NOAA and Environment Canada bilateral meeting provides opportunity to discuss weather, water and climate challenges

Date Posted: December 1, 2015
NWS Director Louis Uccellini greeting David Grimes, Head of Environment Canada’s Meteorological Service, before the bilateral meeting.

As part of ongoing discussions on how the United States and Canada can strengthen existing collaborative efforts related to weather, water, climate prediction and research, NWS Director Louis Uccellini recently met with his Canadian counterpart, Assistant Deputy Minister and head of Environment Canada’s (EC) Meteorological Service, David Grimes, as part of a “face-to-face” bilateral meeting. The meeting took place October 23 at NWS headquarters in Silver Spring, Maryland with both Dr. Uccellini and Mr. Grimes serving as co-chairs for the meeting through the NOAA/EC Cooperation Steering Committee (CSC) – a committee that oversees the collaborative projects and activities that fall under the NOAA/EC bilateral agreement. These meetings typically occur every 3-5 months, mostly through video teleconferencing, making this face-to-face meeting special.

Participants included managers and leadership not only from NWS, but also OAR, NESDIS and NOS to discuss a number of cross-cutting topics. The topics included, transboundary forecast issues, shared forecasting challenges related to high-impact weather and seasonal to subseasonal prediction and NOAA and EC's efforts in the Arctic. Other topics broached, included addressing integrated water prediction over the Great Lakes and Saint Lawrence River Basin and strengthening collaborative efforts on ecological forecasting. The meeting was very engaging and fruitful with a number of strategic and tactical paths forged for future collaborative work.

Aside from the bilateral meeting, Dr. Uccellini met with Mr. Grimes separately to discuss service delivery in the Arctic and how to address observational and information gaps in the region, future plans and strategies for the NOAA National Water Center, the One-NWS Network implementation plan for consolidating all operational networks under a single managed network and updates on the NWS reorganization and current budget statuses for both NWS and EC.

Mr. Grimes also met with NWS Deputy Director Laura Furgione, who serves as U.S. permanent representative to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), to talk about WMO-related matters that ranged from the future direction of the WMO, as well as common interests and roles regarding the upcoming Year of Polar Prediction (YOPP), the proposed Polar Regional Climate Centers and the NWS/WMO International Session taking place as part of the 96th Annual American Meteorological Society meeting that will be held January 2016 in New Orleans. Mr. Grimes currently serves as the President of the WMO.

The bilateral meeting was part of a larger engagement between the Canadian delegation and NOAA, including meetings with senior leaders from NESDIS and OAR. Discussions with NESDIS centered around such topics as NOAA satellite plans, data management issues, space commercialization and the upcoming GEO Ministerial summit and plenary. The OAR discussions focused on research priorities, including the YOPP and international cryosphere program and cooperation on a variety of issues in the Great Lakes region.