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4 Leverage the Entire Enterprise T he weather, water, and climate enterprise data acquisition (e.g., National Lightning Detection within which the NWS functions is increas- Network and ground-based weather sensor mesonets) ingly dynamic. To interact effectively and to specialized long-range forecasts for the financial maximize public benefit from the enterprise, the NWS sector (e.g., weather "derivatives").2 will need to become more agile in how it cooperates The overlapping roles of the public, academic, and and collaborates. At the start of the MAR, the United private sectors in providing weather, water, and climate States had a small private weather sector that was services can lead to duplication and competition (NRC, robust given the business climate and technology at 2003a), but it can also provide opportunities for col- the time. The private sector played an important role laboration. Box 4.1 provides examples of successful in delivering near-real-time data to the broadcasting enterprise partnerships that could serve as models for sector and the portions of the aviation industry not the future. According to the Fair Weather report, "the served by the NWS or the Federal Aviation Admin- public is best served when these sectors work together istration (FAA). Some other private-sector firms to take advantage of their different capabilities or to focused on a core group of specialty, or niche, clients, avoid duplication of effort" (NRC, 2003a). Together, such as energy companies and ski resorts. In response this combination of the NWS and third parties serves to society's demand for more information as well as end users in ways that the NWS could not do on its the business world's realization of the value of tailored own. So, while the NWS is only one part of the overall weather and water forecasts, warnings, and informa- weather, water, and climate enterprise, the enterprise as tion, the American commercial weather industry1 has a whole would crumble without the core infrastructure broadened its spectrum of clients and its capability to and capabilities the NWS provides. provide many of the products and services that were The Committee notes that the Weather-Ready once the exclusive domain of the federal government. Nation Roadmap (NWS, 2012) reflects a desire for The private sector today is involved in many areas, from enhanced enterprise relationships, but it provides very few concrete steps for accomplishing that. Instead, the 1 This element of the enterprise is sometimes referred to as the vast majority of the Roadmap reflects NWS's tradi- American Weather Industry, the American Weather and Climate tional direct-to-public perspective on how services are Industry, the commercial weather industry, the private sector, or delivered. Indeed, the enterprise partnership efforts similar terminology. Specific terminology, such as the American Weather Industry, often refers to that component of the enterprise are focused on "communication and dissemination" providing weather, water, and climate services. Another key enterprise element encompasses providers of major infrastructure, 2 As noted in Footnote 7 in Chapter 1, the size of the nonfederal such as the aerospace industry and its role in developing weather portion of the enterprise is difficult to estimate, but is about $4 to satellites. A number of companies span both areas. For the purposes $5 billion and is comparable to the federal portion. NOAA accounts of this report, the definition is purposely vague, consistent with the for perhaps two-thirds of the federal portion. The private sector rapidly evolving nature of the enterprise. accounts for the majority of the nonfederal portion. 49
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50 WEATHER SERVICES FOR THE NATION BOX 4.1 Examples of Successful Partnerships in the Weather, Water, and Climate Enterprise Integrated Warning Team Workshops Since 2008 the National Weather Service has taken the lead on Integrated Warning Team Workshops to bring together emergency managers, broadcast meteorologists, and NWS forecasters to improve the coordination and effectiveness of weather information and dissemination. These regional meetings, considered a spin-off of the NWS-funded WAS*IS (Weather and Society * Integrated Studies) program, have been held in Springfield, MO; Kansas City, MO (4); Pittsburgh, PA; Cedar Rapids, IA; Indianapolis, IN; Detroit, MI; Miami, FL; Grand Forks, ND; Minneapolis, MN; and Colorado Springs, CO. These workshops have had many benefits. The partners build sustained relationships and learn about the decision-making contexts during severe weather and flood events. The four Kansas City meetings have led to many communication and operations improvements that reflect a growing emphasis on impacts-based forecasting. Two are noted here: · The broadcast meteorologists recognized that they were not providing a consistent message to all viewers. After the workshop and a conference call the competitors arrived at a consensus on a color scheme for representing tornado and severe thunderstorm warnings. As a result, when viewers change from one television channel to another, rather than having to interpret different colors for the same warnings from station to station, they now see consistent information across the channel spectrum. · As a result of the first Integrated Warning Team workshop held in Kansas City, MO, in 2009, the NWS now provides hail and wind tags (special coding) showing the magnitude of the threat of strong straight-line winds and the expected hail sizes so broadcasters and others can easily tailor their own messages based on the best and most local information. This