The Office of Weather and Air Quality (OWAQ) supports world-class weather and air quality research to save lives, reduce property damage, and enhance the national economy.
VISION: A Weather-Ready Nation informed by world-class weather research.
MISSION: Finding, funding, and fostering collaborative weather and air quality research to discover, develop, and transition products, tools, and services for timely and accurate weather and air quality forecasts.
In pursuit of its vision and mission, OWAQ works closely with the National Weather Service (NWS) to help develop and transition weather and air quality research, including hurricanes, severe thunderstorms, heavy precipitation, and air pollution. Additionally, OWAQ utilizes social science to learn how to deal with the uncertainties weather presents and to inform its engagement and communication with researchers, funders, and the public.
Furthermore, OWAQ selects and funds research that supports and fosters collaborations — within NOAA’s research laboratories and across the weather enterprise (i.e., NOAA, other Federal agencies and entities, state and local governments, academia, and the private sector). This coordination will include: 1) developing engagement mechanisms with the U.S. private weather industry; 2) enhancing two-way collaboration, coordination, and feedback between operations and research to accelerate the pace of capability improvements; 3) supporting community modeling efforts beneficial to both operational support and research questions; and 4) guiding collaborative efforts to include both operational and research priorities in planning phases.
In all of these interactions, OWAQ is governed by five principles: