According to NOAA's [National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration] National Weather Service, Strategic Plan 2011: "Weather, water, and climate affect each of us everyday -- whether it's a tornado or flood that threatens life and property, a volcanic ash eruption or solar flare that disrupts air traffic, or just a minor inconvenience due to hot and humid weather. The National Weather Service (NWS) has the responsibility to provide weather, water, and climate information to protect life and property and enhance the national economy. We have been serving America in this way for 140 years. By our 150th anniversary, we want America to be a Weather-Ready Nation. However, population growth, growing infrastructure threats, and an increasingly interdependent economy are creating new challenges for the Nation. At the same time, science and technology are rapidly advancing and providing potential solutions that will enable the National Weather Service to better meet our country's needs. This Strategic Plan is our effort to anticipate service needs over the next couple of decades, project what science and technology could allow, and establish meaningful outcome-oriented goals and objectives as we seek to build a Weather-Ready Nation."
United States National Weather Service: http://www.nws.noaa.gov/