National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

The new NWS Weather-Ready Nation Strategic Plan (2019 - 2022) is now available. The plan is a culmination of more than a year-and-a-half of effort and engagement among NWS managers, employees, and Weather Enterprise partners. While the NWS vision and mission remain the same, there are three new goals identified in the plan:

  1. Reduce the impacts of weather, water, and climate events by transforming the way people receive, understand, and act on information
    NWS is also committed to ensuring the safety of our citizens by providing the best observations, forecasts, and warnings, linked directly to life-saving decisions made in every state and county through our Impact-Based Decision Support Services (IDSS). NWS will also make forecasts more accurate, actionable, accessible, and consistent by incorporating social science research and by partnering with the Enterprise to increase the reach of our forecasts. 
  2. Harness cutting-edge science, technology, and engineering to provide the best observations, forecasts, and warnings
    NWS will stay at the cutting edge of science, technology, and engineering.  This goal includes building the best earth system models, maintaining and leveraging our suite of observations, improving tools, access and interoperability, and transitioning research to operations, including collaboration with the broader Weather Enterprise
  3. Evolve the NWS to excel in the face of change through investment in our people, partnerships,and organizational performance
    The goal is focused on evolving the organization to support the first two goals.  We need a highly skilled, motivated and capable workforce, we need to look for ways to shift our focus to decision support, using a collaborative forecast process to free up operational flexibility.  We need to strengthen partnerships and improve our business processes to become more effective and efficient.

In addition to the updated goals, the NWS is making a commitment to four Core Principles:

  1. Our people drive our success; we are dedicated to our science-based service to the Nation;
  2. We provide the best forecasts possible, connecting them to decisions that reduce impacts;
  3. We cannot do it alone; teamwork and partnerships are essential for success;
  4. We strive for excellence, continuously improving our science and engineering for mission performance.

For a general overview of the improvements and details in the new strategic plan see our Plan In Brief here.

At no point in our history has the mission of the weather service to provide forecasts and warnings for the protection of life and property and the enhancement of the national economy been more important.  As extreme weather becomes more common and damaging due to a confluence of physical and socioeconomic factors, the Nation is turning to the National Weather Service to provide weather, water, and climate observations, forecasts and warnings to protect life and property and enhance the national economy. This new plan is critical to achieve our strategic outcome of a Weather-Ready Nation.