has been implemented across the Central Region forecast offices. This methodology has been expanded for use in tornado warnings with the Impact Based Warning Experiment, currently under way at 5 WFOs in Missouri and Kansas. These new tornado tags provide key partners and customers with impact magnitude and source information previously unavailable in tornado warnings. These tags had their roots in the initial Integrated Warning Team work lead by the Kansas City/Pleasant Hill WFO in Missouri. Incident Meteorologists Help Fight Wildfires Incident meteorologists (IMETs) are National Weather Service forecasters specially trained to work with Incident Management Teams and are deployed to severe wildfire outbreaks. They travel quickly to the incident site and set up a mobile weather center to provide continuous meteorological support for the duration of the incident. The mobile weather centers include a cell phone, a laptop computer, and a two-way portable satellite dish for gathering and displaying weather data including satellite imagery and numerical weather prediction output. IMET duties include briefing firefighters. They have an understanding of the needs of fire managers and use their understanding of meteorology to communicate the relevant information to meet those needs. IMETs help fire control specialists from federal, state, and local agencies by interpreting weather information, assessing its impact on the fire, and helping develop strategies to best fight the fires and keep firefighters and the vulnerable public safe. The NWS contributions to fighting Spring 2012 wildfires have been recognized by the Fish and Wildlife Service (from a letter from Troy L. Davis, District Fire Management Officer): "The . . . fire we just attacked this past week was burning under extreme weather conditions of very low humidity and high winds in the middle of the night and early morning. A spot forecast was requested and promptly produced by this weather office. Shortly after the spot forecast was produced a change in the jet stream caused wind gusts up to 63 mph that was heading towards the fire. The forecaster at the weather office of NWS-generated information. As noted previously, This chapter provides details and sub- a substantial portion of weather, water, and climate recommendations in support of Recommendation III. information no longer comes directly from the NWS to the public and businesses but is enhanced along the Recommendation III: Leverage the Entire Enterprise way. Moving forward, more concrete steps for directly leveraging the broader enterprise beyond "communi- The National Weather Service (NWS) should broaden cations and dissemination" will be needed as part of collaboration and cooperation with other parts of the explicit NWS planning, including the expected update weather, water, and climate enterprise. The great- to the Weather-Ready Nation Roadmap (NWS, 2012). est national good is achieved when all parts of the
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LEVERAGE THE ENTIRE ENTERPRISE 51 promptly notified me of this new development by a direct phone call so I was able to notify all fire personnel on scene in a very timely manner. All personnel was prepared and expecting this new development. Time was passing as we were attacking this fire and from when we received the original spot forecast and new development phone call. I then received a second phone call from this weather office to inform me that they had produced an updated spot forecast as conditions were changing and new developments in the storm system warranted changes to the original spot. This is twice that this weather office took the initiative to warn us of the changing conditions to keep our fire personnel safe." NWS Chat NWSChat has become an effective collaborative tool between the NWS and its core partners in emergency management, media, and other govern- ment agencies. The online chat rooms have opened up opportunities to coordinate and collaborate like never before. For example, an NWS forecaster can relay critically relevant information in quick and informal fashion during a severe weather threat so as to alert the partners to important changes: [8:24 PM] Our sounding just came in and it is eye-opening and we have high concern for tornadoes this evening. We are not in a typi- cal South FL environment. This is more like plains type helicity/instability. Strong tornadoes could occur. Just a heads up that this is not our typical scenario and all need to pay attention to this as this unfolds. Then as an event unfolds, the NWS can provide advance notice of upcoming warnings, and benefit from media or emergency management relaying event information as they unfold. All warnings and statements are transmitted automatically. Forecasters will not be distracted from issuing warnings and statements, but as time permits, radar trends as well as Q&A sessions may cross the chat room. [9:27 PM] Okay, will relay chaser reports if we get them, have someone on the storm. [9:43 PM] New tornado warning being issued for Miami-Dade & Broward counties . . . coming out shortly. [9:59 PM] Reports of multiple power flashes near Silver Lakes area about 5 minutes ago from our chaser. [10:10 PM] Small & tight circulation noted near Sawgrass Mills Mall . . . new TOR [tornado warning] will likely be needed. [10:20 PM] TOR warning will be canceled, the tight circulation once seen on the Terminal Doppler at FLL [Ft. Lauderdale International Airport] has significantly decreased--with only remnant elevated circulation. [10:25:08] Hey guys. We are getting calls into our newsroom of a house collapse in Sunrise with a man trapped inside. Has anyone else heard about this? We are sending a crew to try