WEATHER RESEARCH AND FORECASTING INNOVATION ACT OF 2017; Congressional Record Vol. 163, No. 5
(House of Representatives - January 09, 2017)

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        WEATHER RESEARCH AND FORECASTING INNOVATION ACT OF 2017

  Mr. LUCAS. Mr. Speaker, I move to suspend the rules and pass the bill 
(H.R. 353) 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.
  The Clerk read the title of the bill.
  The text of the bill is as follows:

                                H.R. 353

       Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of 
     the United States of America in Congress assembled,

     SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE; TABLE OF CONTENTS.

       (a) Short Title.--This Act may be cited as the ``Weather 
     Research and Forecasting Innovation Act of 2017''.
       (b) Table of Contents.--The table of contents for this Act 
     is as follows:

Sec. 1. Short title; table of contents.
Sec. 2. Definitions.

  TITLE I--UNITED STATES WEATHER RESEARCH AND FORECASTING IMPROVEMENT

Sec. 101. Public safety priority.
Sec. 102. Weather research and forecasting innovation.
Sec. 103. Tornado warning improvement and extension program.
Sec. 104. Hurricane forecast improvement program.
Sec. 105. Weather research and development planning.
Sec. 106. Observing system planning.
Sec. 107. Observing system simulation experiments.
Sec. 108. Annual report on computing resources prioritization.
Sec. 109. United States Weather Research program.
Sec. 110. Authorization of appropriations.

       TITLE II--SUBSEASONAL AND SEASONAL FORECASTING INNOVATION

Sec. 201. Improving subseasonal and seasonal forecasts.

            TITLE III--WEATHER SATELLITE AND DATA INNOVATION

Sec. 301. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration satellite and 
              data management.
Sec. 302. Commercial weather data.
Sec. 303. Unnecessary duplication.

                 TITLE IV--FEDERAL WEATHER COORDINATION

Sec. 401. Environmental Information Services Working Group.
Sec. 402. Interagency weather research and forecast innovation 
              coordination.
Sec. 403. Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research and National 
              Weather Service exchange program.
Sec. 404. Visiting fellows at National Weather Service.
Sec. 405. Warning coordination meteorologists at weather forecast 
              offices of National Weather Service.
Sec. 406. Improving National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 
              communication of hazardous weather and water events.
Sec. 407. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Weather Ready 
              All Hazards Award Program.
Sec. 408. Department of Defense weather forecasting activities.
Sec. 409. National Weather Service; operations and workforce analysis.
Sec. 410. Report on contract positions at National Weather Service.
Sec. 411. Weather impacts to communities and infrastructure.
Sec. 412. Weather enterprise outreach.

     SEC. 2. DEFINITIONS.

       In this Act:
       (1) Seasonal.--The term ``seasonal'' means the time range 
     between 3 months and 2 years.
       (2) State.--The term ``State'' means a State, a territory, 
     or possession of the United States, including a Commonwealth, 
     or the District of Columbia.
       (3) Subseasonal.--The term ``subseasonal'' means the time 
     range between 2 weeks and 3 months.
       (4) Under secretary.--The term ``Under Secretary'' means 
     the Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere.
       (5) Weather industry and weather enterprise.--The terms 
     ``weather industry'' and ``weather enterprise'' are 
     interchangeable in this Act, and include individuals and 
     organizations from public, private, and academic sectors that 
     contribute to the research, development, and production of 
     weather forecast products, and primary consumers of these 
     weather forecast products.

  TITLE I--UNITED STATES WEATHER RESEARCH AND FORECASTING IMPROVEMENT

     SEC. 101. PUBLIC SAFETY PRIORITY.

       In conducting research, the Under Secretary shall 
     prioritize improving weather data, modeling, computing, 
     forecasting, and warnings for the protection of life and 
     property and for the enhancement of the national economy.

     SEC. 102. WEATHER RESEARCH AND FORECASTING INNOVATION.

       (a) Program.--The Assistant Administrator for the Office of 
     Oceanic and Atmospheric Research shall conduct a program to 
     develop improved understanding of and forecast capabilities 
     for atmospheric events and their impacts, placing priority on 
     developing more accurate, timely, and effective warnings and 
     forecasts of high impact weather events that endanger life 
     and property.
       (b) Program Elements.--The program described in subsection 
     (a) shall focus on the following activities:
       (1) Improving the fundamental understanding of weather 
     consistent with section 101, including the boundary layer and 
     other processes affecting high impact weather events.
       (2) Improving the understanding of how the public receives, 
     interprets, and responds to warnings and forecasts of high 
     impact weather events that endanger life and property.
       (3) Research and development, and transfer of knowledge, 
     technologies, and applications to the National Weather 
     Service and other appropriate agencies and entities, 
     including the United States weather industry and academic 
     partners, related to--
       (A) advanced radar, radar networking technologies, and 
     other ground-based technologies, including those emphasizing 
     rapid, fine-scale sensing of the boundary layer and lower 
     troposphere, and the use of innovative, dual-polarization, 
     phased-array technologies;
       (B) aerial weather observing systems;
       (C) high performance computing and information technology 
     and wireless communication networks;
       (D) advanced numerical weather prediction systems and 
     forecasting tools and techniques that improve the forecasting 
     of timing, track, intensity, and severity of high impact 
     weather, including through--
       (i) the development of more effective mesoscale models;
       (ii) more effective use of existing, and the development of 
     new, regional and national cloud-resolving models;
       (iii) enhanced global weather models; and
       (iv) integrated assessment models;
       (E) quantitative assessment tools for measuring the impact 
     and value of data and observing systems, including Observing 
     System Simulation Experiments (as described in section 107), 
     Observing System Experiments, and Analyses of Alternatives;
       (F) atmospheric chemistry and interactions essential to 
     accurately characterizing atmospheric composition and 
     predicting meteorological processes, including cloud 
     microphysical, precipitation, and atmospheric electrification 
     processes, to more effectively understand their role in 
     severe weather; and
       (G) additional sources of weather data and information, 
     including commercial observing systems.
       (4) A technology transfer initiative, carried out jointly 
     and in coordination with the Director of the National Weather 
     Service, and in cooperation with the United States weather 
     industry and academic partners, to ensure continuous 
     development and transition of the latest scientific and 
     technological advances into operations of the National 
     Weather Service and to establish a process to sunset outdated 
     and expensive operational methods and tools to enable cost-
     effective transfer of new methods and tools into operations.
       (c) Extramural Research.--

[[Page H209]]

       (1) In general.--In carrying out the program under this 
     section, the Assistant Administrator for Oceanic and 
     Atmospheric Research shall collaborate with and support the 
     non-Federal weather research community, which includes 
     institutions of higher education, private entities, and 
     nongovernmental organizations, by making funds available 
     through competitive grants, contracts, and cooperative 
     agreements.
       (2) Sense of congress.--It is the sense of Congress that 
     not less than 30 percent of the funds for weather research 
     and development at the Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric 
     Research should be made available for the purpose described 
     in paragraph (1).
       (d) Annual Report.--Each year, concurrent with the annual 
     budget request submitted by the President to Congress under 
     section 1105 of title 31, United States Code, for the 
     National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Under 
     Secretary shall submit to Congress a description of current 
     and planned activities under this section.

     SEC. 103. TORNADO WARNING IMPROVEMENT AND EXTENSION PROGRAM.

       (a) In General.--The Under Secretary, in collaboration with 
     the United States weather industry and academic partners, 
     shall establish a tornado warning improvement and extension 
     program.
       (b) Goal.--The goal of such program shall be to reduce the 
     loss of life and economic losses from tornadoes through the 
     development and extension of accurate, effective, and timely 
     tornado forecasts, predictions, and warnings, including the 
     prediction of tornadoes beyond one hour in advance.
       (c) Program Plan.--Not later than 180 days after the date 
     of the enactment of this Act, the Assistant Administrator for 
     Oceanic and Atmospheric Research, in coordination with the 
     Director of the National Weather Service, shall develop a 
     program plan that details the specific research, development, 
     and technology transfer activities, as well as corresponding 
     resources and timelines, necessary to achieve the program 
     goal.
       (d) Annual Budget for Plan Submittal.--Following completion 
     of the plan, the Under Secretary, acting through the 
     Assistant Administrator for Oceanic and Atmospheric Research 
     and in coordination with the Director of the National Weather 
     Service, shall, not less frequently than once each year, 
     submit to Congress a proposed budget corresponding with the 
     activities identified in the plan.

     SEC. 104. HURRICANE FORECAST IMPROVEMENT PROGRAM.

       (a) In General.--The Under Secretary, in collaboration with 
     the United States weather industry and such academic entities 
     as the Administrator considers appropriate, shall maintain a 
     project to improve hurricane forecasting.
       (b) Goal.--The goal of the project maintained under 
     subsection (a) shall be to develop and extend accurate 
     hurricane forecasts and warnings in order to reduce loss of 
     life, injury, and damage to the economy, with a focus on--
       (1) improving the prediction of rapid intensification and 
     track of hurricanes;
       (2) improving the forecast and communication of storm 
     surges from hurricanes; and
       (3) incorporating risk communication research to create 
     more effective watch and warning products.
       (c) Project Plan.--Not later than 1 year after the date of 
     the enactment of this Act, the Under Secretary, acting 
     through the Assistant Administrator for Oceanic and 
     Atmospheric Research and in consultation with the Director of 
     the National Weather Service, shall develop a plan for the 
     project maintained under subsection (a) that details the 
     specific research, development, and technology transfer 
     activities, as well as corresponding resources and timelines, 
     necessary to achieve the goal set forth in subsection (b).

