1.6 The NWS Climate Services Program: Moving Forward within the Restructured NWS

Monday, 26 June 2017: 9:45 AM
Mt. Mitchell/Mt. Roan (Crowne Plaza Tennis and Golf Resort)
Fiona Horsfall, NOAA/NWS, Silver Spring, MD; and M. Timofeyeva, J. C. Meyers, J. Zdrojewski, and V. Silva

The National Weather Service (NWS) was recently reorganized and now recognizes 11 national service programs to include climate. The new organization provides a more structured approach to support climate services delivery from the national down to the local level. As the American public increasingly requests information for decision making beyond weather time scales, the NWS Climate Services Program is striving to meet those needs by improving products and services and enhancing partnerships to facilitate climate services delivery at regional and local scales. Additionally, NWS forecasters are requesting more tools to be able to put severe weather events into a climate context to provide more effective impact-based decision support services (IDSS).

This paper will describe the new NWS program, the roles of the NWS offices supporting or delivering climate services, and our existing products, services, tools, and outreach materials available. We will discuss the new process within NWS that allows us to move identified requests and needs through a formal requirements validation process and thus place the requirement on a path identifying a potential solution for implementation. The validation of a NWS climate-related requirement is also key to identify research, development, and transition mission delivery needs that are supported through the Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research (OAR) Climate Program Office (CPO).

In addition, we will describe key outcomes from the first ever NWS National Climate Services Meeting (NCSM), which brought together over 250 NWS climate services staff and key partners from across the country. NCSM provided an opportunity for NWS leadership and the NWS Climate Services Program Management Team to better understand the needs of the local offices and provided recommendations for action to improve support for staff at the forefront of mission delivery.

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