Transforming the NWS into a more nimble, flexible, and mobile agency that works eye-to-eye with critical decision-makers in building a more Weather-Ready and Climate-Ready Nation.

The National Weather Service (NWS) Priorities & Action Strategies for the Future - more fondly known throughout the NWS as “Ken’s 10”, named after NWS Director Ken Graham - are designed to ensure that the NWS remains an indispensable, global leader in providing equitable weather, water, and climate services to decision-makers anytime, anywhere. Taking on ten key initiatives at a time, Ken’s 10 is building a workplace focused on the health and well-being of the NWS’ people, infrastructure, and future.


When NWS Director Ken Graham began his tenure in June of 2022, he embarked on a series of conversations with employees that highlighted a major opportunity for the NWS to pioneer a more nimble, flexible, and mobile agency. These conversations inspired the creation of ten priority initiatives titled “The NWS Priorities & Action Strategies for the Future,” designed to build an NWS that provides decision support services when, how, and where they’re needed to create a more Weather-Ready and Climate-Ready Nation.

The NWS Priorities & Action Strategies for the Future serve three overarching themes: People, Infrastructure, and Future, as outlined by the NWS Strategic Plan 2023-2033 and Transformation Roadmap, and they focus resources and attention on common issues, clarify common goals, and acknowledge areas that need concentrated problem-solving and decision-making.

These change initiatives are not inclusive of all the important work happening across NWS, nor are they meant to cover the breadth of all NWS mission areas or the NWS projects underway and on a path to delivering results.

How it Works

Behind each initiative is a designated team of experts and leaders from across the NWS tasked with carrying the project from inception to final execution. When one project finishes, another will take its place, ensuring that there are always ten in “Ken’s 10.” Learn more about ongoing and completed projects below.

If you’re interested in learning more about the NWS Priorities & Action Strategies for the Future, please don’t hesitate to contact NWS Partnership Engagement Lead Cindy Elsenheimer or NWS Director of Change Management Richard Antoine.

Ongoing Initiatives

AWIPS in the Cloud

The AWIPS in the Cloud team is charged with improving forecaster portability by making the NWS Advanced Weather Interactive Processing System (AWIPS) accessible remotely. In late September 2023, the team launched its first operational version with limited capability for displaying data to more than 130 Incident Meteorologists (IMETS) working on the frontlines of wildfires. Moving forward, the team will incrementally expand the technology’s capabilities and reach.

DEIA – Recruitment and Retention

The Strategic Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility (DEIA) team is charged with developing and proposing strategic initiatives, programs, and cultural changes to improve recruitment and retention across the NWS. The team is already working to expand resources that promote diversity in the workforce.


NAWIPS to AWIPS Merger team is charged with identifying and accelerating critical paths for converting NAWIPS to AWIPS. The merger will enable the collaborative processes needed to support the NWS future operations model.

NWS IT Architecture & IT Governance

The IT Architecture & Governance team is charged with updating the Information Technology (IT) architecture of the NWS to improve customer experience, enable more seamless actionable warning and forecast accuracy, and improve information delivery. 

Ops Model & Staffing Requirements

The Ops Model & Staffing Requirements team is charged with modernizing NWS operations and staffing models to meet growing demands for NWS products and services and ensure employee health, safety, and well-being. 

Probabilistic IDSS & Community Centric Warnings

The Probabilistic IDSS & Community-Centric Warnings teams are charged with providing communities and decision-makers with a comprehensive range of probabilistic-based potential outcomes to support crucial decisions regarding weather, water, and climate-related events. In service of that mission, they, together with NWS external partners, are exploring innovative operational concepts through a variety of experimental tools and applications.  

Most recently, the Probabilistic IDSS team released a Roadmap outlining the key steps they recommend the NWS take to enhance the information shared with key decision-makers. While the Roadmap is subject to change as the project progresses, it is now publicly available for those interested in exploring the team's current vision. 

Spot Forecast

The Spot Forecast team is charged with migrating Spot – the current NWS system for partners requesting specialized, detailed forecasts – to the Integrated Dissemination Program (IDP), which will increase the reliability, functionality, and supportability of the application. The transition is currently underway and operational testing is expected to begin soon.