     SEC. 105. WEATHER RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT PLANNING.

       Not later than 1 year after the date of the enactment of 
     this Act, and not less frequently than once each year 
     thereafter, the Under Secretary, acting through the Assistant 
     Administrator for Oceanic and Atmospheric Research and in 
     coordination with the Director of the National Weather 
     Service and the Assistant Administrator for Satellite and 
     Information Services, shall issue a research and development 
     and research to operations plan to restore and maintain 
     United States leadership in numerical weather prediction and 
     forecasting that--
       (1) describes the forecasting skill and technology goals, 
     objectives, and progress of the National Oceanic and 
     Atmospheric Administration in carrying out the program 
     conducted under section 102;
       (2) identifies and prioritizes specific research and 
     development activities, and performance metrics, weighted to 
     meet the operational weather mission of the National Weather 
     Service to achieve a weather-ready Nation;
       (3) describes how the program will collaborate with 
     stakeholders, including the United States weather industry 
     and academic partners; and
       (4) identifies, through consultation with the National 
     Science Foundation, the United States weather industry, and 
     academic partners, research necessary to enhance the 
     integration of social science knowledge into weather forecast 
     and warning processes, including to improve the communication 
     of threat information necessary to enable improved severe 
     weather planning and decisionmaking on the part of 
     individuals and communities.

     SEC. 106. OBSERVING SYSTEM PLANNING.

       The Under Secretary shall--
       (1) develop and maintain a prioritized list of observation 
     data requirements necessary to ensure weather forecasting 
     capabilities to protect life and property to the maximum 
     extent practicable;
       (2) consistent with section 107, utilize Observing System 
     Simulation Experiments, Observing System Experiments, 
     Analyses of Alternatives, and other appropriate assessment 
     tools to ensure continuous systemic evaluations of the 
     observing systems, data, and information needed to meet the 
     requirements of paragraph (1), including options to maximize 
     observational capabilities and their cost-effectiveness;
       (3) identify current and potential future data gaps in 
     observing capabilities related to the requirements listed 
     under paragraph (1); and
       (4) determine a range of options to address gaps identified 
     under paragraph (3).

     SEC. 107. OBSERVING SYSTEM SIMULATION EXPERIMENTS.

       (a) In General.--In support of the requirements of section 
     106, the Assistant Administrator for Oceanic and Atmospheric 
     Research shall undertake Observing System Simulation 
     Experiments, or such other quantitative assessments as the 
     Assistant Administrator considers appropriate, to 
     quantitatively assess the relative value and benefits of 
     observing capabilities and systems. Technical and scientific 
     Observing System Simulation Experiment evaluations--
       (1) may include assessments of the impact of observing 
     capabilities on--
       (A) global weather prediction;
       (B) hurricane track and intensity forecasting;
       (C) tornado warning lead times and accuracy;
       (D) prediction of mid-latitude severe local storm 
     outbreaks; and
       (E) prediction of storms that have the potential to cause 
     extreme precipitation and flooding lasting from 6 hours to 1 
     week; and
       (2) shall be conducted in cooperation with other 
     appropriate entities within the National Oceanic and 
     Atmospheric Administration, other Federal agencies, the 
     United States weather industry, and academic partners to 
     ensure the technical and scientific merit of results from 
     Observing System Simulation Experiments or other appropriate 
     quantitative assessment methodologies.
       (b) Requirements.--Observing System Simulation Experiments 
     shall quantitatively--
       (1) determine the potential impact of proposed space-based, 
     suborbital, and in situ observing systems on analyses and 
     forecasts, including potential impacts on extreme weather 
     events across all parts of the Nation;
       (2) evaluate and compare observing system design options; 
     and
       (3) assess the relative capabilities and costs of various 
     observing systems and combinations of observing systems in 
     providing data necessary to protect life and property.
       (c) Implementation.--Observing System Simulation 
     Experiments--
       (1) shall be conducted prior to the acquisition of major 
     Government-owned or Government-leased operational observing 
     systems, including polar-orbiting and geostationary satellite 
     systems, with a lifecycle cost of more than $500,000,000; and
       (2) shall be conducted prior to the purchase of any major 
     new commercially provided data with a lifecycle cost of more 
     than $500,000,000.
       (d) Priority Observing System Simulation Experiments.--
       (1) Global navigation satellite system radio occultation.--
     Not later than 30 days after the date of the enactment of 
     this Act, the Assistant Administrator for Oceanic and 
     Atmospheric Research shall complete an Observing System 
     Simulation Experiment to assess the value of data from Global 
     Navigation Satellite System Radio Occultation.
       (2) Geostationary hyperspectral sounder global 
     constellation.--Not later than 120 days after the date of the 
     enactment of this Act, the Assistant Administrator for 
     Oceanic and Atmospheric Research shall complete an Observing 
     System Simulation Experiment to assess the value of data from 
     a geostationary hyperspectral sounder global constellation.
       (e) Results.--Upon completion of all Observing System 
     Simulation Experiments, the Assistant Administrator shall 
     make available to the public the results an assessment of 
     related private and public sector weather data sourcing 
     options, including their availability, affordability, and 
     cost-effectiveness. Such assessments shall be developed in 
     accordance with section 50503 of title 51, United States 
     Code.

     SEC. 108. ANNUAL REPORT ON COMPUTING RESOURCES 
                   PRIORITIZATION.

       Not later than 1 year after the date of the enactment of 
     this Act and not less frequently than once each year 
     thereafter, the Under Secretary, acting through the Chief 
     Information Officer of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric 
     Administration and in coordination with the Assistant 
     Administrator for Oceanic and Atmospheric Research and the 
     Director of the National Weather Service, shall produce and 
     make publicly available a report that explains how the Under 
     Secretary intends--
       (1) to continually support upgrades to pursue the fastest, 
     most powerful, and cost-effective high performance computing 
     technologies in support of its weather prediction mission;

[[Page H210]]

       (2) to ensure a balance between the research to operations 
     requirements to develop the next generation of regional and 
     global models as well as highly reliable operational models;
       (3) to take advantage of advanced development concepts to, 
     as appropriate, make next generation weather prediction 
     models available in beta-test mode to operational 
     forecasters, the United States weather industry, and partners 
     in academic and Government research; and
       (4) to use existing computing resources to improve advanced 
     research and operational weather prediction.

     SEC. 109. UNITED STATES WEATHER RESEARCH PROGRAM.

       Section 108 of the Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 
     Authorization Act of 1992 (Public Law 102-567; 15 U.S.C. 313 
     note) is amended--
       (1) in subsection (a)--
       (A) in paragraph (3), by striking ``; and'' and inserting a 
     semicolon;
       (B) in paragraph (4), by striking the period at the end and 
     inserting a semicolon; and
       (C) by inserting after paragraph (4) the following:
       ``(5) submit to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and 
     Transportation of the Senate and the Committee on Science, 
     Space, and Technology of the House of Representatives, not 
     less frequently than once each year, a report, including--
       ``(A) a list of ongoing research projects;
       ``(B) project goals and a point of contact for each 
     project;
       ``(C) the 5 projects related to weather observations, 
     short-term weather, or subseasonal forecasts within Office of 
     Oceanic and Atmospheric Research that are closest to 
     operationalization;
       ``(D) for each project referred to in subparagraph (C)--
       ``(i) the potential benefit;
       ``(ii) any barrier to operationalization; and
       ``(iii) the plan for operationalization, including which 
     line office will financially support the project and how much 
     the line office intends to spend;
       ``(6) establish teams with staff from the Office of Oceanic 
     and Atmospheric Research and the National Weather Service to 
     oversee the operationalization of research products developed 
     by the Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research;
       ``(7) develop mechanisms for research priorities of the 
     Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research to be informed by 
     the relevant line offices within the National Oceanic and 
     Atmospheric Administration, the relevant user community, and 
     the weather enterprise;
       ``(8) develop an internal mechanism to track the progress 
     of each research project within the Office of Oceanic and 
     Atmospheric Research and mechanisms to terminate a project 
     that is not adequately progressing;
       ``(9) develop and implement a system to track whether 
     extramural research grant goals were accomplished;
       ``(10) provide facilities for products developed by the 
     Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research to be tested in 
     operational simulations, such as test beds; and
       ``(11) encourage academic collaboration with the Office of 
     Oceanic and Atmospheric Research and the National Weather 
     Service by facilitating visiting scholars.'';
       (2) in subsection (b), in the matter preceding paragraph 
     (1), by striking ``Not later than 90 days after the date of 
     enactment of this Act, the'' and inserting ``The''; and
       (3) by adding at the end the following new subsection:
       ``(c) Subseasonal Defined.--In this section, the term 
     `subseasonal' means the time range between 2 weeks and 3 
     months.''.

     SEC. 110. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.