to confirm. The subdivision is near the mall. I am trying to get a name. [10:26:09] Silver Palms community near the mall. Multiple roofs off homes. That is the latest call. [10:47 PM] According to Palm Beach post report . . . Sunrise PD [police department] reported one or two homes damaged on 13300 block of NW 8 Ct in Sunrise. That's S of Sawgrass Mills Mall. Participation by NWS employees is not guaranteed, but the chat is always available to others, and warnings and statements will be displayed automatically. During recent major weather disasters, NWS Service Assessments have cited NWSChat as having been crucial to providing valuable information that enabled timely and accurate decisions at the local level (NWS, 2011b). All content is archived and is subject to the Federal Freedom of Information Act. enterprise function optimally to serve the public and THE OPPORTUNITY AND GOAL businesses. This process starts with the quality of core NWS capabilities but is realized through the effec- Over the last two decades, the non-NWS weather, tiveness of NWS-enterprise relationships. A well- water, and climate enterprise has grown rapidly. The formulated enterprise strategy will also return direct NWS has evolved to both promote and benefit from benefit from the enterprise to the NWS, especially the rest of the enterprise. The recommendations of the in areas of shared research, technology development, Fair Weather report, along with a 2004 revised NWS observational data sources, and improved end-user public-partnership policy, contributed substantially to access to NWS-generated information. progress in this area (NRC, 2003a; NWS, 2004). Not
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52 WEATHER SERVICES FOR THE NATION BOX 4.2 Chain of Events Associated with a Tornado Warning The sequence of events associated with the public receiving and acting on an NWS tornado warning involves many elements of the enterprise interacting to minimize loss of life and property. The first steps of the sequence involve meteorology and technology. The final steps involve sociology and psychology. Key to a good outcome (in addition to luck) is a coordinated situation in which good forecasts, warnings, and response all happen together. The sequence of events includes · The continuous acquisition of data and the production of weather analyses and forecasts on the global, hemispheric, and national scales provide a constantly evolving, general picture of the atmosphere. · Convective outlooks a few days in advance of a tornadic storm are originated by NWS forecasters in the Storm Prediction Center and lead to tornado watches. · WFO forecasters use radar and spotter reports to detect tornados and issue warnings that are broadcast over NOAA Weather Radio, NWSChat, and elsewhere. · Emergency managers use warnings, their own radar displays, their spotters, and other information to issue alerts in the form of sirens, emergency broadcast systems, and teleconferences with various local officials and the NWS. · In many cases, local television stations and other media sources, including social media sites and emergency notification phone and text message systems, pass on warnings and other information to alert the public to take cover and stay tuned to television or radio for further instructions. · For people who do learn about the warnings, they need to believe them, personalize them, decide to take an action, and take appropriate actions in the time before the severe weather arrives. School superintendents, airlines, various types of businesses, people in cars, homes, and out in the fields all respond (or don't respond) in different ways, depending on their knowledge of what to do and their various assessments of the degree of risk to them and their ability to respond. It is worth noting that some warnings never reach some people, and that there is a public responsibility to reduce the likelihood of these failures. only has competitive overlap been reduced3; the NWS In the face of government budget pressures, it is now looks to the broader enterprise as a set of key conceivable that the non-NWS elements will provide partners for both creating and distributing weather and most of the overall enterprise growth over the next water services (Box 4.2). decade. Public and private sectors will likely face differ- NOAA's Partnership Policy is to "foster the growth ent economic pressures in the near future. Non-NWS of this complex and diverse enterprise as a whole to enterprise elements may have resources to expand serve the public interest and the Nation's economy" capabilities and services when the NWS has none. (NOAA, 2007). Given the desire of the NWS to One consequence of a growing enterprise external to improve its effectiveness (NWS, 2012), the ability the NWS is that the resource leverage available to the to further leverage the rest of the enterprise is very NWS will grow commensurately. This resource lever- appealing. Facilitating a significantly richer and deeper age represents critical capability that can be used by the engagement of the nation's broad and diverse weather, NWS in accomplishing its mission--leverage that can water, and climate enterprise with the NWS, its data allow the impact of the NWS on the nation to grow services, and its technology development could yield faster than its budget alone would allow. The Commit- a greater return on the public's investment. This tee believes that a key aspect of NWS's strategy for the reinforces, however, the need for the enterprise to sup- coming decade could well be to enhance this leverage. port the maintenance of the collective infrastructure Elements of this non-NWS enterprise growth that all depend upon. are evident. The public now receives a substantial portion of their weather information through digital 3 Competitive overlap has been reduced though not fully media channels. These include general web portals eliminated. One emerging area of known conflict is what role (e.g., Bing, Google, Yahoo), weather-specific por- the NWS should play in developing and distributing mobile tals (e.g., Accuweather.com, Weather.com, Weather applications. As new technologies emerge, such conflicts will continue to arise and will need to be resolved. Underground), mobile applications installed as defaults
