Extreme Weather 2011: Introduction from Jack Hayes

Uploaded by noaa on 06.12.2011

Hi, I’m Jack Hayes, director of the National Weather Service. Thank you for stopping
by to review with us the past year of historic, record-breaking extreme weather.
You know, in my weather career spanning four decades, I’ve never seen a year quite like 2011.
Sure, we’ve had years with extreme flooding, extreme hurricanes, extreme winter
snowstorms, and even extreme tornado outbreaks. But I can’t remember a year like this, in
which we experienced record-breaking extremes of nearly every conceivable type of weather.
NOAA scientists have been at the forefront of advancing weather and climate science,
forecasting and public preparedness for decades. We have a leading role in understanding changes
in weather and climate extremes. And our science helps save lives and livelihoods.
Yet, 2011 was a challenging year for America. Twelve separate disasters claimed
hundreds of lives and each caused a billion dollars or more in damages.
Extreme weather and associated societal impacts have increased in recent years. With our changing
climate, the nation must be prepared for more frequent extreme weather in the future.
To combat increased vulnerability, communities across the country must become more resilient
to extreme weather.
And the good news is there are things we can do as a country, as a community, as a family,
and as individuals to bolster our ability to protect our lives and property when severe
weather threatens. This year we launched a new initiative called “Weather-Ready Nation.”
Through this project, NOAA is redoubling efforts to improve our science and service to America.
Research, education, and outreach are essential ingredients to improving preparedness
and our forecast and warning accuracy. Realizing a “Weather-Ready Nation,” in which society
is prepared for and responds appropriately to severe weather, is a vital goal to which
we must all commit ourselves.
As you click through this 2011 weather retrospective, I hope you’ll take
a moment to consider your personal readiness for severe weather. Visit Ready.Gov to learn
how you can protect yourself, your family and your property. We look toward 2012 with
hopeful optimism for a calmer and safer weather year. Let’s not forget the tragedies of 2011,
but rather – let them fuel our resolve to become a more Weather-Ready Nation.