BOX 3.1 Roles Defined in the NWS 1991 Public-Private Partnership Policy

In order to carry out its mission and foster this public-private partnership, NWS shall:

  • Collect and exchange hydrometeorological data and information on a national and international basis;

  • Issue warnings, and forecasts of severe weather, floods, hurricanes, and tsunami events which adversely affect life and property;

  • Issue weather, river, and water resources forecasts, and related guidance materials used to form a common national hydrometeorological information base for the general public, private sector, aviation, marine, forestry, agricultural, navigation, power interests, land and water resources management agencies, and emergency managers at all levels of government;

  • Provide climatological summaries, frequencies, and limits of hydrometeorological elements to establish a basis for various Federal regulations and design criteria and to support the real-time operations of federally-operated facilities;

  • Provide private weather access to near real-time alphanumeric and graphical data and information through a variety of techniques;

  • Establish basic quality controls for the observed and collected data, and provide the user community with sufficient information to evaluate data and forecast reliability and applicability;

  • Conduct and support research and development of atmospheric and hydrometeorological models;

  • Produce global, national, or general regional atmospheric models and river basin models.

The NWS also recognizes the important contribution that private broadcast meteorologists, newspapers, and news agencies make to the timely dissemination of NWS watches and warnings and other products that may require public response. The relationship is one of mutual support and cooperation. In order to protect the competitive nature of the privately-owned media, direct NWS participation with the radio and television media should be limited to those situations requiring urgent public action as in the case of severe or extreme weather and flooding or educational and preparedness activities.

The private weather industry provides:

  • Tailored weather, river, and water resources forecasts, detailed hydrometeorological information, consultation, and data for weather, river, and water resources sensitive industries and private organizations;

  • Value-added products such as weather and hydrologic-related computer hardware and software, observational systems, imaging systems, displays, communications, charts, graphs, maps, and images for clients;

  • Climatological summaries, probability values of weather extremes, and similar material for specific design and construction problems.

SOURCE: The National Weather Service and the Private Weather Industry: A Public-Private Partnership, 56 Federal Register 1984, January 18, 1991.



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