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LEVERAGE THE ENTIRE ENTERPRISE 53 (such as on the Android, iPhone, and Windows phone ally focused on a portion of the value-chain associated platforms), third-party weather applications (of which with its core partners. These partners include emer- the iPhone App Store lists over 1,600 and the Android gency managers, government agencies with a need for Market lists over 5,000 as of July 2012), Twitter feeds, weather, water, and climate information, and electronic social networking sites, and more. Innovation in this and broadcast media. The NWS has developed deep arena is accelerating. For example, accurate localized relationships with these partners and works closely with road weather conditions will likely be delivered in real them during periods of severe weather. This portion of time to automobile dashboards within the next decade. the overall information value-chain can be called the It is appropriate for the NWS to make more effective primary value-chain. use of such channels for reaching the public directly Today, a substantial amount of the weather, water, when authoritative sources are critical to public wel- and climate information reaching the public arrives fare. But there is also a tremendous opportunity for through a different part of the information value-chain the NWS to better serve the public by improving the associated with partners the NWS does not identify capability of other organizations--those with expertise as core.4 This can be referred to as the secondary in use of these channels--to provide weather-based value-chain.5 It consists of private-sector companies information and services to businesses and the public. as well as other governmental and nongovernmental Compared to the time of the MAR, the non-NWS organizations performing functions that complement enterprise is more capable and diverse. Perhaps most the primary value-chain. Figure 4.1 illustrates the com- importantly, it is increasingly robust in areas where plementary roles of the primary and secondary value- the NWS may seek a partner. In many areas, there are chains for the specific case of a severe storm threat. now multiple suppliers having long track records of The various organizations involved in the secondary reliable performance. When the NWS chooses to place value-chain will vary considerably with the particular elements of its mission in the hands of partners, the use case, so this figure represents only a single snapshot NWS must have confidence that changes in a partner's to illustrate the concept. financial state or business strategy can be dealt with by The capability of the secondary value-chain to seeking out alternate providers of comparable quality. complement the primary value-chain presents an One consequence of an increasingly robust enterprise opportunity for the NWS to better serve the public. is the globalization of the industry and the growing In many cases, the secondary value-chain has access to complexity of business relationships. Companies based critical information not directly available to the NWS in the United States may now have international cus- or the primary value-chain. It thus enables decisions tomers that influence their NWS-focused interactions. and actions complementing those that can be made Patents and strategic business partners may constrain with support of the primary value-chain. It is important relationships that the NWS could build. Although to recognize, however, that the primary value-chain such issues are routinely accommodated within many is and should remain the main focus of the NWS. economic sectors, they are to some extent a new factor Moreover, all capabilities provided by the secondary in NWS-enterprise relationships. value-chain depend on services or data originating in The benefit to the NWS in leveraging the entire the NWS. enterprise is the payoff in the quality and amount of services provided to the nation. By leveraging the entire 4 As noted in Chapter 1, the majority of forecasts reaching the enterprise, new capabilities will arise that the NWS public arrive through the secondary value-chain, and the overall enterprise associated with this secondary value-chain is comparable could not have provided on its own. Moreover, this can to or larger than the NWS in terms of budgets. potentially enable the NWS both to increase the quality 5 As noted in Chapter 1, the terms "primary value-chain" and of its core capabilities and to provide enhanced service "secondary value-chain" are not intended to reflect superiority or inferiority of either chain. Instead "primary" is meant to reflect to its core partners (NWS, 2012). the mission of the NWS to be the authoritative source of weather, The means by which the enterprise creates and water, and climate information for the nation. The capability of delivers information to the public may be referred to as the NWS to reach the public through the primary chain, when an the information value-chain. The NWS has tradition- authoritative perspective is required, cannot be compromised. The term "primary" is meant to reflect this critical NWS role.
