I want to thank the gentleman from Ohio, Mr. Miller, for holding today’s hearing. As a rancher in tornado alley, weather data is vital to me and all Oklahomans.
While the Weather Act had an immediate positive impact, we still have work to do if we want to be the most accurate and trusted source of forecasting in the world.
Since taking over as Chairman of the Committee, I’ve prioritized reauthorizing the Weather Act, and this hearing is another step towards finalizing that bill.
A crucial component of the Weather Act reauthorization will be improving subseasonal to seasonal research and forecasting. This area of weather research is extremely important to farmers and ranchers whose livelihoods are subject to precipitation patterns.
Better forecasting means better decisions on planting and managing crops, which translates to more food for America.
I am pleased to have Oklahoma representation here to discuss our state’s weather and climate services, including the mesonet system. I take a lot of pride in the fact that this system is the gold standard in the country and the committee looks forward to hearing more details on how the data is updated, processed, and communicated to the public.
As we have seen through the years, the impacts of weather are far too important to not strive for the very best tools. Protecting life and property, helping first responders during extreme weather events, and ensuring farmers and ranchers have the best data are only a few of the reasons having the most accurate weather forecasts is paramount.
It’s encouraging to see the progress NOAA and the private sector have made to help each other since the Weather Act in 2017. And don’t get me wrong, they are indeed helping each other. It goes both ways.
But even as we sit here today, six years after the passage of the first Weather Act, I believe there is still much more we can do for NOAA to maximize the innovations our country has to offer.
So, as we look to reauthorize the Weather Act, I will push to continue this growth and expand the options and resources NOAA has to improve their long-term weather models and forecasts.
Today’s hearing is important because it allows us to examine a wide range of sectors that utilize all different types of weather data. It’s a diverse group of the weather community but they share many of the same needs from NOAA. Their input will help us ensure the direction and resources we provide to NOAA end up benefiting the most Americans, as intended.I thank our witnesses for sharing their expertise with us and I look forward to a productive discussion. Thank you and I yield back Mr. Chairman.