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Appendix D Statement of Task This committee is charged to develop an overarching vision for an integrated, flexible, adaptive, and multi-purpose mesoscale meteorological observation network and seek to identify specific steps to help develop a network that meets multiple national needs in a cost-effective manner. Start- ing from existing information, the ad hoc committee appointed to conduct the study will: 1. Characterize the current state of mesoscale atmospheric observa- tions and purposes; 2. Compare the U.S. mesoscale atmospheric observing system to other observing system benchmarks; 3. Describe desirable attributes of an integrated national mesoscale observing system; 4. Identify steps to enhance and extend mesoscale meteorological observing capabilities so they meet multiple national needs; and 5. Recommend practical steps to transform and modernize current, limited mesoscale meteorological observing capabilities to better meet the needs of a broad range of users and improve cost effectiveness. The study will focus primarily on mesoscale observational require- ments over the United States and adjacent coastal zones, with emphasis on characterizing the planetary boundary layer (defined as extending from approximately 2 meters below the surface to 2-3 kilometers above), fore- casting on time scales up to 48 hours, and the needs of urban areas. The study will provide a practical approach, stressing applications and how to 224
APPENDIX D 225 design and implement an enhanced atmospheric observation system in a manner that the resulting information significantly improves usersâ deci- sion-making. The study will address the roles to be played by federal, state, and local government and by commercial entities. In essence, the study will provide a framework and recommendations to engage the full range of weather-Âsensitive information providers and users in the development of an integrated, multi-purpose national mesoscale observation network.