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Role of the SOO in an Evolving NWS. Rusty Billingsley – Chief of Science and Technology Services Southern Region Headquarters, National Weather Service. Role of the SOO in an Evolving NWS.

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role of the soo in an evolving nws
Role of the SOO in an Evolving NWS

Rusty Billingsley – Chief of Science and Technology Services

Southern Region Headquarters, National Weather Service

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Role of the SOOin an Evolving NWS

Disclaimer: The opinions and views in this presentation represent those of the speaker and not an official position of the National Weather Service nor anyone else!

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Role of the SOOin an Evolving NWS

First we need to know:

“What are we evolving into?”

We’ll use 2015 as a target – consistent with ConOps

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Role of the SOOin an Evolving NWSWait a Minute – Context to Consider!

Accelerating Change – this isn’t your father’s rate of change!

Premise – change is occurring exponentially – but you expect it to be linear based on the “current” rate of change!

“…because we're doubling the rate of progress every decade, we'll see a century of progress--at today's rate--in only 25 calendar years.” Ray Kurzweil Law of Accelerating Returns

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Role of the SOOin an Evolving NWSSome Proof!

  • Suppose its 1995 and you are predicting 2005:
  • Windows 95 and Internet Explorer 1.0 introduced
  • Netscape, Ebay, and Amazon.com come to life
  • eCERN holds a two-day seminar for the European Media (press, radio, TV), attended by 250 reporters, to show WWW. It is demonstrated on 60 machines, with 30 pupils from the local International High School helping the reporters "surf the Web"
  • Traditional online dial-up systems (Compuserve, America Online, Prodigy) begin to provide Internet access
  • 6.5 Million Hosts, 100,000 WWW Sites on internet
  • MP3 format comes of age
  • USB standard released
  • Red Hat Linux formed (actually 94)
  • Compaq Computer reaches number one world market share
  • OS2 Warp ships, PC DOS 7 ships
  • Intel introduces 120 MHz Pentium processor
  • IBM unveils its new IBM PC 300 desktop systems, with 75-MHz and 90-MHz Pentium CPUs. Complete systems start at US$2000.
  • IBM buys Lotus
  • IBM releases the ThinkPad 760CD (120 MHz), with the industry's first 12.1-inch thin-film transistor display
  • Sun Microsystems introduces new Ultra 1 and Ultra 2 workstations
  • Sony Electronics introduces the 32-bit game system, PlayStation
  • Cell phone subscribers reach 34 million
  • Bombing of the Murrah Federal Building in OKC
  • NASDAQ closes above 1000 for first time
  • Iraq disarmament crisis
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Role of the SOOin an Evolving NWSSome Proof!

  • For 2005, would you have predicted:
  • Homeland Security would be a big deal
  • You could put your entire song collection on a device as big as your thumb
  • A desktop could be had for a few hundred bucks
  • Microsoft and Dell would be the big players
  • Stock market crash after incredible bubble
  • Thumb drives
  • Satellite radio
  • Wireless everywhere
  • 70+ emails a day
  • Reality TV would be a hit
  • Half a terabyte disk drives for 300 bucks (500 gig)
  • Laser printers for under a 100 bucks
  • DVDs, cell phones, digital cameras everywhere
  • The enormity of the Internet
  • GIS
  • Gridded forecasting (GFE)
  • E-commerce
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Role of the SOOin an Evolving NWSAll This Talk of Change!

  • Our environment at the time - 1995 in the WSFO/WSO
  • AFOS continues as operational system
  • AWIPS in trouble – 400M spent already
  • PCGRIDDs in use
  • Some offices get UNIX workstations (SOO Sacs)
  • SWIS/MicroSwis
  • A few offices experimenting with web sites, web is just a curiosity to most
  • ASOS commissioning continues

This is just one decade ago!

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Role of the SOOin an Evolving NWSAll This Talk of Change!

Accelerating Change – this isn’t your father’s rate of change!

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Role of the SOOin an Evolving NWSAll This Talk of Change!

Accelerating Change – this isn’t your father’s rate of change!

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Role of the SOOin an Evolving NWSAll This Talk of Change!

Bottom line: Technological rate of change is accelerating…we underestimate it significantly…making any 2015 prediction suspect.

What we are likely to think will happen in 2015 should occur technologically by 2008.

