Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Building a "Weather-Ready Nation"

In a news release and media teleconference long on buzzwords and short on specifics, the National Weather Service announced that it is "launching a comprehensive initiative to build a 'Weather-Ready' nation to make America safer … as communities across the country become increasingly vulnerable to severe weather events." The plan calls for improved forecast precision and better communication of risk to local authorities; improved "weather decision support services," including mobile-ready emergency response teams; improved radar and satellite imagery; stronger partnerships to enhance community preparedness, and working more closely with emergency managers and "weather enterprise partners" such as TV stations to "enhance safety and economic output and effectively manage environmental resources." Pilot projects are slated for New Orleans, Fort Worth and the Washington, DC area.

There was no specific mention of SKYWARN or the role of trained volunteer severe weather spotters in a "weather-ready nation."