A combination of complementary approaches may help meet the challenge of mutual understanding between users and meteorologists. The first approach is the continued development of urban testbeds. The goal of a testbed is to solve operational and practical regional weather-related phenomenon and/or forecast challenges through a quasi-operational framework which includes measurement specialists, forecasters, researchers, private-sector, and government agencies with a strong connection to the end users. Testbeds can result in more useful observing systems, improved use of data in forecasts, enhanced services and products, economic and public safety benefits, and eventually, more effective decision making by users. The translation of research and development (R&D) findings into better operations, services, and decision-making can usually be accelerated by testbeds.
A second approach is the continued development of applied science projects that involve meteorologists and end users. In particular, interdisciplinary projects are increasingly needed to address critical gaps in the interface between natural, biological, and human systems in the urban landscape. It is also mutually beneficial to jointly train graduate students and postdoctoral researchers. For example, a new postdoctoral training program between National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) requires the candidate to stay at NCAR for one year to become familiar with weather and climate prediction, and stay at CDC for another year to integrate urban meteorology with public health.
A third approach is the development of joint urban meteorology and decision support exercises (e.g., emergency response, climate change and urban planning). These exercises could lead to the successful translation of end user needs to the research community and to help provide a better understanding of capabilities on both sides, including giving the research community a better understanding of institutional constraints that end users face. It could also be beneficial for urban meteorologists and end users to attend joint conferences and each other’s professional conferences.
Challenge: How will the capability for integrated urban meteorology-decision support systems be developed through the integration of
• support for future, intensive urban research projects, that integrate modeling and observations and focus on improving the fundamental knowledge of physics and dynamics in the urban atmosphere,
• increased dialogue between urban meteorologists and end users, and
• urban meteorology testbeds?