Tsunami Program

The Tsunami Program is charged with creating consistency and backup capabilities for the NWS’s two tsunami warning centers located in Hawaii and Alaska, by aligning their organizational management, operations, service, and information technology and security. The team is currently working alongside NWS headquarters, the National Centers for Environment Protection (NCEP), and the Alaska and Pacific Regions to design a course of action for aligning the centers. 2.0

The 2.0 team is charged with redesigning the site to improve its value, stability, and user experience. In July, the team selected Nashville as the first city to act as a prototype for an initial build for the new site. Prototyping is underway.

10 Things to Improve

The 10 Things to Improve team is charged with generating a comprehensive list of ten practical recommendations for process, service, and product improvements across the NWS based on input from administrative staff and assistants, information technology officers (ITOs), and other field division chiefs.

Watchlist & Emerging Initiatives

The NWS is improving in more than ten ways at once. To recognize the breadth of initiatives underway at the agency, the NWS Priorities & Action Strategies for the Future has issued a watchlist for additional initiatives critical to the transformation of the agency.

Flood Inundation Mapping (FIM)

The Flood Inundation Mapping (FIM) initiative aims to implement new inundation mapping services for all communities nationwide by the close of FY2026. These new services will provide actionable information for emergency and water resource managers to better prepare, mitigate, and respond to flood impacts. FIM will complement and support the issuance of flood watches and warnings by providing near-real-time, high-resolution, street-level visualizations showing where and when flood waters will pose a threat to life and property.

Next Generation Water Modeling Framework

The Next Generation Water Modeling Framework will develop and leverage an open-source, modern, and modular computational water resources modeling framework using coding, coupling, and data standards that will serve as the basis for future versions of the National Water Model. This NextGen Framework will provide a collaborative open-source environment that promotes interoperability of a wide range of hydrologic, hydraulic, coastal, and water quality models, accelerate the research to operations cycle, and yield more rapid increases in prediction skill.

Shift Flexibility Team

The Shift Flexibility team aims to improve the health, retention, and recruitment of NWS employees who work rotating shifts by exploring and implementing strategies that help mitigate the impacts of shiftwork.

DEIA Tiger Team Task Force

The DEIA Tiger Team Task Force aims to implement workforce-identified recommendations for creating a positive climate that fosters belonging and inclusion across the NWS, along with proposing ideas for creating and sustaining a unified and diverse workforce.

GIS in the NWS

The GIS in the NWS initiative is tasked with consolidating Geographic Information Systems (GIS) applications and expanding the availability of NWS data in GIS standard formats.  The solutions will be hosted on the public cloud making discovery of NWS GIS data and tools more efficient.

Radar Next

The Radar Next Program aims to design and deploy the next generation of weather surveillance radar capability to improve environmental data and products for forecasters and other users. Planning for future radar solutions is already underway. In 2024, the NWS will complete a service life extension on all current NEXRAD radars while exploring long-term options to upgrade the existing capability. These improvements are critical to protecting both lives and property and will contribute to the growth of the commercial weather enterprise and others who use our radar data.

Days 4-7 at NCEP

The Days 4-7 at NCEP initiative aims to leverage expertise at National Centers to create the Day 4-7 gridded forecast. By leveraging National Centers, a greater focus of local resources and scientific expertise can be placed on local Impact-Based Decision Support and life-saving actions in the Days 1-3 forecast time frame.

Completed Initiatives

Change Management Unit Next Steps and & Governance Update

The Change Management Unit Transition & Governance team was charged with recommending NWS Governance updates to agency leadership based on feedback received from senior leaders. The project concluded with a comprehensive review of existing Governance processes and the creation of the Change Management Unit (CMU), which will continue to provide the NWS with a focal point for governing, structuring, and coordinating the implementation of major NWS change initiatives. Currently, the CMU is in the process of executing a new Governance framework to improve the agency’s agility and efficacy.

Slack/NWSChat Conversation

The Slack/NWSChat Conversion team was charged with providing a modern, reliable communications tool for NWS offices to communicate with each other and partners during weather and water events. The project concluded in August of 2023 when the NWS finished deploying NWSChat 2.0 - a messaging platform powered by Slack - nationwide. Learn more here.

Radar Lite & Radar GIS

The Radar Lite & Radar GIS team was charged with improving access to NWS radar imagery on the NWS’ public-facing web page. The project concluded in the fall of 2022 after the team successfully established the low-resolution website (radar lite) as the primary NWS radar platform and improved loading speed for high-resolution radar, especially in areas with low bandwidth. The HD Radar website remains readily accessible as well.