As a matter of principle, the Weather Coalition believes that, in spite of the fiscal challenges now faced by the our country, the nation’s physical and environmental security mandates that the national weather enterprise receive the support required to restore to global preeminence our national capabilities to monitor and forecast. A restored level of weather-prediction preeminence will provide our nation the enhanced information needed to safeguard lives and livelihoods, enhance our economy, and provide the early strategic insights needed in the international arena. Reestablishing and maintaining this global preeminence in weather monitoring and forecasting will require innovative approaches involving all three sectors – private, public, and academic – that together comprise America’s national weather enterprise.
There exists in the United States a unique national weather enterprise. This consists of a community of meteorologists and other professionals in academic, private, and government sectors who provide services to, and are supported by, a growing community of users, also part of the enterprise. The meteorological community develops and distributes weather products and services to the user community in order to protect life, reduce risk to property, and enhance economic competitiveness.
Each sector is made up of diverse components. Many meteorologists in the private sector are employed by private forecasting companies, which serve a variety of clients. Other private-sector meteorologists work for media outlets, equipment manufacturers, companies that manage weather risk, consulting services, and elsewhere. The academic sector includes universities and associated research laboratories, joint institutes, and other scientific organizations. The government sector includes not only federal agencies such as the National Weather Service but also state, local, and regional agencies. There is also a professional sector that consists of professional organizations, private foundations, independent research labs and other entities in kind. The user community ranges from private individuals to small retail and specialty manufacturers to large corporate manufacturers and distributors that serve national and international clients.
Federal legislation affects many aspects of the national weather enterprise. To ensure that enterprise interests are well represented in such legislation and in the resulting policy, procedures, and expenditures, members of the private, professional and academic sectors of the meteorological community have joined to form the Weather Coalition.