As the American public increasingly requests information at sub-seasonal and seasonal time scales for decision making, the NWS Climate Services Program is striving to meet those needs by accelerating transition of research to operations, improving delivery of products and services, and enhancing partnerships to facilitate provision of seamless weather, water, and climate products and services at regional and local scales. Additionally, NWS forecasters are requesting more tools to be able to put severe weather and water events into a climate context to provide more effective impact-based decision support services (IDSS).
This paper will describe the activities to more effectively integrate climate services into the NWS suite of environmental information. This includes defining the roles of the NWS offices supporting or delivering sub-seasonal and seasonal information to the American public, and how NWS will engage NWS core partners in the provision of information on climatological risks and preparedness as a part of IDSS.
We will discuss the process by which we collect user requests and/or needs and the NWS process that allows us to move these requests and needs through a formal requirements validation process, thereby placing the requirement on a path to identify a potential solution for implementation. The validation of a NWS climate-related requirement is also key to the identification of research, development, and transition of mission delivery needs that are supported through the Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research (OAR) Climate Program Office (CPO).
In addition, we will present the outcomes of key actions of the first ever NWS National Climate Services Meeting (NCSM) that was held in May 2016 with the participation of more than 250 NWS climate services staff and key partners from across the country. The key actions include understanding core and deep-core partners, advancing training for NWS staff focused on IDSS, and better organization of service delivery at regional and local levels.