The Weather Research and Forecasting Innovation Act of 2017 (the Weather Act) bolsters the Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research's (OAR) commitment to advancing weather research and reinvigorating the weather portfolio. The Weather Program Office (WPO) ensures alignment of office practices with the strategic goals outlined in the Weather Act. This includes collaborating with various subject matter experts across NOAA to develop Congressional reports and deliverables required by the Weather Act, and briefing NOAA leadership on OAR-related activities and reports.
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The Weather Research and Forecasting Innovation Act of 2017 (Public Law 115-25, often referred to as the “Weather Act”) was signed into law in April 2017, with goals to improve NOAA's weather research through investments in observational, computing, and modeling capabilities, to support improvement in weather forecasting and prediction of high impact weather events, and expand commercial opportunities for the provision of weather data.
Widely viewed as the first comprehensive weather authorization since the NOAA Authorization Act of 1992, the Weather Act is leading the charge for improved forecast and warning systems to build a Weather-Ready Nation, as well as the integration of social science and unified modeling capabilities. NOAA’s research and development (R&D) goals directly impact its Weather-Ready Nation strategic goals by: • improving the science behind extreme & severe weather events; • developing better models, computing, and observations; and • including and embracing more social science to improve risk communication to the public.
Focus areas of the Weather Act include: • Title I: United States Weather Research and Forecasting Improvement • Title II: Subseasonal and Seasonal Forecasting Innovation • Title III: Weather Satellite and Data Innovation • Title IV: Federal Weather Coordination • Title V: Tsunami Warning, Education, and Research Act of 2017 The titles and subsequent sections of the Weather Act provide a framework for NOAA Line Offices to address specific deliverables and requirements within the legislation. In January 2019, NOAA’s National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS) program (Public Law 109-430) included reauthorization of the Weather Act, as well as amended language to the 2017 law.
Weather Research and Forecasting Innovation Act (Weather Act, 2017) National Integrated Drought Information System (Weather Act Reauthorization, 2019)
Weather Act Download
Weather Act Program Overview Download