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Weather Research and Forecasting Innovation Act of 2017: OAR Reports
The Weather Act bolsters the Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research's (OAR) commitment to advancing weather research and reinvigorating the weather portfolio. The Office of Weather and Air Quality (OWAQ) ensures alignment of office practices with the strategic goals outlined in the Weather Act. This includes collaborating with various subject matter experts across NOAA to develop Congressional reports and deliverables required by the Weather Act, and briefing NOAA leadership on OAR-related activities and reports.
Report to Congress: United States Weather Research Program Annual Project Report. Produced with NWS. USWRP began in the 1990s, with a principal motivation to accelerate the rate of forecast improvements by taking advantage of science results and technology advancements, which satisfy an increased need for improved weather information in weather sensitive economic sectors. The program has continued to emphasize the transition of research in five critical areas to produce advances in observational, computing, and modeling capabilities to support substantial improvement in weather forecasting and prediction of high-impact weather events: heavy precipitation and associated flooding; tropical storms; air quality; severe weather; and the social science necessary to improve the communication of weather information to decision-makers.
Report to Congress: Hurricane Forecast Improvement Program. The Hurricane Forecast Improvement Program (HFIP) began in 2009 and has significantly improved forecast performance for the last 10 years, while meeting the five-year goal to reduce track and intensity errors by 20 percent. Much remains to be done although the improvements are notable. The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 (PL 115-123) provided $50 million for operational and research and development (R&D) high performance computing (HPC) at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), which will be shared between NOAA’s Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research (OAR) and the National Weather Service (NWS).
Report to Congress: Tornado Warning Improvement and Extension Program Plan. This plan describes the short-term and long-term efforts of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to achieve the Weather Act’s goal of tornado prediction beyond one hour. There are three interconnected science and technology components being developed within NOAA to achieve this goal: improved observations, including conventional and advanced radar technology; high-resolution computer prediction models; and a modern, optimized approach to communicate risk that is informed by social sciences. The plan details the observations and science necessary to develop and support these goals, including data from NOAA’s new geostationary satellites, advanced radar technologies, and detailed sensing of the lowest few thousand feet of the atmosphere. Such observations are integrated into improved, high-resolution models that will be able to accurately predict thunderstorm formation and evolution. The goal is to use social science to develop more effective ways to communicate this detailed information to the public and emergency management community, and to empower society to make protective action decisions and maximize the effectiveness of these forecast improvements.
Report to Congress: Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research and National Weather Service Exchange Program. The recommended exchange program at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) between the Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research (OAR) and the National Weather Service (NWS) has developed organically through scientific collaborations driven by research projects, operational needs, and co -location of facilities. To meet the guidance of the Weather Act, OAR and NWS will promote exchanges of up to 1 year between OAR research scientists and NWS forecasters and scientists, through existing OAR programs, with additional emphasis on opportunities between Line Office staff.
The NOAA Central Library is to support and further NOAA’s mission of promoting global environmental stewardship in order to conserve and wisely manage the Nation's marine and coastal resources; and describing, monitoring, and predicting changes in the Earth's environment in order to ensure and enhance sustainable economic opportunities.