NWS Director Visits the Iowa Flood Center

Brittany Borghi, UI Office of Strategic Communications

As Americans continue to be impacted by extreme weather at higher rates, better technology needs to be used between more collaborative groups of national and regional weather centers to increase reporting and safety, says National Weather Service (NWS) Director Louis W. Uccellini. Uccellini spoke to the University of Iowa campus community Wednesday, Oct. 15.

NWS Visit 3

NWS Director, Dr. Louis Uccellini, makes comments during the weekly Iowa Flood Center staff meeting on October 15, 2014.

The idea of creating a Weather-Ready Nation is a strategic plan developed by the NWS, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and others, with the goal of improving forecasting services, adapting to climate-related risks, supporting healthy communities and ecosystems, and sustaining a highly-skilled workforce to meet that mission.

“For the first time since I’ve been in the weather service—and it goes back to 1989 – we’ve got everybody lined up,” says Uccellini. “If we’ve got better forecasts, people are more responsive.”

Increasing collaboration to produce better forecasts means involving more public research institutions, especially on the issues of flooding and water. To increase water monitoring, NOAA and the NWS have created the National Water Center, located at the University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa.

“We want to get the research community engaged in the work that we do,” says NWS Office of Hydrologic Development acting director Don Cline.

The goal is to have the 13 NWS River Forecast Centers across the nation report to the National Water Center. The Iowa Flood Center of IIHR—Hydroscience and Engineering hopes to be able to play a crucial role in accelerating developments at the National Water Center by leveraging the experiences and technological advances from Iowa.

“That’s what we would really like to see,” says Witold Krajewski, director of the Iowa Flood Center, “a strong collaboration between the Iowa Flood Center and the National Weather Service, in particular with the National Water Center as they ramp up their operations. We believe the tools we’ve developed in Iowa can be valuable to the nation.”

Related Information

Media Advisory: National Weather Service director to visit Iowa Flood Center, UI

NWS Director to visit Iowa Flood Center

US NationalWeatherService logoThe Iowa Flood Center will welcome National Weather Service Director, Dr. Louis W. Uccellini, and members of his staff to campus on October 14 and 15. Dr. Uccellini will spend time visiting with Iowa Flood Center leaders to learn more about the tools, resources, and capabilities of the Center.

The public will have an opportunity to learn more about the National Weather Service and the National Water Center on Wednesday, October 15 at 10:30 AM. Dr. Uccellini will present “Building a Weather-Ready Nation: Advancing the NWS Hydrology Program” and Dr. Done Cline, Acting Director NWS Office of Hydrologic Development, will present “Environmental Intelligence: Water 1.0 – The National Water Center and the Transformation of NOAA’s Water Prediction Services.” Additional information about the presentations can be found on the calendar.

After the presentations, Dr. Uccellini and Dr. Cline will take questions.