FYI: Science Policy News
115th Congress
Weather Research and Forecasting Innovation Act of 2017
To improve the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's weather research through a focused program of investment on affordable and attainable advances in observational, computing, and modeling capabilities to support substantial improvement in weather forecasting and prediction of high impact weather events, to expand commercial opportunities for the provision of weather data, and for other purposes.
Summary of Selected Provisions
  • Authorizes a comprehensive atmospheric research program at NOAA, and directs NOAA to collaborate with the rest of the U.S. weather research community
  • Creates a new joint technology transfer initiative and tornado warning improvement and extension program in NOAA’s research office, and maintains the Hurricane Forecast Improvement Program
  • Establishes a new seasonal forecasting program within the National Weather Service
  • Authorizes NOAA to purchase weather observations data from private companies, and requires NOAA to enter into at least one contract and assess the effectiveness of incorporating private data into its models
  • Charters multiple new exchange programs and coordinating committees to improve weather communication and coordination across the U.S. weather enterprise
  • Requires NOAA to maintain its tsunami warning centers, develop a rapid tsunami forecast capability, and study tsunami risk and triggering phenomena
  • Note: Congress has since amended the legislation through the National Integrated Drought Information System Reauthorization Act
Primary Sponsors
Co-sponsors by Party
  • 04/18/2017
    Became law
  • 03/29/2017
    Passed by Senate
  • 01/09/2017
    Passed by House
  • 01/06/2017
    Introduced in House