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Town Hall Meeting: Toward a U.S. Weather Commission: Protecting Lives, Livelihoods and the American Economy

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Monday, 7 January 12:15–1:15 p.m.; Room 18C

Recent high impact weather events, ongoing community dialogue, conclusions drawn from last summer's AMS community meeting, and the recently released National Academy of Sciences report, Weather Services for the Nation: Becoming Second to None, have all highlighted the need to assess the current state of our national weather enterprise and for stronger, more effective, advocacy on behalf of that enterprise.  Even with the tremendous improvements of the last three decades, high impact weather events such as Hurricane Sandy and the 2011 tornadoes remain a major national concern.  In addition, we currently face serious observing gaps and other challenges that put much of that progress at risk.  However, given the correct priorities, we are perched on new discoveries and enhancements that will better protect lives and the nation’s economy even as high impact weather becomes more frequent.  This panel presentation and audience discussion will address the future of the national weather enterprise, and in particular, will focus on the call for the creation of the first U.S. Weather Commission.  Such a Commission could help sort top-level priorities, identify opportunities in a challenging time, and enhance our message to Congress and the Executive Branch.  In a time of tightening federal funding and political gridlock, such a commission could be a voice for advocacy, informing elected officials and the public of the value of our community to this country.  Recognizing that our country faces some difficult decisions in the months and years ahead, the commission approach provides a very natural and transparent venue to establish where we go next and what is most important to the nation.  The purpose of this Town Hall Meeting, sponsored by the Weather Coalition and by the nation’s universities through UCAR, is to gather input on this important topic from the weather community via a conversation with participants from the private, academic, and public sectors.  We seek your opinions and strongly encourage your participation at this early point in the effort.  

For additional information, please contact Pam Emch (e-mail: pam.emch@ngc.com).