293 New paradigm for NWS regional and local climate services

Monday, 24 January 2011
Washington State Convention Center
Marina Timofeyeva, NOAA/NWS, Silver Spring, MD; and F. M. Horsfall, J. C. Meyers, J. Koepsell, M. D. Hawkins, J. Zdrojewski, S. L. Dixon, and V. Silva

National Weather Service (NWS) Regional and Local Climate Services came into existence during the year 2000 with the formation of the Climate Services Division at NWS headquarters. Since then, NWS has developed an infrastructure of climate services providers at the regional and local levels.

The establishment of the NOAA Climate Service (NCS) requires exploring a new paradigm for NWS Climate Services as the NWS will remain an essential service component in the NCS infrastructure. The NWS regional and local climate services staff is expected to play an active role in the delivery and communication of NCS products and services. This requires strengthening NWS capabilities for well-trained and competent staff, especially at the local level.

NWS Climate Services Division is developing new policies and planning procedures for a comprehensive program to adjust the NWS climate services infrastructure to fit the new paradigm. Several approaches are being utilized: 1) programmatic integration and streamlining of climate services provided by various NWS offices, 2) clarifying roles and responsibilities for all contributors of NWS climate services, 3) enhancing collaboration with NOAA internal and external partners, 3) developing new capacities in anticipation of growing user needs, and 4) accelerating and expanding training activities in climate services.

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