AccuWeather CEO Barry Myers was among the leaders that helped to reconstitute the Weather Coalition, an advocacy organization, which announced on Monday, June 3, 2013, that it will work on enhancing weather forecasts in the United States and thus bolster the country's safety and economy.
The mission of the Weather Coalition is to:
"…significantly improve our nation’s weather prediction and warning capabilities, resident in both federal agencies and the American weather industry, and so reduce our nation’s socioeconomic vulnerability to weather, improve national physical and environmental security, increase protection of life and property, and enhance the global competitiveness of U.S. industry."
The Weather Coalition consists of leaders in all parts of the weather enterprise.
"We usually think of the weather enterprise as a three-legged stool that involves NOAA and the National Weather Service, academic and research institutions and the weather industry, including companies like AccuWeather," Myers said. “What America does in the weather enterprise [in terms of a public and private partnership] is unique and always has been.”
The need for an advocacy group was reaffirmed at a conference held in Dallas during March.
"A whole host of people came together to ask the question 'What do we need to do?,' especially in this era of concerns over budgetary constraints, over the sequester, funding issues, questions about whether our satellites may go dark before new ones are put in place, the U.S. modeling and whether it is comparable to the European model, all of those questions and what can be done about these issues,” Myers said.
The topic of model performance came into focus during Superstorm Sandy as the ECMWF (European) model outperformed U.S. forecasting models in terms of the storm's track at certain time frames.
"It should be recognized that companies like AccuWeather and also the U.S. government have access to the European model, so in terms of forecast quality the value of whatever is available in the world comes to us," Myers said. "However, as a matter of national security, not simply national pride, we need to have the ability to do this ourselves. The Europeans do not share all of their output with other governments necessarily. It is the kind of thing that is so core to weather forecasting that we really need to have it under our own national control.”
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