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6 Improving the Effectiveness of the Weather Enterprise
Pages 93-110

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From page 93...
... weather enterprise has haci the following benefits, among others: Better data coverage. The National Weather Service (NWS)
From page 94...
... Consequently, any precise and detailed division of responsibility that the 1For example, see testimony before the House of Representatives Subcommittee on Energy and Environment by Michael S Leavitt, on behalf of the Commercial Weather Services Association on April 9, 1997, 105th Congress, 1st Session.
From page 95...
... There are many successful examples of partnerships in the weather and climate enterprise, particularly among federal and state government agencies and academia. These are relatively easy to establish because the partners share the same philosophy toward open data access and both are at least partly oriented toward improving public services and advancing the science.
From page 96...
... 3. Modify the policy to remove the following phrase: "The NWS will not compete with the private sector when a service is currently provided or can be provided by commercial enterprises." The private sector can do much of what the NWS legitimately does, so capability is a poor criterion for differentiating the roles of the sectors.
From page 97...
... Under the NWS headquarters reorganization of 2000, that responsibility is now shared by the Office of Climate, Water and Weather Services and the Strategic Planning and Policy Office. Today, writing letters and e-mail to NWS officials and participating in regular meetings of user groups associated with different offices and projects are the primary mechanisms available for raising concerns.
From page 98...
... Although the areas in which advisory committees are 5The Federal Advisory committee Act defines the boundaries within which federal advisory committees operate, with special emphasis on open meetings, public involvement, and reporting. FACA does not apply if the intent of the committee is to provide information or viewpoints from individual attendees as opposed to advice, opinions, or recommendations from the group acting in a collective mode.
From page 99...
... Eustis, NOAA National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information service, personal communication, October 2002. 7see discussions on a proposed NWS-private sector meteorology partnership initiative, American Meteorological society Board of Private Sector Meteorology, January 13, 1998, and February 2, 1998, .
From page 100...
... to the 2001 conference that yielded a thoughtful set of position papers. See Opportunities for 21st century meteorology: New markets for weather and climate information, American Meteorological Society presidential policy forum, .
From page 101...
... National Weather Service Many of the tasks laid out in the NWS Organic Act are as important to the public welfare and national economy today as they were in 1890. These include data collection; quality control; issuance of weather forecasts, warnings, and watches; and dissemination of information and products.
From page 102...
... Similarly, graphics and icons on NWS web sites if selected with an understanding of what the displays mean to the user can improve the communication of weather information to the public. On the other hand, technologies that improve the effectiveness of the weather enterprise but are not integral to NWS operations (e.g., wireless communications)
From page 103...
... develop processes for discontinuing dissemination of products and services that are specific to particular individuals or organizations or that are not essential to the public. The NWS relies on its 135 weather and river forecast offices to provide forecasts and other products for their geographic region and to interact 1lNWS Policy Directive 10-102, NWS requirements for new or enhanced products and services, August 28, 2002, .
From page 104...
... Moreover, under the new NWS guidelines for creating products, new or enhanced regional or local products created by the local offices are approved by the cognizant NWS regional directors and do not have to be approved by NWS headquarters.~4 Consequently, significant variability exists in what and when products are disseminated, the extent to which they are checked for quality, and the attitude of the office about cooperation with the academic and private sectors. For example, an NWS forecast office recently offered specialized services for newspapers, even though such services were not mission related (see example 21, Appendix D)
From page 105...
... utilized in the forecasting process. This measure must obey the laws of probability theory." American Meteorological Society statement on enhancing weather information with probability forecasts, January 2002, .
From page 106...
... The NWS should provide leadership in harmonizing and/or developing interface standards for the delivery of weather forecasts, watches, and warnings over cellular devices. To support wireless dissemination of standard forecasts and NWS warnings by private companies, the NWS may have to develop tailored machine-readable formats for its weather products that can be manipulated by cellular carriers and content providers.
From page 107...
... Bates, 1976, Industrial meteorology and the American Meteorological Society A historical overview, Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, v.
From page 108...
... . "Best practices" for transferring technology to the private sector and avoiding conflicts of interest have been collected by the Council on Governmental Relations.23 Additional guidance can be found in conflict-of-interest guidelines established by government agencies funding academic researchers, such as the National Science Foundation, and in the policies of research universities.
From page 109...
... The member of the House of Representatives who famously proposed abolishing the NWS because the Weather Channel provides forecasts24 is symptomatic of the lack of public understanding of where and how forecasts are generated. Another way in which all sectors can contribute to the weather enterprise is to work to place as much data as possible in the public domain.
From page 110...
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