       (a) Fiscal Years 2017 and 2018.--For each of fiscal years 
     2017 and 2018, there are authorized to be appropriated to 
     Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research--
       (1) $111,516,000 to carry out this title, of which--
       (A) $85,758,000 is authorized for weather laboratories and 
     cooperative institutes; and
       (B) $25,758,000 is authorized for weather and air chemistry 
     research programs; and
       (2) an additional amount of $20,000,000 for the joint 
     technology transfer initiative described in section 
     102(b)(4).
       (b) Limitation.--No additional funds are authorized to 
     carry out this title and the amendments made by this title.

       TITLE II--SUBSEASONAL AND SEASONAL FORECASTING INNOVATION

     SEC. 201. IMPROVING SUBSEASONAL AND SEASONAL FORECASTS.

       Section 1762 of the Food Security Act of 1985 (Public Law 
     99-198; 15 U.S.C. 313 note) is amended--
       (1) in subsection (a), by striking ``(a)'' and inserting 
     ``(a) Findings.--'';
       (2) in subsection (b), by striking ``(b)'' and inserting 
     ``(b) Policy.--''; and
       (3) by adding at the end the following:
       ``(c) Functions.--The Under Secretary, acting through the 
     Director of the National Weather Service and the heads of 
     such other programs of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric 
     Administration as the Under Secretary considers appropriate, 
     shall--
       ``(1) collect and utilize information in order to make 
     usable, reliable, and timely foundational forecasts of 
     subseasonal and seasonal temperature and precipitation;
       ``(2) leverage existing research and models from the 
     weather enterprise to improve the forecasts under paragraph 
     (1);
       ``(3) determine and provide information on how the 
     forecasted conditions under paragraph (1) may impact--
       ``(A) the number and severity of droughts, fires, 
     tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, heat waves, coastal 
     inundation, winter storms, high impact weather, or other 
     relevant natural disasters;
       ``(B) snowpack; and
       ``(C) sea ice conditions; and
       ``(4) develop an Internet clearinghouse to provide the 
     forecasts under paragraph (1) and the information under 
     paragraphs (1) and (3) on both national and regional levels.
       ``(d) Communication.--The Director of the National Weather 
     Service shall provide the forecasts under paragraph (1) of 
     subsection (c) and the information on their impacts under 
     paragraph (3) of such subsection to the public, including 
     public and private entities engaged in planning and 
     preparedness, such as National Weather Service Core partners 
     at the Federal, regional, State, tribal, and local levels of 
     government.
       ``(e) Cooperation.--The Under Secretary shall build upon 
     existing forecasting and assessment programs and 
     partnerships, including--
       ``(1) by designating research and monitoring activities 
     related to subseasonal and seasonal forecasts as a priority 
     in one or more solicitations of the Cooperative Institutes of 
     the Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research;
       ``(2) by contributing to the interagency Earth System 
     Prediction Capability; and
       ``(3) by consulting with the Secretary of Defense and the 
     Secretary of Homeland Security to determine the highest 
     priority subseasonal and seasonal forecast needs to enhance 
     national security.
       ``(f) Forecast Communication Coordinators.--
       ``(1) In general.--The Under Secretary shall foster 
     effective communication, understanding, and use of the 
     forecasts by the intended users of the information described 
     in subsection (d). This may include assistance to States for 
     forecast communication coordinators to enable local 
     interpretation and planning based on the information.
       ``(2) Requirements.--For each State that requests 
     assistance under this subsection, the Under Secretary may--
       ``(A) provide funds to support an individual in that 
     State--
       ``(i) to serve as a liaison among the National Oceanic and 
     Atmospheric Administration, other Federal departments and 
     agencies, the weather enterprise, the State, and relevant 
     interests within that State; and
       ``(ii) to receive the forecasts and information under 
     subsection (c) and disseminate the forecasts and information 
     throughout the State, including to county and tribal 
     governments; and
       ``(B) require matching funds of at least 50 percent, from 
     the State, a university, a nongovernmental organization, a 
     trade association, or the private sector.
       ``(3) Limitation.--Assistance to an individual State under 
     this subsection shall not exceed $100,000 in a fiscal year.
       ``(g) Cooperation From Other Federal Agencies.--Each 
     Federal department and agency shall cooperate as appropriate 
     with the Under Secretary in carrying out this section.
       ``(h) Reports.--
       ``(1) In general.--Not later than 18 months after the date 
     of the enactment of the Weather Research and Forecasting 
     Innovation Act of 2017, the Under Secretary shall submit to 
     the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the 
     Senate and the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology of 
     the House of Representatives a report, including--
       ``(A) an analysis of the how information from the National 
     Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on subseasonal and 
     seasonal forecasts, as provided under subsection (c), is 
     utilized in public planning and preparedness;
       ``(B) specific plans and goals for the continued 
     development of the subseasonal and seasonal forecasts and 
     related products described in subsection (c); and
       ``(C) an identification of research, monitoring, observing, 
     and forecasting requirements to meet the goals described in 
     subparagraph (B).
       ``(2) Consultation.--In developing the report under 
     paragraph (1), the Under Secretary shall consult with 
     relevant Federal, regional, State, tribal, and local 
     government agencies, research institutions, and the private 
     sector.
       ``(i) Definitions.--In this section:
       ``(1) Foundational forecast.--The term `foundational 
     forecast' means basic weather observation and forecast data, 
     largely in raw form, before further processing is applied.
       ``(2) National weather service core partners.--The term 
     `National Weather Service core partners' means government and 
     nongovernment entities which are directly involved in the 
     preparation or dissemination of, or discussions involving, 
     hazardous weather or other emergency information put out by 
     the National Weather Service.
       ``(3) Seasonal.--The term `seasonal' means the time range 
     between 3 months and 2 years.
       ``(4) State.--The term `State' means a State, a territory, 
     or possession of the United States, including a Commonwealth, 
     or the District of Columbia.
       ``(5) Subseasonal.--The term `subseasonal' means the time 
     range between 2 weeks and 3 months.

[[Page H211]]

       ``(6) Under secretary.--The term `Under Secretary' means 
     the Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere.
       ``(7) Weather industry and weather enterprise.--The terms 
     `weather industry' and `weather enterprise' are 
     interchangeable in this section and include individuals and 
     organizations from public, private, and academic sectors that 
     contribute to the research, development, and production of 
     weather forecast products, and primary consumers of these 
     weather forecast products.
       ``(j) Authorization of Appropriations.--For each of fiscal 
     years 2017 and 2018, there are authorized out of funds 
     appropriated to the National Weather Service, $26,500,000 to 
     carry out the activities of this section.''.

            TITLE III--WEATHER SATELLITE AND DATA INNOVATION

     SEC. 301. NATIONAL OCEANIC AND ATMOSPHERIC ADMINISTRATION 
                   SATELLITE AND DATA MANAGEMENT.

       (a) Short-Term Management of Environmental Observations.--
       (1) Microsatellite constellations.--
       (A) In general.--The Under Secretary shall complete and 
     operationalize the Constellation Observing System for 
     Meteorology, Ionosphere, and Climate-1 and Climate-2 (COSMIC) 
     in effect on the day before the date of the enactment of this 
     Act--
       (i) by deploying constellations of microsatellites in both 
     the equatorial and polar orbits;
       (ii) by integrating the resulting data and research into 
     all national operational and research weather forecast 
     models; and
       (iii) by ensuring that the resulting data of National 
     Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's COSMIC-1 and COSMIC-
     2 programs are free and open to all communities.
       (B) Annual reports.--Not less frequently than once each 
     year until the Under Secretary has completed and 
     operationalized the program described in subparagraph (A) 
     pursuant to such subparagraph, the Under Secretary shall 
     submit to Congress a report on the status of the efforts of 
     the Under Secretary to carry out such subparagraph.
       (2) Integration of ocean and coastal data from the 
     integrated ocean observing system.--In National Weather 
     Service Regions where the Director of the National Weather 
     Service determines that ocean and coastal data would improve 
     forecasts, the Director, in consultation with the Assistant 
     Administrator for Oceanic and Atmospheric Research and the 
     Assistant Administrator of the National Ocean Service, 
     shall--
       (A) integrate additional coastal and ocean observations, 
     and other data and research, from the Integrated Ocean 
     Observing System (IOOS) into regional weather forecasts to 
     improve weather forecasts and forecasting decision support 
     systems; and
       (B) support the development of real-time data sharing 
     products and forecast products in collaboration with the 
     regional associations of such system, including contributions 
     from the private sector, academia, and research institutions 
     to ensure timely and accurate use of ocean and coastal data 
     in regional forecasts.
       (3) Existing monitoring and observation-capability.--The 
     Under Secretary shall identify degradation of existing 
     monitoring and observation capabilities that could lead to a 
     reduction in forecast quality.
       (4) Specifications for new satellite systems or data 
     determined by operational needs.--In developing 
     specifications for any satellite systems or data to follow 
     the Joint Polar Satellite System, Geostationary Operational 
     Environmental Satellites, and any other satellites, in effect 
     on the day before the date of enactment of this Act, the 
     Under Secretary shall ensure the specifications are 
     determined to the extent practicable by the recommendations 
     of the reports under subsection (b) of this section.
       (b) Independent Study on Future of National Oceanic and 
     Atmospheric Administration Satellite Systems and Data.--
       (1) Agreement.--
       (A) In general.--The Under Secretary shall seek to enter 
     into an agreement with the National Academy of Sciences to 
     perform the services covered by this subsection.
       (B) Timing.--The Under Secretary shall seek to enter into 
     the agreement described in subparagraph (A) before September 
     30, 2018.
       (2) Study.--
       (A) In general.--Under an agreement between the Under 
     Secretary and the National Academy of Sciences under this 
     subsection, the National Academy of Sciences shall conduct a 
     study on matters concerning future satellite data needs.
       (B) Elements.--In conducting the study under subparagraph 
     (A), the National Academy of Sciences shall--
       (i) develop recommendations on how to make the data 
     portfolio of the Administration more robust and cost-
     effective;
       (ii) assess the costs and benefits of moving toward a 
     constellation of many small satellites, standardizing 
     satellite bus design, relying more on the purchasing of data, 
     or acquiring data from other sources or methods;
       (iii) identify the environmental observations that are 
     essential to the performance of weather models, based on an 
     assessment of Federal, academic, and private sector weather 
     research, and the cost of obtaining the environmental data;
       (iv) identify environmental observations that improve the 
     quality of operational and research weather models in effect 
     on the day before the date of enactment of this Act;
       (v) identify and prioritize new environmental observations 
     that could contribute to existing and future weather models; 
     and
       (vi) develop recommendations on a portfolio of 
     environmental observations that balances essential, quality-
     improving, and new data, private and nonprivate sources, and 
     space-based and Earth-based sources.
       (C) Deadline and report.--In carrying out the study under 
     subparagraph (A), the National Academy of Sciences shall 
     complete and transmit to the Under Secretary a report 
     containing the findings of the National Academy of Sciences 
     with respect to the study not later than 2 years after the 
     date on which the Administrator enters into an agreement with 
     the National Academy of Sciences under paragraph (1)(A).
       (3) Alternate organization.--
       (A) In general.--If the Under Secretary is unable within 
     the period prescribed in subparagraph (B) of paragraph (1) to 
     enter into an agreement described in subparagraph (A) of such 
     paragraph with the National Academy of Sciences on terms 
     acceptable to the Under Secretary, the Under Secretary shall 
     seek to enter into such an agreement with another appropriate 
     organization that--
       (i) is not part of the Federal Government;
       (ii) operates as a not-for-profit entity; and
       (iii) has expertise and objectivity comparable to that of 
     the National Academy of Sciences.
       (B) Treatment.--If the Under Secretary enters into an 
     agreement with another organization as described in 
     subparagraph (A), any reference in this subsection to the 
     National Academy of Sciences shall be treated as a reference 
     to the other organization.
       (4) Authorization of appropriations.--There are authorized 
     to be appropriated, out of funds appropriated to National 
     Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service, to 
     carry out this subsection $1,000,000 for the period 
     encompassing fiscal years 2018 through 2019.

