National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

The MDL Structure

The Science and Technology Integration (STI) portfolio office was established in 2015 under the NWS Budget and Headquarters Restructuring Project. As the STI office manages the research and development (R&D) component of the NWS budget, MDL was aligned to report to the STI office. During that process, MDL elected to undergo a minor internal reorganization to coincide with the overall NWS Headquarters reorganization. In order to provide consistent size and scope to each of branch and to better consolidate like functionality, MDL realigned a subset of functions and personnel and eliminated one branch, reducing the number of branches to four and changing some branch names to more accurately reflect their mission space.

 

MDL Branches

 

Digital Forecast Services Branch

The Digital Forecast Services Branch develops techniques to provide objective short-range (1-25 hour) forecast guidance for all weather elements in routine public and aviation products. In addition, the branch supports a National Digital Forecast Database (NDFD) offering products and geospatial data services that provide maximum flexibility to customers and partners. The branch also develops and maintains systems to assess the quality of operational and experimental NWS forecasts.

Statistical Modeling Branch

The Statistical Modeling Branch develops and implements statistically calibrated objective guidance products from numerical weather prediction models for weather elements contained in public and aviation forecasts for use at Weather Forecast Offices (WFO), River Forecast Centers (RFC), National Centers, and public and private customers. The branch investigates innovative scientific approaches to produce interpretive model guidance less sensitive to model changes, and to quantify uncertainty of weather guidance to improve weather decision services for events that threaten lives and livelihoods. The branch also maintains a high-quality archive of observations and model data to support the development of statistical forecast guidance.

Decision Support Branch

The Decision Support Branch develops and implements techniques to synthesize, display, and manipulate data and guidance from various sources to aid WFOs, RFCs, and National Centers forecasters and other users in interpreting the wealth of information available at the WFOs. Prototyping of promising techniques in an operational setting is done to identify those best suited for implementation. The branch also develops and improves techniques for producing forecasts for the coastal marine environment. To improve the research-to-operations (R2O) and operations-to-research (O2R) functions in NOAA, the Decision Support Branch leads the design, development, and maintenance of the Virtual Laboratory (VLab).

Weather Information Applications Branch

The Weather Information Applications Branch develops and implements techniques that generate products and services that enhance the value of NWS forecast products (especially NDFD). Techniques emphasize information on forecast uncertainty that can enhance decision making throughout the weather enterprise. Techniques include data modeling, metadata, and web services that support NOAA's dissemination needs. Prototyping of promising techniques is done to identify those best for implementation. All such techniques are implemented in software on NWS operational platforms and maintained as those systems evolve.