving to meet those needs by accelerating transition of research to operations, improving delivery of products and services, and enhancing partnerships to facilitate provision of seamless weather, water, and climate products and services at regional and local levels. Additionally, NWS forecasters are requesting more tools to help better understand and identify linkages between climate and severe weather and water to provide more effective impact-based decision support services (IDSS). This paper will describe the activities to more effectively integrate climate services into the NWS suite of environmental information, the roles of the NWS offices delivering sub-seasonal and seasonal information to the US public, and engaging NWS core and deep-core partners in provision of information on climatological risks and preparedness as a part of IDSS.

The NWS climate services infrastructure consists of IDSS provided at national, regional, and local levels. The NWS Climate Prediction Center (CPC) provides a foundational suite of climate monitoring and assessment products and predictions at sub-seasonal to seasonal time scales. NWS regional headquarters and local forecast offices deliver climate services at regional and local levels, where most climate-sensitive decisions take place. Regional and local climate services have been growing in response to user demands for climate information that supports decision making, whether it be for planning personal or community events, such as weddings and sporting events, to facilitating more efficient farming practices to developing risk assessments for community development. Decision makers recognize the value of developing preparedness strategies to minimize any negative impacts and take advantage of positive impacts to climate and weather extremes. Presently climate-based IDSS includes support to many sectors, including agriculture, energy, transportation, health, emergency management, and water resources. This paper will provide examples of NWS climate services that support decision making as well as discuss opportunities to improve service delivery in the near-term future.

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