     SEC. 302. COMMERCIAL WEATHER DATA.

       (a) Data and Hosted Satellite Payloads.--Notwithstanding 
     any other provision of law, the Secretary of Commerce may 
     enter into agreements for--
       (1) the purchase of weather data through contracts with 
     commercial providers; and
       (2) the placement of weather satellite instruments on 
     cohosted government or private payloads.
       (b) Strategy.--
       (1) In general.--Not later than 180 days after the date of 
     the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Commerce, in 
     consultation with the Under Secretary, shall submit to the 
     Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the 
     Senate and the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology of 
     the House of Representatives a strategy to enable the 
     procurement of quality commercial weather data. The strategy 
     shall assess the range of commercial opportunities, including 
     public-private partnerships, for obtaining surface-based, 
     aviation-based, and space-based weather observations. The 
     strategy shall include the expected cost-effectiveness of 
     these opportunities as well as provide a plan for procuring 
     data, including an expected implementation timeline, from 
     these nongovernmental sources, as appropriate.
       (2) Requirements.--The strategy shall include--
       (A) an analysis of financial or other benefits to, and 
     risks associated with, acquiring commercial weather data or 
     services, including through multiyear acquisition approaches;
       (B) an identification of methods to address planning, 
     programming, budgeting, and execution challenges to such 
     approaches, including--
       (i) how standards will be set to ensure that data is 
     reliable and effective;
       (ii) how data may be acquired through commercial 
     experimental or innovative techniques and then evaluated for 
     integration into operational use;
       (iii) how to guarantee public access to all forecast-
     critical data to ensure that the United States weather 
     industry and the public continue to have access to 
     information critical to their work; and
       (iv) in accordance with section 50503 of title 51, United 
     States Code, methods to address potential termination 
     liability or cancellation costs associated with weather data 
     or service contracts; and
       (C) an identification of any changes needed in the 
     requirements development and approval processes of the 
     Department of Commerce to facilitate effective and efficient 
     implementation of such strategy.
       (3) Authority for agreements.--The Assistant Administrator 
     for National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information 
     Service may enter into multiyear agreements necessary to 
     carry out the strategy developed under this subsection.
       (c) Pilot Program.--
       (1) Criteria.--Not later than 30 days after the date of the 
     enactment of this Act, the Under Secretary shall publish data 
     and metadata standards and specifications for space-based 
     commercial weather data, including radio occultation data, 
     and, as soon as possible, geostationary hyperspectral sounder 
     data.
       (2) Pilot contracts.--
       (A) Contracts.--Not later than 90 days after the date of 
     enactment of this Act, the Under Secretary shall, through an 
     open competition, enter into at least one pilot contract with 
     one or more private sector entities capable of providing data 
     that meet the standards and specifications set by the

[[Page H212]]

     Under Secretary for providing commercial weather data in a 
     manner that allows the Under Secretary to calibrate and 
     evaluate the data for its use in National Oceanic and 
     Atmospheric Administration meteorological models.
       (B) Assessment of data viability.--Not later than the date 
     that is 3 years after the date on which the Under Secretary 
     enters into a contract under subparagraph (A), the Under 
     Secretary shall assess and submit to the Committee on 
     Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate and the 
     Committee on Science, Space, and Technology of the House of 
     Representatives the results of a determination of the extent 
     to which data provided under the contract entered into under 
     subparagraph (A) meet the criteria published under paragraph 
     (1) and the extent to which the pilot program has 
     demonstrated--
       (i) the viability of assimilating the commercially provided 
     data into National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 
     meteorological models;
       (ii) whether, and by how much, the data add value to 
     weather forecasts; and
       (iii) the accuracy, quality, timeliness, validity, 
     reliability, usability, information technology security, and 
     cost-effectiveness of obtaining commercial weather data from 
     private sector providers.
       (3) Authorization of appropriations.--For each of fiscal 
     years 2017 through 2020, there are authorized to be 
     appropriated for procurement, acquisition, and construction 
     at National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information 
     Service, $6,000,000 to carry out this subsection.
       (d) Obtaining Future Data.--If an assessment under 
     subsection (c)(2)(B) demonstrates the ability of commercial 
     weather data to meet data and metadata standards and 
     specifications published under subsection (c)(1), the Under 
     Secretary shall--
       (1) where appropriate, cost-effective, and feasible, obtain 
     commercial weather data from private sector providers;
       (2) as early as possible in the acquisition process for any 
     future National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 
     meteorological space system, consider whether there is a 
     suitable, cost-effective, commercial capability available or 
     that will be available to meet any or all of the 
     observational requirements by the planned operational date of 
     the system;
       (3) if a suitable, cost-effective, commercial capability is 
     or will be available as described in paragraph (2), determine 
     whether it is in the national interest to develop a 
     governmental meteorological space system; and
       (4) submit to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and 
     Transportation of the Senate and the Committee on Science, 
     Space, and Technology of the House of Representatives a 
     report detailing any determination made under paragraphs (2) 
     and (3).
       (e) Data Sharing Practices.--The Under Secretary shall 
     continue to meet the international meteorological agreements 
     into which the Under Secretary has entered, including 
     practices set forth through World Meteorological Organization 
     Resolution 40.

     SEC. 303. UNNECESSARY DUPLICATION.

       In meeting the requirements under this title, the Under 
     Secretary shall avoid unnecessary duplication between public 
     and private sources of data and the corresponding expenditure 
     of funds and employment of personnel.

                 TITLE IV--FEDERAL WEATHER COORDINATION

     SEC. 401. ENVIRONMENTAL INFORMATION SERVICES WORKING GROUP.

       (a) Establishment.--The National Oceanic and Atmospheric 
     Administration Science Advisory Board shall continue to 
     maintain a standing working group named the Environmental 
     Information Services Working Group (in this section referred 
     to as the ``Working Group'')--
       (1) to provide advice for prioritizing weather research 
     initiatives at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric 
     Administration to produce real improvement in weather 
     forecasting;
       (2) to provide advice on existing or emerging technologies 
     or techniques that can be found in private industry or the 
     research community that could be incorporated into 
     forecasting at the National Weather Service to improve 
     forecasting skill;
       (3) to identify opportunities to improve--
       (A) communications between weather forecasters, Federal, 
     State, local, tribal, and other emergency management 
     personnel, and the public; and
       (B) communications and partnerships among the National 
     Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the private and 
     academic sectors; and
       (4) to address such other matters as the Science Advisory 
     Board requests of the Working Group.
       (b) Composition.--
       (1) In general.--The Working Group shall be composed of 
     leading experts and innovators from all relevant fields of 
     science and engineering including atmospheric chemistry, 
     atmospheric physics, meteorology, hydrology, social science, 
     risk communications, electrical engineering, and computer 
     sciences. In carrying out this section, the Working Group may 
     organize into subpanels.
       (2) Number.--The Working Group shall be composed of no 
     fewer than 15 members. Nominees for the Working Group may be 
     forwarded by the Working Group for approval by the Science 
     Advisory Board. Members of the Working Group may choose a 
     chair (or co-chairs) from among their number with approval by 
     the Science Advisory Board.
       (c) Annual Report.--Not less frequently than once each 
     year, the Working Group shall transmit to the Science 
     Advisory Board for submission to the Under Secretary a report 
     on progress made by National Oceanic and Atmospheric 
     Administration in adopting the Working Group's 
     recommendations. The Science Advisory Board shall transmit 
     this report to the Under Secretary. Within 30 days of receipt 
     of such report, the Under Secretary shall submit to the 
     Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the 
     Senate and the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology of 
     the House of Representatives a copy of such report.