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54 WEATHER SERVICES FOR THE NATION Public & Businesses Storm/Flood Watches & Storm/Flood Watches & Warnings, Suggested Warnings, Suggested Actions Actions Storm/Flood Emergency Websites & Broadcast Watches & Warnings Managers Mobile Apps TV Public Group Re-routing Plans Vulnerabilities General Anticipated Power Forecasts, Outages Watches & Event Transportation Warnings Utilities Venues Companies Event-Specific Refined Precipitation Forecasts High Wind & Runoff Info Localized Threats to Power Lines Data Specialty Weather Academic Companies Institutes Model Data & Observations Data & Observations, Forecast Services Forecasts, Watches & Warnings, Event-Specific Advice National Weather Service FIGURE 4.1 The hypothetical information value-chain during a period of severe storm threat accompanied by flood potential. The value-chain illustrates how various organizations may create and enhance the information that eventually reaches the public. The solid green paths represent the primary value-chain. The blue dashed-line elements represent the secondary value-chain. The figure does not present a comprehensive view of all activities but rather highlights the less-well-understood role of the secondary value-chain in serving the public. Thus only key elements of the primary value-chain have been shown, whereas the secondary value-chain is described in greater detail. Figure 4-1 A growing overall enterprise provides opportunities In general, the changes involved reflect a more direct for the NWS to serve the public in ways not possible NWS role in achieving public benefit through the on the basis of its budget alone. As stated in Recom- secondary value-chain. Although it was beyond the mendation III, the NWS should explore enhanced Committee's charge to be prescriptive in defining how cooperation and collaboration with the enterprise. In a solution should be implemented, there are many dif- doing so, the NWS needs to protect its direct public ferent ways change could be accomplished. The NWS interaction through the primary value-chain, while will need to implement an approach that best matches improving the additional public benefit made possible its ongoing evolution. A successful approach will likely by the secondary value-chain. involve inclusion of the secondary value-chain in NWS planning and perhaps even involve an office designed to IMPLEMENTING A LEVERAGED work with the entire enterprise. A successful approach ENTERPRISE will also reflect this report's theme of increased agility. Promising individual elements of an overall implemen- The Fair Weather report (NRC, 2003a) led to tation approach could be examined relatively quickly specific changes in NWS's interaction with the overall as pilot projects or experiments. An effective approach enterprise that have enhanced the public's access to will establish metrics for measuring success. Examples weather, water, and climate information. This report of key elements for successfully leveraging the enter- recommends building on the success of Fair Weather. prise include the following.
