Photo of Drone Observations being made. Observations Program, Weather Program Office

Observations help scientists understand and predict weather phenomena

They improve accuracy in modeling and bring back data from places no scientist can safely go- such as the eye of a hurricane or a mountain top.

Without accurate, precise, and targeted observations, we cannot measure or predict. We are constantly working with the scientific community to improve the scope and capabilities of our observing platforms so we can provide tools that bring back data when and where they need it for impactful forecast improvement.

Targeted Observing Platforms for Earth Science

Building Data Arrays for Forecast Improvement

The Observations Program supports research to advance and improve weather observations technology critical for the detection and forecasting of hazardous weather phenomena. The Observations Program works closely with the research and operational communities in government, academia, and private industry to develop and transition weather observing technology into operations.

The goals of the Observations program directly align with the legislation mandated by The Weather Act of 2017: advance observations to improve weather research and forecasting, particularly for high impact weather, to protect life and property. The Observations team has a strong focus on building a Climate-Ready Nation by improving environmental predictions and enhancing comprehensive observations and monitoring systems.

We support the objectives in the Priorities for Weather Research report by funding projects that aim to improve data assimilation of new observations and increase observational capabilities for weather research.

  • We provide mission enabling, foundational infrastructure to accelerate transitions of research to operations, applications, and commercialization through enterprise collaboration
  • We research and analyze new and emerging observing capabilities to upgrade legacy systems, to fill gaps in observations, and to better understand the atmosphere, specifically the boundary layer 
  • We identify the impact of various observing systems on prediction skill and forecast quality through observing system experiments (ie OSEs and OSSEs). 
  • We coordinate within and outside of NOAA to strengthen integration efforts across the weather enterprise.

What’s Happening Now

Updates & Events

Current Focus Areas

Innovative Technologies

We fund and foster technologies that push boundaries to collect critical data to advance NOAA's mission to understand and predict changes in weather.

Observational Capabilities Throughout the Weather Enterprise

We continue to invest in the research and development of observational technologies within NOAA, academia, and the private sector to advance and accelerate the goals of the weather enterprise.

Guide to Transition

We help navigate the transition of weather observing technologies into a relevant applied space. This could be an operational environment, a commercial product or service, or an application.

PROJECT VIGNETTES

A World of Possibilities
for Observational Assets

Phased Array Radar Inside Dome.

Phased Array Radar

Radar is an essential observing technology for weather forecasting and research. It provides critical data for weather forecasts and warnings, benefits meteorological research and aids…

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SUBMIT YOUR PROPOSAL

The Observations Program is currently accepting proposals for its Fiscal Year 2023 Notice of Funding Competition.

Submit your full proposal by November 17th, 2022.
Start your application in Grants Online today.

Have Questions?

Go through our step-by-step checklist to learn how to apply for funding.

Visit our Proposal Guide

Taking on Operational Challenges

Currently Funded Projects

Resource Library

Take a Deep Dive into the Observations Program

Use of USV Saildrones to Accomplish NOAA's Mission. Transition Plan Storymap.
Use of USV Saildrones to Accomplish NOAA's Mission. Transition Plan Storymap.
NOAA WPO Observations Program: FY21 Projects
NOAA WPO Observations Program: FY21 Projects
NOAA's WPO Observations Program Overview
NOAA's WPO Observations Program Overview
WPO Observations Program FY21 Funded Projects
WPO Observations Program FY21 Funded Projects
Observing Weather and Climate From the Ground Up: A National Network of Networks
Observing Weather and Climate From the Ground Up: A National Network of Networks

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Emerging Technologies Workshop (ETW) is an event showcasing the latest innovations designed to collect, analyze, and synthesize environmental data.

The 2021 virtual workshop highlighted a wide variety of innovative technologies. Workshop attendees represented all six NOAA Line Offices in addition to stakeholders from other federal agencies, academia, and the private sector. This event aimed to improve the impact of emerging technologies through the end-to-end processes of Discovery Development, and Deployment/Transition.

View post-workshop materials >

Click to see materials from The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Emerging Technologies Workshop
Click to see materials from The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Emerging Technologies Workshop

We Coordinate Observations Improvement & Integration Research for the Weather Program Office

Contact Our Team

Mark Vincent

Observations Program Manager

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Renee Richarson

Observations Coordinator

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Segayle Thompson

Project Manager, Phased Array Radar Acquisition

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Sandy LaCorte

Observations Coordinator

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