     SEC. 402. INTERAGENCY WEATHER RESEARCH AND FORECAST 
                   INNOVATION COORDINATION.

       (a) Establishment.--The Director of the Office of Science 
     and Technology Policy shall establish an Interagency 
     Committee for Advancing Weather Services to improve 
     coordination of relevant weather research and forecast 
     innovation activities across the Federal Government. The 
     Interagency Committee shall--
       (1) include participation by the National Aeronautics and 
     Space Administration, the Federal Aviation Administration, 
     National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and its 
     constituent elements, the National Science Foundation, and 
     such other agencies involved in weather forecasting research 
     as the President determines are appropriate;
       (2) identify and prioritize top forecast needs and 
     coordinate those needs against budget requests and program 
     initiatives across participating offices and agencies; and
       (3) share information regarding operational needs and 
     forecasting improvements across relevant agencies.
       (b) Co-Chair.--The Federal Coordinator for Meteorology 
     shall serve as a co-chair of this panel.
       (c) Further Coordination.--The Director of the Office of 
     Science and Technology Policy shall take such other steps as 
     are necessary to coordinate the activities of the Federal 
     Government with those of the United States weather industry, 
     State governments, emergency managers, and academic 
     researchers.

     SEC. 403. OFFICE OF OCEANIC AND ATMOSPHERIC RESEARCH AND 
                   NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE EXCHANGE PROGRAM.

       (a) In General.--The Assistant Administrator for Oceanic 
     and Atmospheric Research and the Director of National Weather 
     Service may establish a program to detail Office of Oceanic 
     and Atmospheric Research personnel to the National Weather 
     Service and National Weather Service personnel to the Office 
     of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research.
       (b) Goal.--The goal of this program is to enhance 
     forecasting innovation through regular, direct interaction 
     between the Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research's 
     world-class scientists and the National Weather Service's 
     operational staff.
       (c) Elements.--The program shall allow up to 10 Office of 
     Oceanic and Atmospheric Research staff and National Weather 
     Service staff to spend up to 1 year on detail. Candidates 
     shall be jointly selected by the Assistant Administrator for 
     Oceanic and Atmospheric Research and the Director of the 
     National Weather Service.
       (d) Annual Report.--Not less frequently than once each 
     year, the Under Secretary shall submit to the Committee on 
     Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate and the 
     Committee on Science, Space, and Technology of the House of 
     Representatives a report on participation in such program and 
     shall highlight any innovations that come from this 
     interaction.

     SEC. 404. VISITING FELLOWS AT NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE.

       (a) In General.--The Director of the National Weather 
     Service may establish a program to host postdoctoral fellows 
     and academic researchers at any of the National Centers for 
     Environmental Prediction.
       (b) Goal.--This program shall be designed to provide direct 
     interaction between forecasters and talented academic and 
     private sector researchers in an effort to bring innovation 
     to forecasting tools and techniques to the National Weather 
     Service.
       (c) Selection and Appointment.--Such fellows shall be 
     competitively selected and appointed for a term not to exceed 
     1 year.

     SEC. 405. WARNING COORDINATION METEOROLOGISTS AT WEATHER 
                   FORECAST OFFICES OF NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE.

       (a) Designation of Warning Coordination Meteorologists.--
       (1) In general.--The Director of the National Weather 
     Service shall designate at least 1 warning coordination 
     meteorologist at each weather forecast office of the National 
     Weather Service.
       (2) No additional employees authorized.--Nothing in this 
     section shall be construed to authorize or require a change 
     in the authorized number of full time equivalent employees in 
     the National Weather Service or otherwise result in the 
     employment of any additional employees.
       (3) Performance by other employees.--Performance of the 
     responsibilities outlined in this section is not limited to 
     the warning coordination meteorologist position.
       (b) Primary Role of Warning Coordination Meteorologists.--
     The primary role of the warning coordination meteorologist 
     shall be to carry out the responsibilities required by this 
     section.

[[Page H213]]

       (c) Responsibilities.--
       (1) In general.--Subject to paragraph (2), consistent with 
     the analysis described in section 409, and in order to 
     increase impact-based decision support services, each warning 
     coordination meteorologist designated under subsection (a) 
     shall--
       (A) be responsible for providing service to the geographic 
     area of responsibility covered by the weather forecast office 
     at which the warning coordination meteorologist is employed 
     to help ensure that users of products of the National Weather 
     Service can respond effectively to improve outcomes from 
     weather events;
       (B) liaise with users of products and services of the 
     National Weather Service, such as the public, media outlets, 
     users in the aviation, marine, and agricultural communities, 
     and forestry, land, and water management interests, to 
     evaluate the adequacy and usefulness of the products and 
     services of the National Weather Service;
       (C) collaborate with such weather forecast offices and 
     State, local, and tribal government agencies as the Director 
     considers appropriate in developing, proposing, and 
     implementing plans to develop, modify, or tailor products and 
     services of the National Weather Service to improve the 
     usefulness of such products and services;
       (D) ensure the maintenance and accuracy of severe weather 
     call lists, appropriate office severe weather policy or 
     procedures, and other severe weather or dissemination 
     methodologies or strategies; and
       (E) work closely with State, local, and tribal emergency 
     management agencies, and other agencies related to disaster 
     management, to ensure a planned, coordinated, and effective 
     preparedness and response effort.
       (2) Other staff.--The Director may assign a responsibility 
     set forth in paragraph (1) to such other staff as the 
     Director considers appropriate to carry out such 
     responsibility.
       (d) Additional Responsibilities.--
       (1) In general.--Subject to paragraph (2), a warning 
     coordination meteorologist designated under subsection (a) 
     may--
       (A) work with a State agency to develop plans for promoting 
     more effective use of products and services of the National 
     Weather Service throughout the State;
       (B) identify priority community preparedness objectives;
       (C) develop plans to meet the objectives identified under 
     paragraph (2); and
       (D) conduct severe weather event preparedness planning and 
     citizen education efforts with and through various State, 
     local, and tribal government agencies and other disaster 
     management-related organizations.
       (2) Other staff.--The Director may assign a responsibility 
     set forth in paragraph (1) to such other staff as the 
     Director considers appropriate to carry out such 
     responsibility.
       (e) Placement With State and Local Emergency Managers.--
       (1) In general.--In carrying out this section, the Director 
     of the National Weather Service may place a warning 
     coordination meteorologist designated under subsection (a) 
     with a State or local emergency manager if the Director 
     considers doing so is necessary or convenient to carry out 
     this section.
       (2) Treatment.--If the Director determines that the 
     placement of a warning coordination meteorologist placed with 
     a State or local emergency manager under paragraph (1) is 
     near a weather forecast office of the National Weather 
     Service, such placement shall be treated as designation of 
     the warning coordination meteorologist at such weather 
     forecast office for purposes of subsection (a).

     SEC. 406. IMPROVING NATIONAL OCEANIC AND ATMOSPHERIC 
                   ADMINISTRATION COMMUNICATION OF HAZARDOUS 
                   WEATHER AND WATER EVENTS.

