Page Banner

United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: INTEGRATION OF CLIMATE VARIABILITY AND FORECASTS INTO RISK-BASED MANAGEMENT TOOLS FOR AGRICULTURE PRODUCTION AND RESOURCE CONSERVATION Title: Progress toward filling the weather and climate forecast needs of agricultural and natural resource management

Authors
item Schneider, Jeanne
item Wiener, John - UNIV OF COLORADO

Submitted to: Journal of Soil and Water Conservation
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: February 15, 2009
Publication Date: May 1, 2009
Citation: Schneider, J.M., Wiener, J.D. 2009. Progress toward filling the weather and climate forecast needs of agricultural and natural resource management. Journal of Soil and Water Conservation. 64(3):100A-106A.

Interpretive Summary: Several recent developments prompted a review of the current availability of free and official weather, climate, and hydroclimate forecasts for rural locations in the U.S., compared to the situation a decade ago. These developments included a surge in interest among research and operational meteorologists in the challenges associated with providing useful forecasts directly to the U.S. public, paired with a new appreciation of the social aspects of those challenges. This interest has lead to a number of initiatives within NOAA’s National Weather Service, including the creation of a web portal offering “one stop shopping” for forecasts; the introduction of location-specific and short time step gridded weather forecasts across the U.S. out to six days; and active solicitation of feedback on the utility of all of their forecast products. This is a significant change compared to the situation in 1996, when the NWS ceased to issue specialized agricultural weather forecasts. Unfortunately, it appears that these new forecast developments are largely unknown outside of the meteorological forecast community, which hinders the NWS effort to improve their products, and delays their use. Given this situation, it is timely to assess progress over the last decade, to enumerate a number of continuing unfilled needs from an agriculture, soil, or water resource management perspective, and to encourage members of the conservation community to become actively involved as interested customers in the ongoing development process.

Technical Abstract: Several recent developments prompted a review of the current availability of free and official weather, climate, and hydroclimate forecasts for rural locations in the U.S., compared to the situation a decade ago. These developments included a surge in interest among research and operational meteorologists in the challenges associated with providing useful forecasts directly to the U.S. public, paired with a new appreciation of the social aspects of those challenges. This interest has lead to a number of initiatives within NOAA’s National Weather Service, including the creation of a web portal offering “one stop shopping” for forecasts; the introduction of location-specific and short time step gridded weather forecasts across the U.S. out to six days; and active solicitation of feedback on the utility of all of their forecast products. This is a significant change compared to the situation in 1996, when the NWS ceased to issue specialized agricultural weather forecasts. Unfortunately, it appears that these new forecast developments are largely unknown outside of the meteorological forecast community, which hinders the NWS effort to improve their products, and delays their use. Given this situation, it is timely to assess progress over the last decade, to enumerate a number of continuing unfilled needs from an agriculture, soil, or water resource management perspective, and to encourage members of the conservation community to become actively involved as interested customers in the ongoing development process.

Last Modified: 10/20/2014
Footer Content Back to Top of Page