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Role of the SOOin an Evolving NWS

  • What are we evolving into?
  • NOAA/NWS Strategic Plan, PPBES, OSIP
  • STIP – Science and Technology Infusion Plan
  • Concept of Operations Team (ConOps)
  • Where are our customers/partners headed?
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Role of the SOOin an Evolving NWS

ConOps - Case for Change

  • To provide the best service possible, we must adapt.
  • 2. We must be more efficient with our resources so that we can do more and better.
  • 3. We must capitalize on future opportunities.
  • 4. We need to posture ourselves for budget uncertainties and opportunities because if current trends in budget erosion continue, we face serious financial and operational consequences.
key shifts moving beyond the status quo
Key ShiftsMoving Beyond the Status Quo

From

To

Phenomenon Based Forecasts

Product Based Services

Coordination

Technology Tied

National Weather Service

Reactive Evolution

Static Resource Allocation

Weather-centric

Impact Based Forecasts

Decision Support Services

Collaboration

Technology Enabled

Full Partnering Weather Enterprise

Proactive continuous Improvement

Dynamic Resource Allocation

Earth System Science

clustered peers vision an extension of the ops philosophy
Clustered Peers VisionAn Extension of the Ops Philosophy

- focuses NWS resources on high-impact events

- while providing routine services

- in a highly collaborative process,

- optimizing modern science and technology

- composed of functionally staffed field offices

- at current facilities (with modifications).

An effective field structure for NOAA’s National Weather Service consisting of a highly trained workforce, which...

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Role of the SOOin an Evolving NWS

ConOps – My View – current implementation team is building a structure so NWS field offices can become more efficient in order to do “something”, but that “something” is not well defined

  • High Impact and Decision Support Window of opportunity!
  • Focus on decision-makers
  • Lots of talk on collaboration
  • Dynamically redistributing workload
  • Conclusion – this is an evolution, not a revolution. Service part of evolution not well defined – a window of opportunity!
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Role of the SOOin an Evolving NWS

  • Customers/Partners – where are they headed?
  • Weather enterprise is growing, becoming more profitable
  • Increasingly sophisticated and diverse
    • GIS orientation
    • Some run own weather models, own obs
    • Information dissemination explosion
  • Realize value of accurate weather information
  • First signs of increasing proprietary systems
  • Need services in increasingly diverse forms
  • Using more complex decision support systems
  • Probabilistic world
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Role of the SOOin an Evolving NWSWhere are our customers headed?

  • Increasing and more diverse requirements very evident in Texas DEM support for Hurricane Katrina/Rita
  • When will be the onset of TS winds by county?
  • Impacts of the projected storm surge
  • County by county breakdown of winds abating
  • Impacts of predicted winds – trees and power lines down
  • What-if questions
  • How big (scope) is the “storm”?
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Role of the SOOin an Evolving NWS

“Picture” of a storm surge

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Role of the SOOin an Evolving NWS

“Katrina” projected onto “Rita” forecast path

Very simple GIS overlay

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Role of the SOOin an Evolving NWSWhat are we evolving into?

  • Bottom line: A “Service Evolution” that is already under way in an atmosphere of exponential tech change
  • Interpreters of an explosion of weather data and information
  • High impact, decision support, all hazard services
  • A more integrated piece of the whole weather enterprise
  • An agency where day to day lines of responsibility and authority will become more flexible, depending on the situation
  • An agency dedicated to those that are responsible for life and property and those that disseminate that type of information
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Role of the SOOin an Evolving NWSWhat are we evolving into?

  • Time to get uncomfortable:
  • “Machines” will need less and less help from you to issue day to day weather forecasts
  • Systems will need to get much better at “mining” information for you
  • Your value will be in making sense (interpreting) of the vast complex of weather info and communicating the proper message to decision makers
  • Private industry will adapt to new tech faster than the gov’t
  • NWS is not the only game in town any more – we are becoming proportionally less of the wx enterprise with time
  • New science and tech becoming more proprietary
  • Productivity is the name of the game
slide22

Role of the SOOin an Evolving NWSWhat are we evolving into?

  • Time to get comfortable – the NWS advantage:
  • Saving lives and protecting property will continue to be a government responsibility
  • Other government entities with life and property responsibility will probably move along technologically like NWS
  • Other government entities will want unbiased weather and environmental information – they trust NWS
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Role of the SOOin an Evolving NWS

So what is the role of the SOO in an evolving NWS?

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Role of the SOOin an Evolving NWS

  • Is there a need for a Science and Operations Officer?
  • Technological rate of change of advancements will accelerate,
  • Leading to an explosion of available information,
  • Which will have to be interpreted by experts (in the WFOs),
  • For our increasingly sophisticated and diverse set of customers.
  • Answer should be obvious!
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Role of the SOOin an Evolving NWS

  • What is your role?
  • Show us the way – be a visionary
  • Reclaim our role as an agency based on scientific integrity
  • Make sure we use our human resources in the smartest way
  • Ensure we measure our true value
  • Show us what new job skills we need
  • Help us to understand our customer’s needs
  • Train us to be the best
  • The need for your skills is increasing!
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Role of the SOOin an Evolving NWS

  • What can you do?
  • Technology will have a hard time replacing the goodwill generated by the direct service provided by your WFO
  • Continue the tradition of excellent service and trust
  • Help lead the customers (and NWS) in the right direction (i.e., be active in solutions)
  • Work even harder to understand the environment under which your customers live
  • Be open to new ways of doing business
  • Find ways to keep up with the technological onslaught – the results can be remarkable and very satisfying
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Role of the SOOin an Evolving NWS

What can you do?

Jump through that window of opportunity!