Appendix D
Statement of Task

This committee is charged to develop an overarching vision for an integrated, flexible, adaptive, and multi-purpose mesoscale meteorological observation network and seek to identify specific steps to help develop a network that meets multiple national needs in a cost-effective manner. Starting from existing information, the ad hoc committee appointed to conduct the study will:

  1. Characterize the current state of mesoscale atmospheric observations and purposes;

  2. Compare the U.S. mesoscale atmospheric observing system to other observing system benchmarks;

  3. Describe desirable attributes of an integrated national mesoscale observing system;

  4. Identify steps to enhance and extend mesoscale meteorological observing capabilities so they meet multiple national needs; and

  5. Recommend practical steps to transform and modernize current, limited mesoscale meteorological observing capabilities to better meet the needs of a broad range of users and improve cost effectiveness.

The study will focus primarily on mesoscale observational requirements over the United States and adjacent coastal zones, with emphasis on characterizing the planetary boundary layer (defined as extending from approximately 2 meters below the surface to 2-3 kilometers above), forecasting on time scales up to 48 hours, and the needs of urban areas. The study will provide a practical approach, stressing applications and how to



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Appendix D Statement of Task This committee is charged to develop an overarching vision for an integrated, flexible, adaptive, and multi-purpose mesoscale meteorological observation network and seek to identify specific steps to help develop a network that meets multiple national needs in a cost-effective manner. Start- ing from existing information, the ad hoc committee appointed to conduct the study will: 1. Characterize the current state of mesoscale atmospheric observa- tions and purposes; 2. Compare the U.S. mesoscale atmospheric observing system to other observing system benchmarks; 3. Describe desirable attributes of an integrated national mesoscale observing system; 4. Identify steps to enhance and extend mesoscale meteorological observing capabilities so they meet multiple national needs; and 5. Recommend practical steps to transform and modernize current, limited mesoscale meteorological observing capabilities to better meet the needs of a broad range of users and improve cost effectiveness. The study will focus primarily on mesoscale observational require- ments over the United States and adjacent coastal zones, with emphasis on characterizing the planetary boundary layer (defined as extending from approximately 2 meters below the surface to 2-3 kilometers above), fore- casting on time scales up to 48 hours, and the needs of urban areas. The study will provide a practical approach, stressing applications and how to 

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 APPENDIX D design and implement an enhanced atmospheric observation system in a manner that the resulting information significantly improves users’ deci- sion-making. The study will address the roles to be played by federal, state, and local government and by commercial entities. In essence, the study will provide a framework and recommendations to engage the full range of weather-sensitive information providers and users in the development of an integrated, multi-purpose national mesoscale observation network.