Strategic Plan

STRATEGIC PLAN: 2019-2021

Americans live in the most severe weather-prone country on Earth. Some 98 percent of all Presidentially declared disasters are weather related, leading to around 500 deaths per year and nearly $15 billion in damage. The more we know about our weather and how we make decisions in response to it, the more we can plan and prepare. And, the more we know as we plan and prepare, the more we can save lives, reduce property damage, and enhance the national economy.

OWAQ works closely with the National Weather Service (NWS) to deeply understand the needs of stakeholders using NOAA’s weather information to make real-time decisions in response to weather-related events. To help NWS develop and transition weather and air quality research, OWAQ supports the physical science and engineering efforts that lead to new scientific discoveries. Additionally, OWAQ utilizes social science to learn how to deal with the uncertainties weather presents and to inform our engagement and communication with researchers, funders, and the public.

OWAQ also supports the implementation of Congressionally-mandated research priorities, including those found in the Weather Research and Forecast Innovation Act of 2017 and the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 - Further Additional Supplemental Appropriations for Disaster Relief Requirements Act, 2018. Informed by these priorities, OWAQ coordinates research across the weather enterprise (Federal, state and local governments, academia, private sector, and non-profit) to foster collaborations and fund research that monitors and understands Earth’s weather and air quality systems so that we can be more certain about what will happen this week, this month, and in the next two years—and can convey that information in formats that people can use to effectively make decisions. 

To prioritize research that saves lives, reduces property damages, and enhances the national economy, this strategic plan sets forth the office’s vision and mission for Fiscal Years (FY) 2019 through 2021 and details the goals, outcomes, and stakeholders on which the office will focus. The Nation can count on OWAQ to support the weather enterprise in conducting world-class research, transitioning research to operational products and applications, and understanding how the public receives information it can use to make weather-related decisions. OWAQ supports the weather enterprise by 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 that benefit society by saving lives, reducing property damage, and enhancing the national economy. 

Ultimately, OWAQ’s success rests with our highly-capable and -diverse workforce. Our ability to develop new insights, effectively deliver essential services, promote interdisciplinary technical expertise, and fully-achieve OWAQ’s vision and mission are directly tied to a diverse and inclusive work environment that is safe from discrimination, supports the professional development of employees, and implements practices and procedures to ensure members of underrepresented communities have equal access to the opportunities OWAQ offers.

Consistent with the strategies for each Line Office, NOAA, and the Department of Commerce (DOC), OWAQ will:

Goal 1.  Improve effective communication of weather information to strengthen decision-making and forecasting ability.

Goal 2. Advance models and forecast tools to produce the best weather forecasts and warnings to build a Weather-Ready Nation

Goal 3. Effectively and efficiently manage the advancement and transition of weather research.

Goal 4. Develop and support a diverse and inclusive work environment that promotes equal access to the opportunities OWAQ offers. 

OWAQ: Supporting world-class research to advance timely and accurate weather information