       (a) Purpose of System.--For purposes of the assessment 
     required by subsection (b)(1)(A), the purpose of National 
     Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration system for issuing 
     watches and warnings regarding hazardous weather and water 
     events shall be risk communication to the general public that 
     informs action to prevent loss of life and property.
       (b) Assessment of System.--
       (1) In general.--Not later than 2 years after the date of 
     the enactment of this Act, the Under Secretary shall--
       (A) assess the National Oceanic and Atmospheric 
     Administration system for issuing watches and warnings 
     regarding hazardous weather and water events; and
       (B) submit to Congress a report on the findings of the 
     Under Secretary with respect to the assessment conducted 
     under subparagraph (A).
       (2) Elements.--The assessment required by paragraph (1)(A) 
     shall include the following:
       (A) An evaluation of whether the National Oceanic and 
     Atmospheric Administration system for issuing watches and 
     warnings regarding hazardous weather and water events meets 
     the purpose described in subsection (a).
       (B) Development of recommendations for--
       (i) legislative and administrative action to improve the 
     system described in paragraph (1)(A); and
       (ii) such research as the Under Secretary considers 
     necessary to address the focus areas described in paragraph 
     (3).
       (3) Focus areas.--The assessment required by paragraph 
     (1)(A) shall focus on the following:
       (A) Ways to communicate the risks posed by hazardous 
     weather or water events to the public that are most likely to 
     result in action to mitigate the risk.
       (B) Ways to communicate the risks posed by hazardous 
     weather or water events to the public as broadly and rapidly 
     as practicable.
       (C) Ways to preserve the benefits of the existing watches 
     and warnings system.
       (D) Ways to maintain the utility of the watches and 
     warnings system for Government and commercial users of the 
     system.
       (4) Consultation.--In conducting the assessment required by 
     paragraph (1)(A), the Under Secretary shall--
       (A) consult with such line offices within the National 
     Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration as the Under Secretary 
     considers relevant, including the the National Ocean Service, 
     the National Weather Service, and the Office of Oceanic and 
     Atmospheric Research;
       (B) consult with individuals in the academic sector, 
     including individuals in the field of social and behavioral 
     sciences, and other weather services;
       (C) consult with media outlets that will be distributing 
     the watches and warnings;
       (D) consult with non-Federal forecasters that produce 
     alternate severe weather risk communication products;
       (E) consult with emergency planners and responders, 
     including State and local emergency management agencies, and 
     other government users of the watches and warnings system, 
     including the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Office 
     of Personnel Management, the Coast Guard, and such other 
     Federal agencies as the Under Secretary determines rely on 
     watches and warnings for operational decisions; and
       (F) make use of the services of the National Academy of 
     Sciences, as the Under Secretary considers necessary and 
     practicable, including contracting with the National Research 
     Council to review the scientific and technical soundness of 
     the assessment required by paragraph (1)(A), including the 
     recommendations developed under paragraph (2)(B).
       (5) Methodologies.--In conducting the assessment required 
     by paragraph (1)(A), the Under Secretary shall use such 
     methodologies as the Under Secretary considers are generally 
     accepted by the weather enterprise, including social and 
     behavioral sciences.
       (c) Improvements to System.--
       (1) In general.--The Under Secretary shall, based on the 
     assessment required by subsection (b)(1)(A), make such 
     recommendations to Congress to improve the system as the 
     Under Secretary considers necessary--
       (A) to improve the system for issuing watches and warnings 
     regarding hazardous weather and water events; and
       (B) to support efforts to satisfy research needs to enable 
     future improvements to such system.
       (2) Requirements regarding recommendations.--In carrying 
     out paragraph (1)(A), the Under Secretary shall ensure that 
     any recommendation that the Under Secretary considers a major 
     change--
       (A) is validated by social and behavioral science using a 
     generalizable sample;
       (B) accounts for the needs of various demographics, 
     vulnerable populations, and geographic regions;
       (C) accounts for the differences between types of weather 
     and water hazards;
       (D) responds to the needs of Federal, State, and local 
     government partners and media partners; and
       (E) accounts for necessary changes to Federally operated 
     watch and warning propagation and dissemination 
     infrastructure and protocols.
       (d) Watches and Warnings Defined.--
       (1) In general.--Except as provided in paragraph (2), in 
     this section, the terms ``watch'' and ``warning'', with 
     respect to a hazardous weather and water event, mean products 
     issued by the Administration, intended for consumption by the 
     general public, to alert the general public to the potential 
     for or presence of the event and to inform action to prevent 
     loss of life and property.
       (2) Exception.--ln this section, the terms ``watch'' and 
     ``warning'' do not include technical or specialized 
     meteorological and hydrological forecasts, outlooks, or model 
     guidance products.

     SEC. 407. NATIONAL OCEANIC AND ATMOSPHERIC ADMINISTRATION 
                   WEATHER READY ALL HAZARDS AWARD PROGRAM.

       (a) Program.--The Director of the National Weather Service 
     is authorized to establish the National Oceanic and 
     Atmospheric Administration Weather Ready All Hazards Award 
     Program. This award program shall provide annual awards to 
     honor individuals or organizations that use or provide 
     National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Weather Radio 
     All Hazards receivers or transmitters to save lives and 
     protect property. Individuals or organizations that utilize 
     other early warning tools or applications also qualify for 
     this award.
       (b) Goal.--This award program draws attention to the life-
     saving work of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric 
     Administration Weather Ready All Hazards Program, as well as 
     emerging tools and applications, that provide real-time 
     warning to individuals and communities of severe weather or 
     other hazardous conditions.
       (c) Program Elements.--

[[Page H214]]

       (1) Nominations.--Nominations for this award shall be made 
     annually by the Weather Field Offices to the Director of the 
     National Weather Service. Broadcast meteorologists, weather 
     radio manufacturers and weather warning tool and application 
     developers, emergency managers, and public safety officials 
     may nominate individuals or organizations to their local 
     Weather Field Offices, but the final list of award nominees 
     must come from the Weather Field Offices.
       (2) Selection of awardees.--Annually, the Director of the 
     National Weather Service shall choose winners of this award 
     whose timely actions, based on National Oceanic and 
     Atmospheric Administration Weather Radio All Hazards 
     receivers or transmitters or other early warning tools and 
     applications, saved lives or property, or demonstrated public 
     service in support of weather or all hazard warnings.
       (3) Award ceremony.--The Director of the National Weather 
     Service shall establish a means of making these awards to 
     provide maximum public awareness of the importance of 
     National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Weather 
     Radio, and such other warning tools and applications as are 
     represented in the awards.

     SEC. 408. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE WEATHER FORECASTING 
                   ACTIVITIES.

       Not later than 60 days after the date of the enactment of 
     this Act, the Under Secretary shall submit to the Committee 
     on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate and 
     the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology of the House 
     of Representatives a report analyzing the impacts of the 
     proposed Air Force divestiture in the United States Weather 
     Research and Forecasting Model, including--
       (1) the impact on--
       (A) the United States weather forecasting capabilities;
       (B) the accuracy of civilian regional forecasts;
       (C) the civilian readiness for traditional weather and 
     extreme weather events in the United States; and
       (D) the research necessary to develop the United States 
     Weather Research and Forecasting Model; and
       (2) such other analysis relating to the divestiture as the 
     Under Secretary considers appropriate.

     SEC. 409. NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE; OPERATIONS AND WORKFORCE 
                   ANALYSIS.

       The Under Secretary shall contract or continue to partner 
     with an external organization to conduct a baseline analysis 
     of National Weather Service operations and workforce.

     SEC. 410. REPORT ON CONTRACT POSITIONS AT NATIONAL WEATHER 
                   SERVICE.

       (a) Report Required.--Not later than 180 days after the 
     date of the enactment of this Act, the Under Secretary shall 
     submit to Congress a report on the use of contractors at the 
     National Weather Service for the most recently completed 
     fiscal year.
       (b) Contents.--The report required by subsection (a) shall 
     include, with respect to the most recently completed fiscal 
     year, the following:
       (1) The total number of full-time equivalent employees at 
     the National Weather Service, disaggregated by each 
     equivalent level of the General Schedule.
       (2) The total number of full-time equivalent contractors at 
     the National Weather Service, disaggregated by each 
     equivalent level of the General Schedule that most closely 
     approximates their duties.
       (3) The total number of vacant positions at the National 
     Weather Service on the day before the date of enactment of 
     this Act, disaggregated by each equivalent level of the 
     General Schedule.
       (4) The 5 most common positions filled by full-time 
     equivalent contractors at the National Weather Service and 
     the equivalent level of the General Schedule that most 
     closely approximates the duties of such positions.
       (5) Of the positions identified under paragraph (4), the 
     percentage of full-time equivalent contractors in those 
     positions that have held a prior position at the National 
     Weather Service or another entity in National Oceanic and 
     Atmospheric Administration.
       (6) The average full-time equivalent salary for Federal 
     employees at the National Weather Service for each equivalent 
     level of the General Schedule.
       (7) The average salary for full-time equivalent contractors 
     performing at each equivalent level of the General Schedule 
     at the National Weather Service.
       (8) A description of any actions taken by the Under 
     Secretary to respond to the issues raised by the Inspector 
     General of the Department of Commerce regarding the hiring of 
     former National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 
     employees as contractors at the National Weather Service such 
     as the issues raised in the Investigative Report dated June 
     2, 2015 (OIG-12-0447).
       (c) Annual Publication.--For each fiscal year after the 
     fiscal year covered by the report required by subsection (a), 
     the Under Secretary shall, not later than 180 days after the 
     completion of the fiscal year, publish on a publicly 
     accessible Internet website the information described in 
     paragraphs (1) through (8) of subsection (b) for such fiscal 
     year.

     SEC. 411. WEATHER IMPACTS TO COMMUNITIES AND INFRASTRUCTURE.

       (a) Review.--
       (1) In general.--The Director of the National Weather 
     Service shall review existing research, products, and 
     services that meet the specific needs of the urban 
     environment, given its unique physical characteristics and 
     forecasting challenges.
       (2) Elements.--The review required by paragraph (1) shall 
     include research, products, and services with the potential 
     to improve modeling and forecasting capabilities, taking into 
     account factors including varying building heights, 
     impermeable surfaces, lack of tree canopy, traffic, 
     pollution, and inter-building wind effects.
       (b) Report and Assessment.--Upon completion of the review 
     required by subsection (a), the Under Secretary shall submit 
     to Congress a report on the research, products, and services 
     of the National Weather Service, including an assessment of 
     such research, products, and services that is based on the 
     review, public comment, and recent publications by the 
     National Academy of Sciences.

