1.2 Vision of a Future NWS based on the NWS Operations and Workforce Analysis Project

Tuesday, 24 January 2017: 1:45 PM
615 (Washington State Convention Center )
Katherine LaBelle, NWS, Silver Spring, MD

The National Weather Service faces rising challenges in an age of change— increasingly sophisticated customers asking for more services; new weather technology, developments in the water, weather and climate enterprise; and greater vulnerabilities in severe weather, just to name a few. Analysis, insights and recommendations from several independent studies support the notion that NWS needs to evolve to accommodate a changing world. Accordingly, NWS is working to enhance its services, organizational structure, workforce model and operating model (including Impact-Based Decision Support Services, or IDSS) to better support a Weather-Ready Nation, beginning with The Operations and Workforce Analysis (OWA) project launched in May 2015.

This presentation will focus on the vision of a future NWS: to become an increasingly customer-centric science-based service organization that links observations, forecasts, and warnings with communications and deep partner engagement through Impact Based Decision Support Services (IDSS). This will be achieved through a fully-integrated field structure, supported by a collaborative forecast process between national, regional, and local offices, focusing together on “one event, one forecast” operations. Achieving this vision will require a staffing model that allows NWS’s expert meteorologists, hydrologists, and administrative/technological support team to serve with agility the ever-increasing needs for science services by our partners. By continuing to test and evaluate these ideas, as well as involve a wide range of internal and external stakeholders throughout the process, the OWA project aims to further unleash NWS’ potential to fulfill its mission in serving the American people: protecting lives and property by providing actionable, real-time weather, water and climate information to critical decision makers.

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