5
Conclusion

The committee was charged with answering questions about the state of U.S. weather research and research-to-operations (R2O) activities and, in so doing, to identify priority needs in each area. In undertaking its task, the committee drew upon the broad range of work that had been reported since 1995 (Table 1.1); convened a workshop in summer 2009 with 50 invited experts in an array of disciplines from the public, private, and academic sectors; and subsequently undertook its own deliberations and examinations to gain insight into research and transitional problems, challenges, needs, and opportunities germane to weather, broadly defined. Eight important areas were identified, each having a certain amount of intrinsic overlap with the others:

  • socioeconomics,

  • weather modeling and predictability,

  • quantitative precipitation estimation and forecasting,

  • hydrologic modeling,

  • mesoscale observations,

  • impacts forecasting,

  • urban meteorology, and

  • renewable energy production.

Socioeconomic needs were placed first in this report because they cut across all seven other needs, but also because they have been underemphasized, undervalued, and undersupported for too long. Placing socioeconomic needs first was the committee’s modest attempt to further emphasize their importance and need of attention. The report next identified four so-called established (or ongoing) research and R2O needs. These are needs that have been recognized for some time as important, with achievable goals, but that have yet to be completed or implemented in practice. The four established



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5 Conclusion the commttee was charged wth answerng questons about the state of U.s. weather research and research-to-operatons (R2o) actvtes and, n so dong, to dentfy prorty needs n each area. In undertakng ts task, the commttee drew upon the broad range of work that had been reported snce 1995 (table 1.1); convened a workshop n summer 2009 wth 50 nvted experts n an array of dscplnes from the publc, prvate, and academc sectors; and subsequently undertook ts own delberatons and examnatons to gan nsght nto research and transtonal problems, challenges, needs, and opportuntes germane to weather, broadly defined. eght mportant areas were dentfied, each havng a certan amount of ntrnsc overlap wth the others: • socoeconomcs, • weather modelng and predctablty, • quanttatve precptaton estmaton and forecastng, • hydrologc modelng, • mesoscale observatons, • mpacts forecastng, • urban meteorology, and • renewable energy producton. socoeconomc needs were placed first n ths report because they cut across all seven other needs, but also because they have been underempha- szed, undervalued, and undersupported for too long. Placng socoeconomc needs first was the commttee’s modest attempt to further emphasze ther mportance and need of attenton. the report next dentfied four so-called establshed (or ongong) research and R2o needs. these are needs that have been recognzed for some tme as mportant, wth achevable goals, but that have yet to be completed or mplemented n practce. the four establshed 135

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136 136 WHen WeAtHeR MAtteRs needs reman pressng and are hgh prortes; they are predctablty and global nonhydrostatc coupled modelng, quanttatve precptaton estma- ton and forecastng, hydrologc predcton, and mesoscale observatons. Fnally, three emergng needs were dentfied. these are research and tran- stonal needs that have come to be recognzed or apprecated n the Unted states over the past 5 to 10 years as ncreasngly mportant, but that are only n the early stages of understandng or mplementaton. they nclude very hgh mpact weather and mpacts forecastng, urban meteorology, and re- newable energy producton. socoeconomcs could perhaps be consdered another emergng need. In retrospect, there are crosscuttng ssues that span all eght of the needs areas and the report mght as easly have been organzed dfferently. As mentoned, socoeconomcs cuts across all areas, but then so do mesoscale observatons and modelng—the latter encompassng global, mesoscale weather and hydrology. Lastly, the mportance of, and the need for, effectve partnershps s ntrnsc to all eght areas. In today’s scence and servces envronment, partnershps are crucal to the conduct of most research and certanly to the transtonng of research results nto operatons (as well as transtonng operatonal needs back to research, or o2R). Partnershps can nvolve multple dscplnes as well as multple sectors, and sometmes both. they are necessary because of the nter- and multdscplnary nature of the scence, and also because the task at hand s often smply just too large, too dfficult, or too expensve to be undertaken wthout partners. Part of the study’s statement of task was to assess “what could be done n the short term to renvgorate agency and nteragency plannng for weather research and research-to-operatons actvtes n the U.s.?” nRc polcy pre- cludes the study from makng prescrptve organzatonal recommendatons, but the study’s recommendatons and findngs themselves pont to several thngs that can and should be done to renvgorate agency and nteragency plannng. It’s clear that an actve dalogue needs to be establshed and man- taned that ncludes stakeholders representng a wde range of dscplnes: socoeconomcs (broadly defined); atmospherc, envronmental, and hy- drologc scence; measurement and observatonal scence and engneerng; urban plannng; emergency management; transportaton plannng; renew- able energy producton; and more. the stakeholders must come not only from federal, state, and muncpal agences but also from the prvate sector and academa. An effectve mechansm that has worked n the past (albet wth a narrower focus) s for the federal agences to ntate the dalogue through a communty “weather summt” of sorts that would brng the partes together for the purpose of dentfyng prortes and definng specfic actons

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concLUsIon 137 to establsh1 a cohesve approach to the plannng of weather research and R2o. there are several organzatons that mght be tasked by the federal agences to brng the partes together and organze such a summt; they nclude the natonal Research councl (whch organzed the 2009 summt on Amerca’s clmate choces2 among other such gatherngs); the natonal oceanographc and Atmospherc Admnstraton (noAA) scence Advsory Board; noAA’s office of the Federal coordnator for Meteorology; and the Amercan Meteorologcal socety. In closng, we reterate that t s crucal that the weather enterprse ad- dress these establshed and emergng ssues and vgorously and rgorously undertake the research needed to develop the capacty to deal wth them, and then transfer the mportant research results nto operatons. ths can be started by recognzng that as the world and our naton’s challenges have changed, the scentfic research prortes and operatonal prortes need to change as well. As such, ths report and ts recommendatons can provde the begnnngs of a framework that s relevant to all partes n the weather enterprse: agency decson makers, polcy makers, research scen- tsts, prvate-sector applcatons specalsts, teachers, publc and prvate user groups and organzatons, and the general publc. 1 We have conscously avoded the term “renvgorate,” as called out n the statement of task, as that would mply there has been a cohesve and effectve approach to the plannng of weather research and R2o n the past, whch s only partally the case. 2 summt on Amerca’s clmate choces, March 30–31, 2009, the natonal Academy of scences, 2101 consttuton Avenue, n.W., Washngton, D.c. (http://amercasclmatechoces. org/summt.shtml).

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