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Cole, Lucas, Inhofe, Lankford Applaud OU Being Named Host of New Severe Weather Research Institute

June 15, 2021
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Today, Congressman Tom Cole (OK-04) joined Congressman Frank Lucas (OK-03) and Senators Jim Inhofe (R-OK) and James Lankford (R-OK) in applauding the announcement the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) made selecting the University of Oklahoma to host NOAA’s Cooperative Institute for Severe and High-Impact Weather Research and Operations (CISHIWRO).

The mission of this cooperative institute is to promote collaborative research with NOAA on research to improve the understanding of severe and high-impact weather and to help produce better forecasts and warnings that save lives and property.

“I am delighted that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has announced the selection of the Fourth Congressional District's own University of Oklahoma to host NOAA’s Cooperative Institute for Severe and High-Impact Weather Research and Operations,” said Cole. “Already home to the National Weather Center, OU is certainly well positioned to host this research institute to improve the understanding of severe and high-impact weather. Certainly, the results of research efforts could pave the way for producing more accurate forecasts and warnings in the future, which would not only benefit Oklahomans – who know to expect severe weather – but all Americans in response to weather patterns. Indeed, with better forecasts and warnings, we can be better prepared for the worst and ultimately save lives and protect property. I am proud to congratulate OU on its selection for this worthwhile research effort.” 

“I am proud to hear that the University of Oklahoma will host the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s new severe and high-impact weather research institute,” said Lucas. “The University of Oklahoma is a premier leading institution and already being home to the National Weather Center, OU is primed to continue its leadership in helping federal and state agencies and academic institutions better understand and better prepare for severe weather events. As Ranking Member of the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee, I’m proud to see this research funding going to an institution who has a long history of helping NOAA achieve its mission, and I look forward to visiting and learning about the new cooperative institute soon.” 

“The NOAA made the right selection in choosing OU for this new weather institute,” said Inhofe. “OU has been dedicated to advancing our nation’s understanding of weather for decades. Hosting this flagship research institute will not only create opportunities for students and staff, but it will produce meaningful research that will have a real-world impact. I look forward to all of the life-saving research they will do there.”

“OU continues to receive national recognition for their work in early detection, tracking, forecasting, and research in high-risk weather,” said Lankford. “The work of OU’s students and faculty has led to numerous breakthroughs that have protected and saved countless lives. Their selection to host this Cooperative Institute with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration will build on their already stellar reputation as a research university and help ensure Oklahoma continues to mold the nation’s and the world’s next generation of leaders in weather-related sciences and engineering.”

The selection comes with an award of up to $208 million over the course of five years, with the potential for renewal for another five years based on successful performance. NOAA selected the University of Oklahoma after an open, competitive evaluation.

“We are pleased to announce that the University of Oklahoma will host our new Cooperative Institute for Severe and High-Impact Weather Research and Operations,” said Craig McLean, assistant NOAA administrator for Oceanic and Atmospheric Research. “This institute will help NOAA achieve our mission to better understand and predict weather in order to save lives and protect property.”

The new cooperative institute will continue to address some of the major research themes that have been the focus of NOAA’s previous cooperative institute hosted by the University of Oklahoma, the Cooperative Institute for Mesoscale Meteorological Studies (CIMMS), as well as expand to include new research areas and collaborating institutions. The five research themes include: 1) Weather radar and observations research and development; 2) Mesoscale and stormscale modeling research and development; 3) Forecast applications improvements research and development; 4) Subseasonal- to-seasonal (S2S) prediction for extreme weather events; and 5) Social and socioeconomic impacts of high impact weather systems.

CISHIWRO, led by the University of Oklahoma, will be comprised of a consortium of graduate degree-granting institutions. These institutions include Howard University, The Pennsylvania State University, Texas Tech University, and University at Albany.

NOAA supports 20 cooperative institutes consisting of 70 universities and research institutions in 28 states and the District of Columbia. These research institutions provide strong educational programs that promote student and postdoctoral scientist involvement in NOAA-funded research.

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