     SEC. 412. WEATHER ENTERPRISE OUTREACH.

       (a) In General.--The Under Secretary may establish 
     mechanisms for outreach to the weather enterprise--
       (1) to assess the weather forecasts and forecast products 
     provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric 
     Administration; and
       (2) to determine the highest priority weather forecast 
     needs of the community described in subsection (b).
       (b) Outreach Community.--In conducting outreach under 
     subsection (a), the Under Secretary shall contact leading 
     experts and innovators from relevant stakeholders, including 
     the representatives from the following:
       (1) State or local emergency management agencies.
       (2) State agriculture agencies.
       (3) Indian tribes (as defined in section 4 of the Indian 
     Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act (25 U.S.C. 
     5304)) and Native Hawaiians (as defined in section 6207 of 
     the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 
     7517)).
       (4) The private aerospace industry.
       (5) The private earth observing industry.
       (6) The operational forecasting community.
       (7) The academic community.
       (8) Professional societies that focus on meteorology.
       (9) Such other stakeholder groups as the Under Secretary 
     considers appropriate.

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from 
Oklahoma (Mr. Lucas) and the gentlewoman from Oregon (Ms. Bonamici) 
each will control 20 minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Oklahoma.


                             General Leave

  Mr. LUCAS. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that all Members have 
5 legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and to include 
extraneous material on H.R. 353, the bill now under consideration.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the 
gentleman from Oklahoma?
  There was no objection.
  Mr. LUCAS. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  I first thank the gentleman from Texas, Chairman Smith, for his 
continued leadership on the Science Committee.
  H.R. 353, the Weather Research and Forecasting Innovation Act of 
2017, prioritizes improving weather forecasting for the protection of 
lives and property at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric 
Administration. This bill does so by focusing research and computing 
resources on improved weather forecasting, quantitative observing data 
planning, next generation modeling, and an emphasis on research-to-
operations technology transfer.
  As a Representative from Oklahoma, I understand the need for accurate 
and timely weather predictions firsthand. Every year, the loss of life 
from deadly tornadoes in my home State is a stark reminder that we can 
do better to predict severe weather events and provide longer lead 
times to protect Americans in harm's way.
  I am proud that the legislation has a dedicated Tornado Warning 
Improvement Program. The goal of this program is to reduce the loss of 
life from tornadoes by advancing the understanding of fundamental 
meteorological science allowing detection and notifications that are 
more accurate, effective, and timely. Constituents in my home State 
will benefit greatly from longer tornado warning lead times, which will 
save lives and better protect property.
  H.R. 353 makes clear that NOAA will prioritize weather research and 
protect lives and property through a focused, affordable, attainable, 
forward-looking research plan at the agency's Research Office.
  The bill also encourages innovations and new technology capacities by 
creating a joint technology transfer fund in NOAA's Office of Oceanic 
and Atmospheric Research. This transfer is

[[Page H215]]

essential to get new forecasting, models, and technologies out of the 
research side of NOAA and into our operational forecast to better 
protect our country.
  The bill directs NOAA to develop plans to restore our country's 
leadership in weather forecasting. It is no secret that many people in 
our weather community are distraught that our forecasting capacities 
have deteriorated in recent years.
  While other countries are making great strides in weather 
advancements, Americans are paying the price for diminished leadership 
with their lives and their wallets. This is yet another reminder that 
we can do better.
  This legislation directs NOAA to actively consider new commercial 
data and private sector solutions to further enhance our weather 
forecasting capacities. The bill also includes a pilot project, which 
will provide NOAA a clear and credible demonstration of the valuable 
data from commercial technologies available today.
  H.R. 353 is the result of 4 years of work to craft a meaningful 
package that will create new and real improvements to our country's 
weather forecasting systems. The time has come for Americans to have 
the most accurate and timely weather predictions. They deserve nothing 
less.
  Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.

         Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, House of 
           Representatives,
                                  Washington, DC, January 9, 2017.
     Hon. Lamar Smith,
     Chairman, Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, 
         Washington, DC.
       Dear Chairman Smith: I write concerning H.R. 353, the 
     Weather Research and Forecasting Innovation Act of 2017. This 
     legislation includes matters that fall within the Rule X 
     jurisdiction of the Committee on Transportation and 
     Infrastructure.
       In order to expedite Floor consideration of H.R. 353, the 
     Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure will forgo 
     action on this bill. However, this is conditional on our 
     mutual understanding that forgoing consideration of the bill 
     does not prejudice the Committee with respect to the 
     appointment of conferees or to any future jurisdictional 
     claim over the subject matters contained in the bill or 
     similar legislation that fall within the Committee's Rule X 
     jurisdiction. I appreciate you working with us on the base 
     text of the bill and request you urge the Speaker to name 
     members of the Committee to any conference committee named to 
     consider such provisions.
       Please place a copy of this letter and your response 
     acknowledging our jurisdictional interest in the 
     Congressional Record during House Floor consideration of the 
     bill. I look forward to working with the Committee on 
     Science, Space, and Technology as the bill moves through the 
     legislative process.
           Sincerely,
                                                     Bill Shuster,
     Chairman.
                                  ____

         Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, House of 
           Representatives,
                                  Washington, DC, January 9, 2017.
     Hon. Bill Shuster,
     Chairman, Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, 
         House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
       Dear Mr. Chairman: Thank you for your letter regarding H.R. 
     353, the ``Weather Research and Forecasting Innovation Act of 
     2017.'' I appreciate your support in bringing this 
     legislation before the House of Representatives, and 
     accordingly, understand that the Committee on Transportation 
     and Infrastructure will forego action on the bill.
       The Committee on Science, Space, and Technology concurs 
     with the mutual understanding that by foregoing consideration 
     of H.R. 353 at this time, the Committee on Transportation and 
     Infrastructure does not waive any jurisdiction over the 
     subject matter contained in this bill or similar legislation 
     in the future. In addition, should a conference on this bill 
     be necessary, I would support your request to have the 
     Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure represented on 
     the conference committee.
       I will insert copies of this exchange in the Congressional 
     Record during consideration of this bill on the House floor. 
     I appreciate your cooperation regarding this legislation and 
     look forward to continuing to work with the Committee on 
     Transportation and Infrastructure as the bill moves through 
     the legislative process.
           Sincerely,
                                                      Lamar Smith,
                                                         Chairman.

  Ms. BONAMICI. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of H.R. 353, the Weather Research and 
Forecasting Innovation Act. This bill, introduced by my colleague, Mr. 
Lucas, is a product of hard work and negotiation over the past two 
Congresses.
  In addition to Mr. Lucas, I thank Chairman Smith and also Environment 
Subcommittee chair, Mr. Bridenstine, and former chair, Mr. Chris 
Stewart, who were great partners in this process. The language before 
us today is a result of a truly bipartisan and bicameral effort.
  The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is responsible 
for many important tasks at the cutting edge of science and public 
service, and weather forecasting is one of the tasks most critical to 
our country.
  In the northwest Oregon communities I represent, my constituents rely 
on timely weather forecasts to decide when to harvest their crops, when 
to go to sea to fish, how to navigate the roads safely when there is 
freezing rain or snow, and to prepare for possible flood conditions.
  The National Weather Service provides excellent forecasting products 
to support our economy, but with the increasing frequency of severe 
weather events, there can be and should be improvements in our 
forecasting capabilities and delivery.
  For example, forecasts can be more precise regarding what will happen 
and when. Improved forecasts can provide more lead time to allow 
communities to prepare, especially in severe weather events. Forecast 
information should also be communicated more effectively to the public 
and those in harm's way to reduce the loss of life and property. This 
bill is designed to address those important goals.
  The bill connects the research side of NOAA, the Office of Oceanic 
and Atmospheric Research, more effectively to the forecasting needs of 
the National Weather Service. This research-to-operations pipeline is 
essential for the continued improvement of our weather forecasting 
enterprise.

                              {time}  1715

  The bill contains several provisions that will improve interactions 
and information sharing between NOAA's researchers and the National 
Weather Service. It also improves communications between NOAA and the 
broader research and private weather communities.
  The bill also establishes interagency coordination, through the 
Office of Science and Technology Policy, across multiple agencies 
outside of NOAA that share responsibilities for weather research and 
forecast communications. This is essential as we face budget 
constraints, and it will help speed the adoption of best tools and 
practices across the various agencies.
  H.R. 353 also recognizes that even the best forecasts will not serve 
the public's needs unless there are effective communications systems. 
The bill directs NOAA to do more research, listen to experts, and 
improve its risk communications techniques.
  The bill also reestablishes a program that allows NOAA to give awards 
to people who save the lives of others through NOAA's Weather Radio All 
Hazards program. The bill also formally establishes the pilot program 
currently operating at NOAA to engage in contracts with the commercial 
sector for weather forecasting data.
  Additionally, the bill requires NOAA to examine the benefits and 
costs of different sensors by running simulations of different 
configurations of instruments and datasets on forecasting accuracy. It 
is important that these requirements are not too prescriptive so that 
NOAA can use the most efficient, accurate, and cost-effective model for 
this situation.
  This legislation will produce advances in weather forecasting and 
capabilities that will result in better development of forecast 
innovations and technology. Ultimately, this will save American lives 
and property.
  I thank the Members on both sides of the aisle for their input and 
support. Also, I would like to thank the hardworking committee staff on 
both sides of the aisle for their efforts to continue negotiations to 
move this bill forward.
  I ask my colleagues to support this bill.
  Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. LUCAS. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman from 
Oklahoma (Mr. Bridenstine), my colleague

