AWCIA applauds Weather Research and Forecasting Innovation Act of 2017


On April 18, 2017, the President signed into law H.R. 353, the "Weather Research and Forecasting Innovation Act of 2017," which supports improved weather warning, strengthening weather forecasting, and improved government cooperation with the research community and America’s Weather Industry.

AWCIA has been a strong proponent of the bill and its predecessors over the past four years. Barry Lee Myers has testified in support of the proposed legislation three separate times since 2013. Myers has been widely quoted as stating, ““H.R. 353 will serve as a blueprint for the next NOAA Administrator.” summarizes the Weather Research and Forecasting Innovation Act of 2017 as authorizing “a number of programs to enhance weather forecasting and alerts at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). NOAA's Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research must conduct a program to improve forecasting of weather events and their effects, with a special focus on high impact weather events…. The bill provides for technology transfers between the National Weather Service and private sector weather companies and universities to improve forecasting.”

The bill includes provisions to improve tornado warnings, protect the Hurricane Forecast Improvement Program, develop a formal plan for weather research, develop an annual report on the state of weather models, continue development of sub-seasonal forecasts, continue development of seasonal and interannual forecasts, consider options for commercially provided weather satellite data over launching government satellites and more.

“H.R. 353 is a significant accomplishment and milestone that ensures continued innovation and advancements in warnings – especially tornado and hurricane warnings,” Myers said. “It will foster greater collaboration of NOAA and the National Weather Service with America’s Weather Industry and the research community, making the best forecasts available to better inform the public and save more lives.”

“President Trump’s signature on the Weather Research and Forecasting Innovation Act marks a major advance toward transforming our nation’s public-private weather enterprise,” said House Science Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas). ”

Barry Lee Myers is CEO of AccuWeather, Inc., with global headquarters in State College, PA. Myers is a member of AWCIA’s Board of Directors and is the association’s Chief Government Relations officer. AWCIA has been the weather industry’s trade associations since 1990.


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