Summer Study Statement of Task
During the 1990s, the federal government supported a number of weather research and research-to-operations planning activities (e.g., the U.S. Weather Research Program; USWRP), to identify key gaps in the understanding and simulation of severe weather of all types and their societal impacts, seeking to accelerate the rate at which weather forecasts were improved. Priorities developed by the USWRP were the starting point for a number of efforts including field campaigns and testbeds. However, these priorities, which were identified in documents published by the USWRP “Prospectus Development Teams” (PDTs), were developed more than a decade ago.
This study will explore the status of weather research and the research-to-operations activities at the federal level. It will discuss whether USWRP priorities remain relevant and how they might evolve to better meet current interagency needs. The goal is not to critique USWRP documents written more than a decade ago or to provide a formal review of current planning documents, but rather to identify emerging agency priorities and opportunities for interagency collaboration. Using the PDTs and briefings on current agency activities as a starting point, the questions to be addressed include:
What has been achieved?
What has not been achieved?
What is no longer relevant?
What current issues were not anticipated when the PDTs were written (e.g., extreme weather in the context of climate change)?
What could be done in the short term to reinvigorate agency and interagency planning for weather research and research-to-operations activities in the United States?