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LEVERAGE THE ENTIRE ENTERPRISE 55 Improved Understanding of the Secondary develop this understanding. New tools and processes Value-Chain and Its Role in Serving the Public may be needed to implement any changes, and the academic and research sectors can contribute to their This would include better recognition of enterprise development. roles that go beyond "communication and dissemina- tion" described in the Weather-Ready Nation Roadmap More Open Access to NWS Capabilities (NWS, 2012), such as how the secondary value-chain enhances information. A simple example is to include A widely discussed means for improved linking of the secondary value-chain in post-event evaluations NWS capabilities to the secondary value-chain involves of performance (see Recommendation II.a), some- more open access to NWS data and services. The thing that is not done with current practice. Such an Committee notes that the NOAA Science Advisory assessment will allow the NWS to begin identifying Board has recently transmitted to NOAA manage- actions it can take to better serve the public through ment a white paper called Towards Open Weather and the secondary value-chain, as well as how the second- Climate Services (NSAB, 2011). There are still numer- ary value-chain can more effectively complement the ous potential issues to be resolved, including access to primary value-chain. intellectual property (IP) generated by NWSprivate sector cooperation, whether benefits from such col- Improved Linking of NWS Capabilities to laboration would occur to all private-sector entities, Needs of the Secondary Value-Chain and the joint funding of cooperative projects. However, given the potential for leveraging NWS resources to Based on the improved understanding of needs enhance the performance of its mission, the Committee described above, NWS planning would directly guide supports the idea that a number of pilot or experimental better access to existing NWS capabilities and genera- projects be undertaken to explore both the benefits tion of new core capabilities so as to explicitly support and the possible pitfalls. Such experiments will reveal the secondary value-chain. This includes foundational potential conflicts of interest and IP issues, as well as datasets as well as the services needed to deliver data. resource issues involved in cooperative work and how An example is probabilistic forecasting, as discussed to provide fair access to NWS data. For example, issues in Chapter 2. Another example could be improved such as public data rights from private-sector sources seasonal forecast models or integrated environmental represent important and only partly resolved problems. services, a topic of high interest in the secondary value- Such pilot projects will reveal how willing the private chain and ultimately the public but of less immediate sector would be to participate equally, rather than just interest specifically to public safety. receiving more data. In developing these pilot projects, Evolution of both technical and organizational the NWS and its partners will need to give consider- capabilities, as discussed in prior sections, will need to ation to how progress in cooperation will be measured. reflect an enhanced consideration of secondary value- If some of these experiments are successful, they will chain needs. The Committee suggests, however, that not only increase the NWS's ability to fulfill its mis- implementing changes to the NWS on the basis of sion but also deepen its understanding of the need for value-chain assessment needs to proceed cautiously customized weather services. for the reasons cited in the following section on chal- lenges and risks. The NOAA Science Advisory Board Improved Value-Chain Alignment can provide assistance with identifying experiments, trials, testbeds, or pilot projects that accomplish this, In general, each value-chain could be better exe- as they have done with their Open Weather and Cli- cuted through improved alignment or collaboration mate Services proposal (NSAB, 2011). Cost-benefit with the other value-chain with the goal of serving analyses will be helpful as well. This need not wait for national priorities. In some cases, this may involve a deeper understanding of the secondary value-chain rethinking of the relative roles of each value-chain. within the NWS; the experiments themselves will help
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56 WEATHER SERVICES FOR THE NATION Expanded IT Infrastructure resolving issues impeding progress of the enterprise as a whole. The NWS has effectively supported this As user needs expand through the proliferation of approach in achieving the enterprise progress of the last web and mobile applications, NWS IT infrastructure decade. The next step is to do more of what has worked will need to keep pace. This infrastructure is somewhat well, perhaps expanding and extending relationships different when serving the public directly as opposed to with the AMS, AWCIA, NCIM, and others. serving them indirectly through the secondary value- chain. In the latter case, though transaction volume Industry-wide Standards may be lower, there may be higher expectations for such things as mature interface standards, services security, The NWS can enable enterprise growth by pro- backward compatibility, reliability, throughput, data moting development of industry standards. Such devel- archive, cloud-based services, and product validation opment will need to proceed through collaboration due to the increased dependence of business revenues with professional organizations. on the NWS. Deeper Formal Public-Private Partnerships