Central Region

Group PhotoWith a seemingly overwhelming amount of climate data and information available, addressing the needs of National Weather Service (NWS) Climate Focal Points and engaging them as collaborators is imperative to enhancing Regional Climate Information Services.

The NOAA Central Region Collaboration Team developed a workshop tailored for NWS Climate Focal Points and other staff who are not only knowledgeable of Regional Climate Services, but can participate and collaborate in applied climate research, outreach, and decision support activities within the NOAA Central Region.  Initiated in 2015, repeated in 2016, and hosted by the High Plains Regional Climate Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the workshops have brought together key partners to provide opportunities to practice skills and develop relationships.

Participants provided overwhelmingly positive feedback in 2015 and 2016 resulting in plans to expand the workshops to additional NOAA regions. The NOAA Great Lakes Regional Collaboration Team, partnering Calibration labwith the Midwestern Regional Climate Center, will host a Regional Climate Services Workshop in September 2017 for NWS Forecast Offices serving areas near Lake Michigan.

Designed to showcase available products and services in the region, as well as foster new connections, workshops provide:

  • An introduction to Regional Climate Services and key regional partners such as Regional Climate Service Directors, Regional Climate Centers, State Climatologists, and the National Drought Mitigation Center

  • Hands-on experience with climate data and information tools like ACIS-WS, U.S. Drought Monitor, Drought Risk Atlas, and other online products

  • Site visits to relevant assets, such as instrumentation labs, Automated Weather Data Network (AWDN) stations, U.S. Climate Reference Network (CRN) sites, and more

  • Collaboration and networking opportunities

To date, staff working in the area of climate from 17 NWS Forecast Offices have attended the Regional Climate Services Workshop.  Eight offices have been selected to participate in the 2017 Workshop.

Regional Climate Information Services Workshops are developed by NOAA Regional Collaboration Teams to enhance the abilities of NWS Forecast Offices to provide decision support services related to climate by:

  • Delivering a consistent workshop model to support NWS climate capacity building

  • Sharing knowledge about Regional Climate Services through presentations and discussions

  • Strengthening connections and collaboration opportunities within the NWS climate community and across regions

  • Improving skills by working with climate products and tools in hands-on exercises led by Regional Climate Center staff and partners

  • Building relationships through engagement and interaction

  • Increasing collaborative opportunities in the region and enhancing Regional Climate Services activities by creating a set of knowledgeable and engaged NWS Climate Focal Points.

NOAA’s Great Lakes Regional Collaboration Team will hold a Regional Climate Services Workshop, hosted by the Midwestern Regional Climate Center, September 12-14 at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  NOAA Regional Collaboration supports

addressing regional challenges by connecting people and resources, seeks to help NOAA meet agency priorities, enhance decision support services and address gaps and opportunities within the region.  Workshops for 2018 and beyond will be explored with local offices and regional partners.

For more information, contact

Natalie Umphlett
High Plains Regional Climate Center

Bethany Perry
NOAA Central Region Collaboration Team

Beth Hall
Midwestern Regional Climate Center

Jennifer Day
NOAA Great Lakes Regional Collaboration Team

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