J2.2 Expanding Mesonet Assets through a Public Private Partnership

Tuesday, 12 January 2016: 3:45 PM
Room 244 ( New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center)
James Titlow III, WeatherFlow Inc., Poquoson, VA; and K. Kasper

As part of the national mesonet expansion, WeatherFlow has established a healthy relationship with the National Weather Service(NWS). Interaction with staff at various NWS offices on strategies to deploy its expanding national coastal mesonet system has resulted in a diverse geographical distribution of assets. WeatherFlow has been able to artfully deploy new assets by optimizing input from a variety of users groups including the United States Coast Guard (reciprocal data for siting agreement), the NWS, and Weatherflow's own consumer web-based products (iWindsurf, SailFlow, iKitesurf, etc.) to name a just a few of the growing set of users. In addition, data from these sites is also appearing in an expanding range of WFO products such as Local Storm Reports, Severe Warnings, and others. The truly unique and beneficial aspect of this project is that the NWS is able to utilize this valuable additional data set at minimal cost, while strengthening a growing public-private partnership. Finally, this partnership in itself helps to strengthen the nation's economy by the establishment of a policy allowing for a relatively new segment of the meteorological private sector, that of data provider, to receive funding from the government while allowing for these data to be further monetized via sales to private companies. This unique partnership allows for companies provide data at a fraction of the cost to government, if it was to operate such a system on its own. The financial burden is lessened by the marine commerce, insurance and re-insurance industries, among others, who can increase their bottom-line via the use of timely and accurate weather information and have found that funding this expansion to be a wise investment. The majority of this presentation will focus on examples from much of what was just introduced above, If particular, interaction between WeatherFlow NWS WFO meteorologists from the Key West Forecast Office has yielded several excellent examples and will serve as a natural optimum choice given its expansive littoral forecast domain.
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