Supportive Organizational Structure Going back as far as the 1800s, public-private part- The capability to better support the secondary nerships have been a reliable tool for creating infrastruc- value-chain and the overall enterprise needs to be ture and providing services that reflect the public good included as part of any rethinking of NWS function while requiring efficient implementation. The NWS has and structure, as discussed in Chapter 3. It is expected made limited formal use of such partnerships. NESDIS that any expanded support to the secondary value-chain has explored public-private partnerships in the form will encounter some organizational and cultural push- of data buys, but with generally little follow-through. back in that it will change the traditional approaches The international community routinely employs such to how NWS operates. Among the keys tasks of any partnerships for activities such as those of the NWS. organizational evaluation is to identify and resolve such The NSAB Open Weather and Climate Services proposal organizational and cultural impediments. presents a vision for how deeper public-private part- nerships could enhance the NWS in a variety of areas Extension of the Weather Enterprise (NSAB, 2011). They are in no way a general solution Interaction to Water and Climate to NWS needs; done right and taken seriously, however, they can become an important part of NWS's enterprise The successes of the weather enterprise interaction leveraging. of the last decade provide a solid model for broader interaction across enterprise disciplines, with space Recommendation III.a weather and seasonal and inter-annual forecasts being particular examples for improvement. Expansion of The National Weather Service (NWS) should seek enterprise collaboration in social science research would to better understand the functioning of the secondary also bring benefit to the entire enterprise. Investiga- value-chain, including ways in which it complements tion of the impact of weather, water, and climate on the primary value-chain. When appropriate, it should economic and social systems would help prioritize identify new or evolved NWS data and services that investments through the evaluation of services in an can enhance public value delivered through the sec- economic or risk framework. ondary value-chain, the benefits associated with such services, and any challenges or risks in implementing Enhanced Interaction with Professional Organizations them. To the greatest extent possible, this should be accomplished through collaborative efforts with cor- One successful outcome of the Fair Weather report responding enterprise partners. has been the role of professional organizations in
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LEVERAGE THE ENTIRE ENTERPRISE 57 CHALLENGES AND RISKS rate private sector. Other countries have both a public component and a private component within their The Committee reaffirms the recommendations NHMS. Some private-sector entities offer products of the Fair Weather report regarding the enterprise and services internationally. In the 1970s and 1980s, partnership (NRC, 2003a). Notable among these is the growth of the interactions between the public and an understanding that the enterprise is evolving and private sectors were seen to begin to impair the free that fixed organizational boundaries are less productive and unrestricted international exchange of hydro than are interactive processes (e.g., meetings and com- meteorological and related data and products and led mittees) that identify and evolve relationships among the Twelfth World Meteorological Congress (Cg-XII) enterprise partners as needed. Recommendation 5 of in 1995 to negotiate Resolution 40.6 The Resolution the Fair Weather report, regarding availability of data specified those data and products to be exchanged and products, needs to receive increased focus (NRC, internationally without charge and with no conditions 2003a). The Towards an Open Weather and Climate on use. The Resolution also set guidelines for relations S ervices white paper recently prepared by NSAB among NHMSs regarding commercial activities, and presents an excellent opportunity to further this goal it further proposed guidelines for relations between (NSAB, 2011). NHMSs and the private sector itself. As an aggregation of independent entities, the One result of the Resolution is that some data and enterprise cannot commit to plans or obligations. information falling outside the designated "without Government agencies can be obligated by their char- charge and no conditions on use" category could be ters, with Congress holding them accountable to those exchanged but with restrictions as to how it could charters. Private-sector "responsibilities" or "obliga- be passed on to third parties in other countries, as tions" have no real meaning unless accompanied by per the dictates of the originating country's NHMS. contracts. Yet, despite this, the private sector can be a This could, for example, increase the global coverage reliable partner when private incentives and values align of weather and water observations to an NHMS but with the NWS mission. The U.S. government does not could make such an increase unavailable to private- produce many of the things it relies on, from airplanes sector entities. to paper. It does not need to do so itself, and it does not Another result of the Resolution has been to pro- need an "obligation" from the private sector--because vide guidelines for the expansion of, for example, U.S. the private-sector industries producing those things are weather, water, and climate enterprise companies to sufficiently robust