Central Region

If you have ever had an idea to improve NWS operations through applied research but never had a forum to test the idea,
this is your chance!


SHARK TANK BACKGROUNDShark Tank The greatest achievements start with an idea.  Encouraging those ideas within NOAA is not always an easy task, especially when researchers and operational forecasters don’t have many opportunities to talk about them with each other in an organized way. As one way to foster early communication and collaboration between OAR researchers and NWS operations staff, the NOAA Central Region Team developed the Shark Tank and held pilot events on December 1, 2016 at the National Weather Center in Norman, Oklahoma and February 22, 2017 at the David Skaggs Research Center in Boulder, Colorado.

HOW DOES THE NOAA SHARK TANK WORK? Participants are selected to present a pitch to the Shark Tank Panel, much like the entrepreneurs pitch their ideas in the TV show.   Participants are given 3 minutes to deliver their Pitch to the Sharks, followed by 7 minutes of dialogue with the Sharks in front of a live audience.  Sharks will provide ideas and best practices on how to navigate R2O processes and help find ways to better connect NWS and OAR researchers.


WHAT IS A PITCH?Shark Tank A “Pitch” is defined as a concept, tool, product, model, innovation or best practice and can be at any stage of development.   For the NOAA Shark Tank, the pitches are ideas for improving NWS forecast operations.

WHAT IS THE SHARK TANK ALL ABOUT? An innovative way for researchers and NWS forecasters to share ideas and explore an opportunity to improve communications.  Modeled after the popular TV show “Shark Tank,” a five member panel is the centerpiece of the event. Representatives from NWS field operations, NWS headquarters and OAR researchers provide Shark Tankexpertise to participants presenting a pitch in an environment designed to nurture ideas.


Sharks Include:
OAR National Severe Storm Lab—Pam Heinselman
OAR Earth System Research Lab—Gary Wick
NWS Weather Forecast Office, Norman—Todd Lindley
NWS Weather Forecast Office, Boulder—Paul Schlatter
NWS Weather Forecast Office, Grand Junction—Mike Meyers
NWS Science and Technology Integration—Tim McClung
SEASON TWO Shark Tank events are back for a second season in Norman, OK on February 8, 2018 and in Boulder, CO on February 22, 2018.  Finalists from the regional events will be invited to participate in a National Shark Tank in Silver Spring, MD later in 2018.


2018 Norman Shark Tank
February 8, 2018
9:00am – 12:00pm
National Weather Center

 2018 Boulder Shark Tank
February 22, 2018
9:00am – 12:00pm
David Skaggs Research Center


HOW TO PARTICIPATEShark Tank  Please submit your idea using the forms below.

Norman Shark Tank Pitch Proposal Form - Deadline January 18
Boulder Shark Tank Pitch Proposal Form - Deadline January 22


PAST PITCHES Participants were selected to provide a pitch based on an operationally-relevant research idea. During the Shark Tank, each participant offered a three- minute pitch,  followed by seven minutes of open dialogue with the Sharks to further discuss the pitch and merits of the ideas.  Shark Tank Pitches included:

  • Road Weather Monitoring with MRMS (Heather Reeves)

  • Wide-Array Mapping of Highly Electrified Cloud Volumes (Mark Weber)

  • Twitter Simulator (Stephen Mullens)

  • An Operational Mobile Atmospheric Profiling and Sounding System (Michael Coniglio)

  • Improving our Knowledge of High-Impact  Weather through Spatiotemporal Mining of Atmospheric Numerical Weather Data (Amy McGovern)

  • Forecast Verification & Diagnostics Toolbox (Matthew Day)

  • Wind Measurements in Clear Air with the WSR-88D (Dusan Zrnic)

  • NWS Needs Az-Shear Outputs (Brandon Smith)

  • Providing 449-MHz Wind Profiler Data to NWS Operations (Allen White)

  • Using Self-Organizing Maps for Weather Pattern Analysis in Operational Forecasting and Climatology Research (Todd Dankers)

  • High-resolution Smoke Forecast Using an Interactive Meteorology-Smoke Modeling System—HRRR Smoke (Ravan Ahmadov)

  • How Low Will the Snow Go?  A Gridded Snow Level Product (Mimi Hughes)

  • Flash Flood Impact Features (Lynn Johnson)

  • Building a High-Resolution Rapid Refresh Ensemble (NRRRE) (Terra Ladwig)

FOR MORE INFORMATIONShark Tank The Shark Tank is a NOAA Central Region Collaboration Team Event.  For more details, please contact:

Lans Rothfusz (Norman) lans.rothfusz@noaa.gov

Lisa Darby (Boulder) lisa.darby@noaa.gov

Bethany Perry (Coordinator) bethany.perry@noaa.gov

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