The Navy and The Weather Channel signed a memorandum of understanding in Atlanta last Friday that encourages professional collaboration between the two organizations.
The agreement is intended to foster cooperation between the two organizations and allow them to jointly examine new methods and technologies for producing and presenting forecasts. It allows The Weather Channel to use climate, weather, and ocean data produced by the Navy and made available in the public domain, including data generated by the Navy's supercomputer at the Fleet Numerical Meteorology and Oceanography Center, Monterey, Calif. This computer is one of the world's most sophisticated tools for global weather and ocean modeling, utilizing the largest existing real-time databases of oceanic and atmospheric observations.
For example, The Weather Channel will have access to the Navy's Coastal Ocean/Atmosphere Mesoscale Prediction System. This system is used to predict changes in the ocean and weather conditions in the highly complex coastal areas of the world, a uniquely Navy operating environment. Such collaborations will ultimately benefit the advancement of the science of weather prediction, ensuring the nation gets the greatest possible benefit from their investment in weather and oceanography.
The agreement provides the Navy with a source of validation and feedback for its model. In addition the Navy will gain access to graphics used for presentation on meteorological data for use in the fleet.
As executive agent for the Navy, Rear Adm. Richard D. West, oceanographer of the Navy, signed the document with Ray Ban, executive vice president for Meteorological Affairs and Operations for The Weather Channel.
As Oceanographer of the Navy, West heads a globally-distributed organization with over 3,000 personnel and a fleet of eight multi-mission oceanographic survey ships providing U.S. Naval and Joint forces integrated full-spectrum weather, ocean, charting, precise time, and astronomic knowledge to minimize risk and optimize operational success anytime, anywhere.
The Weather Channel is a commercial, non-Federal entity that provides weather data, forecasts, and related environmental information through cable television, satellite, and on-line services. It is also actively involved in a variety of community outreach activities and educational projects. The data that is provided to The Weather Channel is provided at no additional cost to the government.