that they can be counted on. In the service the global market. At the same time, it has pro- weather enterprise, the broadcast sector has achieved vided guidelines for those NHMSs that wish to offer such robustness--the NWS does not need its own hydrometeorological services commercially to other backup daily television broadcasts nor do they need to countries. This, then, could provide alternative weather tell television channels what to do. The broadcast sector and water information services in countries to those already does it well and reliably. Other elements of the provided by the NHMS in that country, and it raises enterprise are also beginning to achieve such robust- the fear of government decisions to reduce funding ness. Ground-based weather sensor networks are one support to their NHMS, on the logic that they can and wind forecasting for renewable energy is another. get weather forecasts from international companies for The NWS could achieve increased leverage by encour- less than the cost of the NHMS. The important side aging the emergence of such "robust sub-enterprises." effect is that the capacity of the NHMSs to make and exchange the needed observations is reduced, and a lack INTERNATIONAL PARTNERS of information on which both the NHMSs and the international enterprise base their services could result. The structure and function of the enterprise varies from country to country. Some, like the United States, 6 Resolution 40 (Cg-XII) WMO Policy and Practice for the have a strictly public, not-for-profit National Hydro- Exchange of Meteorological and Related Data and Products, logical Meteorological Services (NHMS) and a sepa- including Guidelines on the Relationships in Commercial Meteorological Activities (WMO, 1995).
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58 WEATHER SERVICES FOR THE NATION The Committee is not aware of any international trades (cost, risk, schedule, data requirements), or seg- assessment of the impact or effect of WMO Resolu- ment trades (location and number of ground stations, tion 40 (Cg-XII) on the global exchange of hydro cost, risk, schedule). Early stage studies are often only meteorological data and products or on the provision partly funded by government contracts. The competing of hydrometeorological services. This is an area where private-sector entities frequently fund studies and early private-sector interests could fail to align with NWS R&D largely with their own internal funds. responsibilities to international partners. The Com- In line with NOAA's Partnership Policy to "foster mittee feels the tradition of "free and unrestricted" the growth of this complex and diverse enterprise as international exchange of hydrometeorological data a whole to serve the public interest and the Nation's and information is crucial to the provision of the best economy" (NOAA, 2007), the Committee believes the possible weather, water, and climate services. nation needs a strong private sector capable of develop- ing core infrastructure. The existing NOAA procure- ACQUISITION PARTNERS ment process should be reviewed, well-functioning aspects retained, and any poorly functioning aspects When thinking about the role of the private sector improved. Per Lesson 2 presented in the Commit- in the context of the broader weather, water, and cli- tee's first report, aspects subject to improvement may mate enterprise, the focus tends to be on the provision include strengthening NOAA's system architecture of value-added services rather than infrastructure pro- and system engineering processes (NRC, 2012a). It is viders. These two private-sector roles are distinct, and also important that NOAA improve contract manage- each has their own issues. The diversity of the private ment practices where needed. Maintaining a healthy sector is reflected in a broad spectrum of commercial and vibrant private sector that competes to design and interests. These range from designing and building build traditional key infrastructure components helps weather, water, and climate data acquisition systems to provide a best value approach for the nation. Not and data processing systems via direct contract to a only do competing entities frequently develop and test government program office to developing value-added some of the more innovative design ideas on their own products and services based on NWS data and directly internal, nongovernment funds; competition typically selling these to a third-party consumer. leads to important technical innovation too. NOAA has well-established contract procurement processes for weather, water, and climate data acquisi- Recommendation III.b tion and processing systems and subsystems. These systems form the core of NOAA's observation network The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Admin- and include elements such as satellite platforms, launch istration (NOAA) as a whole should strengthen its vehicles, sensors (space, air, and ground-based), com- systems engineering and procurement processes mand and control systems, and data processing and for major systems, including ground-based sensor, distribution systems. The procurement processes for gauge, and radar networks, satellites and ground pro- elements of this core infrastructure include architec- cessing, and major communications and processing ture studies at the system level (e.g., trades comparing systems so as to achieve more productive and cost- many smaller satellites versus fewer larger satellites effective interactions with the enterprise partners based on cost, risk, schedule; data product requirements developing and building such systems. such as spatial and temporal resolution), sensor design