House Science, Space, and Technology Committee Ranking Member Frank Lucas praised the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) for signing the charter of the Interagency Council for Advancing Meteorological Services (ICAMS) today.

The ICAMS allows all federal agencies involved in weather forecasting and research to coordinate their activities with the common goal of making the United States meteorological services the best in the world. The ICAMS is another important milestone in implementing the Weather Research and Forecasting Innovation Act, a bill introduced by Lucas and signed into law in 2017. Establishing the ICAMS was a key part of the Weather Act, to enhance communications and promote data sharing across the federal government.

“I want to applaud OSTP’s Director, Dr. Kelvin Droegemeier, and NOAA’s Acting Administrator, Dr. Neil Jacobs, for their leadership in creating a solid framework to coordinate our forecasting research, engage external groups, and fully utilize the federal government’s resources,” Lucas said.

Lucas cited the Oklahoma Mesonet as an example of the power of data sharing. The Mesonet is a network of 120 automated environmental monitoring stations spread across Oklahoma in every county. Their measurements are validated and made public within minutes, allowing for more accuracy and precision in forecasting and weather responses.

“Whether it’s at the National Weather Center and Storm Prediction Center in Norman or through the statewide Mesonet, Oklahoma has been the leader of meteorological services,” said Lucas. “Because of the Weather Act, and this resulting interagency committee, these services can be utilized across the board of federal and private groups then maximized to help communities from coast to coast. Our national security, community preparedness, and personal safety will all be strengthened as a result.”