Montana Climate Mini-Summit

Overview

The Montana Climate Office and the National Weather Service Offices in Montana are collaborating on a two-day workshop focused on climate services for Montana. Montana's ability to understand, leverage, and collaborate with federal or federally funded climate service providers is challenging.  Montana sits at the nexus of two of America’s great river basins, the Columbia and the Missouri, which encompass almost one-third of the land mass of the conterminous United States.  As a result, services are often split between these two geographies.  The first day of this summit is to dedicate focusing on coordination between the Montana Climate Office and the National Weather Service Offices in Montana.   (2)The second day of the summit is dedicated to developing an understanding of how climate service providers can complement efforts and interests within Montana.

  • DAY 1 (Wednesday, September 6): The first day is dedicatd to a joint meeting between the Montana Climate Office staff and the four NOAA National Weather Service Offices in Montana (Billings, Glasgow, Great Falls, and Missoula) to coordinate activities.
  • DAY 2 (Thursday, September 7):  The second day is dedicated to engaging with federal and federally-funded regional partners to review climate services, how Montana might benefit from those services, and how those services may benefit from collaboration with Montana.

If you organization is interested in participating in Day 2 (Partner Coordination), you may contact the Montana State Climatologist (state.climatologist@umontana.edu) and/or complete the online survey.

Background

The Montana Climate Office has existed since the late 1950's, closed in 1994, and reestablished in 2012.  Over the past few years, the Montana Climate Office staff has met with staff from the National Weather Service Offices in Montana (Missoula, Great Falls, Glasgow, and Billings).  The Montana Climate Office has interacted on climate-related activities with over 130 entities in the past three years.  In November 2016, the High Plains Regional Climate Center hosted a workshop focused on climate services as well as reports from each of the states represented in the Missouri Basin.  At that meeting, one discussion focused on the complexity of the number of entities providing climate services on behalf of the states and the lack of a clear understanding of how to differentiate those services.   During the winter months in Montana, a discussion ensued to have a joint meeting between the National Weather Service and the Montana Climate Office.  Those discussions led to revisiting and advancing the discussion on climate services initiated in Lincoln, Nebraska last November.