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Building a Weather-Ready Nation—Taking Forecasts Through the Last Mile (Invited Presentation)

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Monday, 3 November 2014: 8:45 AM
Madison Ballroom (Madison Concourse Hotel)
Louis W. Uccellini, Director, NOAA/NWS, Silver Spring, MD

NOAA's National Weather Service (NWS) has responsibility for providing official forecasts and warnings the United States and its territories, for the protection of lives and property. The United States has become more vulnerable to the impacts of extreme weather, water, and climate events over the last 30 years. Recent billion dollar weather-related disasters resulting from tornado outbreaks and Hurricane Sandy, have highlighted the need to not only improve our understanding of the physical sciences that enable more accurate forecasts and warnings, but we must also improve the ways people receive, respond, and react to those forecasts and warnings. The increasing integration of social sciences into the ‘last mile' of the process, from issuing a warning to the public taking action, is vital to the success of creating a nation that is ready, responsive, and resilient; a Weather-Ready Nation. This presentation will focus on recent advances toward building a Weather-Ready Nation, including programs which are developing impact-based warning language, more detailed and graphical depiction of coastal surge hazards, and increasing interaction with partners from the national to local scale. The impacts of this vision on training, research-to-operations initiatives, and the changing structure of the NWS will also be discussed during this presentation. Finally, this presentation will challenge the severe local storms community to look for opportunities help the NWS improve the service delivery for high impact weather, water, and climate events.