NCEP Review Executive Summary

Executive Summary of the 2009 Community Review of the NCEP Office of the Director1

Carried Out by the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research

NCEP Review Executive Committee:

Frederick Carr, co-chair

James Kinter, co-chair

Gilbert Brunet

Kelvin Droegemeier

Genene Fisher

Ronald McPherson

Leonard Pietrafesa

Eric Wood

April 2010


 This executive summary and the complete report from which it has been extracted are available, together with the detailed individual reviews of the nine NCEP centers, at: http://www.vsp.ucar.edu/events/NCEP_reviews_2009.html.

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B NCEP Review Executive Summary executve summary of the 2009 communty Revew of the nceP office of the Drector1 carred out by the Unversty corporaton for Atmospherc Research nceP Revew executve commttee: Frederck carr, co-char James Knter, co-char Glbert Brunet Kelvn Droegemeer Genene Fsher Ronald McPherson Leonard Petrafesa erc Wood Aprl 2010 1ths executve summary and the complete report from whch t has been extracted are aval- able, together wth the detaled ndvdual revews of the nne nceP centers, at: http://www. vsp.ucar.edu/events/nceP_revews_2009.html. 159

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160 160 WHen WeAtHeR MAtteRs ExECUTIVE SUMMARy the Unversty corporaton for Atmospherc Research (UcAR) was re- quested n november 2008 by the natonal centers for envronmental Predcton (nceP) to facltate a thorough and thoughtful communty revew of the nne centers that comprse nceP, as well as the nceP office of the Drector. ths report summarzes the revew of the office of the Drector (oD). the vson of “nceP as a whole” beng greater than the sum of ts parts s beng realzed but s also a work n progress. nceP s performng well n ts prmary msson of provdng products and servces n support of protectng lfe and property n a tmely manner. Many of ts servce centers are recognzed as world leaders n ther partcular mssons. the nterac- tons between centers are ncreasng, although mprovement s needed n ths area. the Revew Panel commends the strong leadershp of the nceP Drector and hs staff members for the sgnficant progress nceP has made over the past decade. nceP’s msson s unque n the U.s., and has been noted as a “natonal resource”; as such, t has the opportunty to leverage ths leadershp and respect to acheve hgher goals. ths s a very crucal, perhaps watershed, moment for nceP n whch effectve leadershp and resources are essental f nceP s to regan/retan ts compettve advantage n the world. Important decsons are mmnent on how to lead and resource a large number of key ntatves, possbly n competton wth other agences or even other natonal Weather servces (nWs) and natonal oceanc and Atmospherc Admnstraton (noAA) programs. the fundamental challenge wthn nceP s that t s under-resourced for ts msson. each center reported that t s provdng more servces and products, wth addtonal requests n the ppelne, wth roughly the same number of personnel snce the last revew. At the envronmental Modelng center (eMc) of nceP, the numerous addtonal demands for mproved or new modelng and data assmlaton systems added to an already broad ms- son has precluded any one system from beng consdered “world-best.” there s sentment n the communty that eMc s not equpped to fulfill ts msson or realze ts vson, .e., t cannot delver world-leadng models wth ts current structure and broad msson, for whch t s under-resourced. the eMc msson should be carefully evaluated and ether reduced n scope to algn wth the resources or the resources should be ncreased to algn wth the broad msson. ths should be done n combnaton wth a com- prehensve plan to ntate partnershps wth other modelng groups wthn

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APPenDIX B 161 noAA, other federal agences and the academc communty. the latter s recommended owng to eMc’s reputaton for beng unreceptve to external collaboraton, a percepton that often (unfarly) characterzes nceP as a whole. nceP personnel are correct to note that the research communty has a lack of apprecaton of the constrants that are mposed by the requre- ments for tmelness, dependablty and accuracy on any operatonal center. nevertheless, better understandng and cooperaton between operatonal and research scentsts are absolutely essental for nceP to fully acheve ts msson. For the noAA numercal weather and clmate predcton endeavor to serve the naton adequately and be comparable to those that are the best n the world, nceP must: • create a culture and work envronment that attracts an extraordnary cadre of talented scentsts sklled n varous aspects of numercal weather and clmate predcton. ths wll requre nnovatve personnel polces, a much greater fracton of cvl servce postons, opportuntes for advance- ment based on scentfic and technologcal contrbutons, and systematc mechansms and commtments for ensurng cooperaton and collaboraton wth the natonal and nternatonal modelng communtes. • Deploy computer capabltes that are comparable to or better than those of other major nternatonal centers. ths wll requre a substantal ncrease n computer power and data management and storage facltes. • Provde adequate human resources to meet the stated operatonal msson. • embrace an entrely new approach to model development and mple- mentaton. ths wll requre a substantal effort to focus on creatng a sngle, powerful, flexble, mult-scale atmosphere-ocean-land-surface modelng approach that can be specalzed to specfic resolutons and tme scales. It should be an effort that nvolves the entre natonal weather modelng communty and engages partners from other agences, academa, and the prvate sector. In addton to takng these steps toward achevng excellence, the office of the Drector should consder the followng crtcal ssues: 1. external Advce t he natonal centers for envronmental Predcton needs external ad- vce on both scentfic aspects of ts msson and the further develop- ment of ts products and servces. to enhance ts lnkage to both the

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162 162 WHen WeAtHeR MAtteRs research and prvate sector communtes, nceP should request from noAA Headquarters that a scence and servces advsory board be establshed. 2. Admnstratve Workload t he large workload assocated wth the office of the Drector has grown sgnficantly along wth the nceP msson and budget over the past decade. nceP requres a Deputy Drector who can handle the day to day operatons of nceP as well as many other nternally-drected du- tes, freeng up the Drector to thnk more strategcally and forge new collaboratons and partnershps wthn noAA, the federal government, the Us academc communty, the prvate sector and abroad. Also, the vacancy n the poston of nceP chef operatons officer should be filled. 3. Future Revews I n order to preclude large perods of tme transprng before the next set of revews, nceP should formalze a perodc revew process, to occur every 5–6 years. these ssues are more fully developed n secton 5 of ths report, and a detaled set of findngs and recommendatons that address the ponts above are gven n secton 6.