The attack on our nation on September 11, 2001 brought lasting changes to our nation's preparedness and response to high impact events. Emergency managers placed greater emphasis on accidental and man-made whether biological, nuclear, chemical, or explosive. Across the nation, need for high impact decision support has increased the demand on NWS Weather Forecast Offices (WFOs), River Forecast Centers (RFCs), the National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP), and both the regional and national headquarters. The NWS has responded to this new demand out of hide through Emergency Operations Centers (EOC) support at the county (parish), state, regional, and national levels. Incident support calls (phone and video), collaborative Internet chats, and web services continue to grow with the increasing national demand for high impact services.
Considering natural, accidental, and man-made high impact events, the need for the NWS to provide high impact decision support will continue to grow. Whether a short-term event lasting hours or the complex interaction of humans and the changing environment over long periods of time, ecosystem resilience will grow in importance to save lives, understand the environment, and protect the economic vitality of the U.S.
The NWS is evolving services to meet the high impact, decision support, and technical needs of America. The following are key areas of this evolution:
1) The NWS must move from producing the forecast to customers of our own expertise
2) Going from static resource allocation to dynamic resource allocation
3) Moving from phenomenon based forecasts to impact based
4) Moving from product based services to decision support services
5) Moving from coordination to collaboration
6) Shift from weather-centric culture to an Earth system science culture
7) Moving from the traditional deterministic to probabilistic
This presentation represents the vision for future NWS services, partner interactions to develop partner requirements, and specific areas for potential improvements.