needs remain pressing and are high priorities; they are predictability and global nonhydrostatic coupled modeling, quantitative precipitation estimation and forecasting, hydrologic prediction, and mesoscale observations. Finally, three emerging needs were identified. These are research and transitional needs that have come to be recognized or appreciated in the United States over the past 5 to 10 years as increasingly important, but that are only in the early stages of understanding or implementation. They include very high impact weather and impacts forecasting, urban meteorology, and renewable energy production. Socioeconomics could perhaps be considered another emerging need.
In retrospect, there are crosscutting issues that span all eight of the needs areas and the report might as easily have been organized differently. As mentioned, socioeconomics cuts across all areas, but then so do mesoscale observations and modeling—the latter encompassing global, mesoscale weather and hydrology. Lastly, the importance of, and the need for, effective partnerships is intrinsic to all eight areas. In today’s science and services environment, partnerships are crucial to the conduct of most research and certainly to the transitioning of research results into operations (as well as transitioning operational needs back to research, or O2R). Partnerships can involve multiple disciplines as well as multiple sectors, and sometimes both. They are necessary because of the inter- and multidisciplinary nature of the science, and also because the task at hand is often simply just too large, too difficult, or too expensive to be undertaken without partners.
Part of the study’s statement of task was to assess “what could be done in the short term to reinvigorate agency and interagency planning for weather research and research-to-operations activities in the U.S.?” NRC policy precludes the study from making prescriptive organizational recommendations, but the study’s recommendations and findings themselves point to several things that can and should be done to reinvigorate agency and interagency planning. It’s clear that an active dialogue needs to be established and maintained that includes stakeholders representing a wide range of disciplines: socioeconomics (broadly defined); atmospheric, environmental, and hydrologic science; measurement and observational science and engineering; urban planning; emergency management; transportation planning; renewable energy production; and more. The stakeholders must come not only from federal, state, and municipal agencies but also from the private sector and academia. An effective mechanism that has worked in the past (albeit with a narrower focus) is for the federal agencies to initiate the dialogue through a community “weather summit” of sorts that would bring the parties together for the purpose of identifying priorities and defining specific actions