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NOAA ISSUES DRAFT POLICY TO UPDATE “FAIR WEATHER” PARTNERSHIPS

NOAA image of major snow and ice storm that moved across portions of Kansas and Missouri between Jan. 29-31, 2002. Pictured is the NOAA National Weather Service forecast office in Pleasant Hill/Kansas City, Mo.Jan. 12, 2004 — NOAA is requesting public comment on a newly drafted policy governing the NOAA National Weather Service interactions and cooperation with the greater consortium of public, private and academic weather and climate institutions. (Click NOAA image for larger view of major snow and ice storm that moved across portions of Kansas and Missouri between Jan. 29-31, 2002. Pictured is the NOAA National Weather Service forecast office in Pleasant Hill/Kansas City, Mo. Please credit “NOAA.”)

“This draft policy affirms NOAA’s commitment to continue working with our partners in the private sector, the media, and the academic community to provide weather and climate services to serve America,” said retired Navy VADM Conrad Lautenbacher, Ph.D., undersecretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator. “NOAA will continue to provide services that are vital to public safety and economic well being, but we can all benefit by establishing better relationships and building better institutions to coordinate our roles, reduce misunderstandings and maximize the effectiveness of our shared weather and climate enterprise.”

The new policy was prompted by the 2002 publication of The National Research Council’s “Fair Weather: Effective Partnerships in Weather and Climate Services.” The NRC study commended the three-sector system for leading to an excellent array of products and services to benefit the nation’s economy. The study recommended the NOAA National Weather Service replace its 1991 public-private partnership policy with a policy that defines processes for making decisions on products, technologies and services, rather than rigidly defining the roles of the NOAA National Weather Service and the private sector.

In response to these recommendations, the NOAA National Weather Service developed the draft “Fair Weather” policy, which is now available for public comment.

Lautenbacher said he hoped all interested parties would read the policy and provide NOAA with comments and insights that will help develop the best possible policies to guide the National Weather Service and other related NOAA efforts.

The NRC Fair Weather study is available online.

The draft NOAA Partnership policy is available in electronic form online or in writing.

Fair Weather
Strategic Planning and Policy Office
NOAA National Weather Service
1325 East-West Highway, Room 11404
Silver Spring, MD 20910-3283

NOAA is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather and climate-related events and providing environmental stewardship of the nationís coastal and marine resources. NOAA is part of the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Relevant Web Sites
NOAA Draft Fair Weather Policy

NOAA National Weather Service

Media Contact:
Marilu Trainor, NOAA National Weather Service western region headquarters, (801) 541-7093 (cell)