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NWS Services Roadmap for the Decade Ahead

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Monday, 24 January 2011: 11:00 AM
NWS Services Roadmap for the Decade Ahead
613/614 (Washington State Convention Center)
Andrew Stern, NOAA/NWS, Silver Spring, MD; and D. Green, J. Tuell, E. Jacks, and D. Caldwell

Everyone realizes that a blizzard, major wildfire or a landfalling hurricane can produce significant impacts to our society. While these major events easily grab the headlines, it is often the case where apparently less significant events result in equally major impacts on people's daily lives and the productivity of businesses. For example, it only takes a few thunderstorms to cause major delays in air traffic along the northeast corridor. It may only take a fraction of an inch of snow to cause commuting gridlock across a metropolitan area. And an unexpected shift in wind speed may be all it takes to greatly impact the generation of power increasingly dependent on renewable energy from wind farms.

All such weather, water, and climate-related events create impacts at varying levels. And each impact may need to be confronted by someone responsible for making a critical decision to mitigate hazards, manage resources or adapt to environmental variability and change. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Weather Service (NWS) recognizes that to support America's increasingly complex decision-making needs, to protect life and property, and enhance the national economy, requires an evolution in our definition and delivery of “services” with respect to impacts.

Our new NWS Strategic Plan outlines these objectives and sets the direction to enable this evolution. We will change the way that services are defined and delivered by: • Strengthening existing and creating new collaborative partnerships with the public, private and academic sectors to understand what decisions are being made that have weather, water and climate factors as inputs, • Expanding service delivery and taking advantage of new technologies and greater access to NWS staff expertise and consultation to provide integrated environmental data, information, tools and products that are easier to interpret and use for better decision making, • Embracing and integrating the expertise of other public agencies, social scientists, economists, and other experts into NWS products and service development to improve impact-based decision support services, and • Creating routine dialogs with America's weather enterprise to determine how the NWS can help their commercial and industrial interests continue to grow, remain competitive, and prosper.

The NWS is currently creating Science and Technology and Services Roadmaps, which are extensions to the new Strategic Plan. This presentation will focus on the Services Roadmap, and will provide greater insight about how the NWS will move forward through the coming decade to evolve and strengthen its customer services, partnership relationships, and ultimately, its value to the nation.