[[Page H216]]

who has worked very diligently on this effort for a number of years.
  Mr. BRIDENSTINE. Mr. Speaker, every year that I have had the honor to 
serve Oklahoma's First Congressional District, I have also faced the 
unfortunate reality that I will lose constituents to tornadoes, as will 
many of us who represent constituents in Oklahoma. This terrible fact 
has motivated me and others from our delegation to work hard for 
policies that will save lives and property and move us to a day where 
we have zero deaths from tornadoes or other extreme weather events.
  I would like to thank Chairman Smith, Vice Chairman Lucas, and 
Environment Subcommittee Ranking Member Bonamici for their tireless 
efforts to see this bipartisan legislation move forward.
  The Weather Research and Forecasting Innovation Act of 2017 is the 
product of extensive negotiations between the Environment Subcommittee, 
which I chair, and the Senate Commerce Committee, and I am proud of the 
bipartisan and bicameral agreement that this bill represents.
  H.R. 353 directs the NOAA Administrator to prioritize activities that 
will save lives and protect property. Again, this is critically 
important to my State, which is in the heart of tornado alley.
  This legislation will help NOAA develop more accurate and timely 
warnings for hurricanes, tornadoes, and other high-impact weather 
events. It calls on NOAA to develop a plan to maintain forecasting 
capabilities that are second to none in the world, primarily because, 
by some metrics, we lag behind our counterparts in Europe, the U.K. and 
Canada.
  The bill encourages better cooperation across NOAA offices and 
enhances collaboration with universities, such as the University of 
Oklahoma, which is a national leader in weather research.
  It will also ensure that innovative methods and technologies, such as 
warn on forecast, currently being developed at the National Severe 
Storms Laboratory in Norman, Oklahoma, are rapidly deployed in 
operational status so that the American people can benefit.
  Further, beyond improvements to short-term forecasts of extreme 
events, the bill directs NOAA to improve our understanding of seasonal 
forecasts, which can be immensely useful to industries such as 
agriculture.
  Mr. Speaker, I am particularly pleased this bill finally authorizes a 
commercial weather data pilot program. H.R. 353 authorizes $24 million 
over the next 4 years for a pilot program for NOAA to purchase 
commercial space-based weather data and test it against NOAA's 
proprietary data. This can improve forecasts and save the Federal 
Government money. This will allow NOAA to continue to expand upon the 
two pilot contracts it awarded in September of last year.
  Mr. Speaker, this has the potential to be a paradigm-shifting 
provision. Commercial weather data can augment the data we receive from 
systems such as JPSS and GOES, while also serving as a mitigation 
strategy in the event we experience a gap in weather data from these 
systems. More data from innovative sources has a real potential to 
improve our forecasting capabilities.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The time of the gentleman has expired.
  Mr. LUCAS. Mr. Speaker, I yield the gentleman an additional 30 
seconds.
  Mr. BRIDENSTINE. Mr. Speaker, I believe there will come a time when 
there will be zero deaths from tornadoes. I think this bill will help 
us implement the necessary steps to get there.
  I once again thank my colleagues on the Science, Space, and 
Technology Committee for all their very hard work to get this done, and 
I encourage our counterparts in the Senate to move this legislation to 
the President's desk quickly.
  I urge my colleagues to support this bill.
  Ms. BONAMICI. Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.

  Mr. LUCAS. Mr. Speaker, I yield 5 minutes to the gentleman from Texas 
(Mr. Smith) who has guided the Science, Space, and Technology Committee 
ever so carefully for a number of years.
  Mr. SMITH of Texas. Mr. Speaker, first of all, I thank the gentleman 
from Oklahoma and the vice chairman of the Science, Space, and 
Technology Committee for yielding, and I thank both him and Mr. 
Bridenstine, another gentleman from Oklahoma and a member of the 
Science, Space, and Technology Committee, for taking the initiative and 
introducing this legislation.
  H.R. 353, Weather Research and Forecasting Innovation Act of 2017, 
will transform our Nation's weather-gathering efforts and help save 
lives and property.
  Severe weather routinely affects large portions of the United States. 
Nearly every year, we witness the devastating effects of tornadoes 
across our country. The deaths and the damage from these events 
underscore the need for a world-class weather prediction system.
  H.R. 353 improves weather observation systems by the use of observing 
system simulation experiments and next generation computing and 
modeling capabilities. This bill strengthens the underlying atmospheric 
science, while advancing innovative technology and reforming operations 
to provide better weather data, models, and forecasts. It prompts NOAA 
to actively employ new commercial data and solutions through a 
multiyear commercial weather data pilot program.
  Further, it directs NOAA to consider commercial data options rather 
than rely on slow, costly, and continually delayed government-owned 
satellites.
  For far too long, our government has relied on these massive, 
multibillion-dollar government satellites. The Science, Space, and 
Technology Committee has jurisdiction over NOAA's satellite office and 
has conducted ongoing oversight of the agency's satellite program. Our 
conclusion is that it is in real need of reform.
  Over the years, events at NOAA have revealed mismanagement, cost 
overruns, and delays of its weather satellites. This detracts from our 
ability to accurately predict our weather, which unnecessarily 
endangers Americans.
  This bill will right the ship and allow NOAA the flexibility to buy 
new, affordable, and potentially better sources of data from the 
private sector, which has the power to make real improvements to our 
weather forecasting capabilities.
  It also creates a much-needed technology transfer fund in NOAA's 
Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research to help push technologies 
developed through NOAA's weather research into operation. This will 
ensure that the technologies that are developed are effectively 
employed and do not idle on the lab bench.
  Again, I thank Mr. Lucas and Mr. Bridenstine for their initiative on 
this issue. Americans from coast to coast will now be better prepared 
for severe weather with the passage of this bill.
  I urge my colleagues to support the bill.
  Ms. BONAMICI. Mr. Speaker, I have no further requests for time, and I 
urge my colleagues to support this bill.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. LUCAS. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself the balance of my time.
  Mr. Speaker, I wish to take a moment to thank the gentlewoman from 
Oregon (Ms. Bonamici) for all of her efforts to bring us to this point. 
We still have a ways to go ultimately, but great strides have been 
made.
  I thank my colleague from Oklahoma (Mr. Bridenstine) for his input 
and efforts and, of course, again, the chairman of the full Science, 
Space, and Technology Committee, Mr. Smith of Texas, for helping in 
that critical role of being the catalyst for all of this.
  From the perspective of a farmer, some will say: What does this 
really mean? But when it comes to trying to gauge how to plant your 
crops, how to harvest your crops, whether you are a truck driver 
driving up and down the highways and bi-ways of America, a citizen 
moving around the country, someone along the coast, or, as Ms. Bonamici 
pointed out, a fisherman, this information will make your life more 
efficient, it will make your life safer, and it will enhance the 
productive capacity of this country. This is one of those investments 
that we will all gain from.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.
  Ms. EDDIE BERNICE JOHNSON of Texas. Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of 
H.R. 353, the Weather Research and Forecasting Innovation Act of 2017.

[[Page H217]]

  This bill is the culmination of more than four years of compromise 
and negotiation, and demonstrates that the issues of weather and 
climate can be addressed in a bi-partisan way.
  In that regard, I want to recognize the efforts of Jim Bridenstine 
and Suzanne Bonamici, as well as the bill's sponsor, Frank Lucas. Their 
leadership and commitment has really driven this process forward.
  Mr. Speaker, weather affects all of us everyday. It is a constant 
presence in our lives.
  Tropical storms batter homes and disrupt lives from my home state of 
Texas all the way to Maine. States like Oklahoma, Illinois, and again 
Texas are some of the most tornado prone areas in the entire world.
  Sadly, turning on the television to see a part of our country 
devastated by tornados, or hurricanes, or other severe weather 
incidents, has become a far too familiar occurrence. To help Americans 
avoid and cope with these potentially devastating events, we need to 
have the very best weather forecasting and warning capabilities.
  The National Weather Service and the Office of Oceanic and 
Atmospheric Research at NOAA play a central role in protecting the 
lives and property of every American.
  The bill before us today will help accelerate innovation, and turn 
cutting-edge weather research into essential weather forecasting tools 
and products; tools which forecasters can then use to protect American 
lives.
  The legislation removes barriers that exist between the weather 
research community, our nation's forecasters, and the private-sector 
weather enterprise. Improving collaboration and cooperation within 
NOAA, and also between the agency and the broader weather community, 
will impact the accuracy and timing of our weather predictions. These 
improvements will ultimately save lives and make our communities safer.
  Strengthening our resilience to severe weather events is both vital 
and necessary to strengthen our nation's economic security. H.R. 353 
will advance our weather forecasting capabilities and I urge my 
colleagues to support its passage.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The question is on the motion offered by the 
gentleman from Oklahoma (Mr. Lucas) that the House suspend the rules 
and pass the bill, H.R. 353.
  The question was taken; and (two-thirds being in the affirmative) the 
rules were suspended and the bill was passed.
  A motion to reconsider was laid on the table.

                          ____________________