About the COMET Outreach Program

The Program's Goal

The Outreach Program's goal is to improve local forecast and warning services by providing financial support for applied mesoscale and synoptic-scale research.

To achieve this goal, the Program funds collaborative projects between National Weather Service (NWS) offices and universities. These generally lead to the adoption of a new forecast technique, an increased understanding of local meteorology, and/or preparation of joint papers and workshops.

Since its beginning in 1989, the program has sponsored over 300 research projects involving more than 80 different universities and 100 National NWS, Navy, and AFWA forecast offices.

Types of Funding

Cooperative Projects and Partners Projects (described below) are the major components of the Outreach Program. Occasionally, we are given special funds for projects funded by a particular NWS office (such as NCEP) or another agency (such as the Federal Highway Administration). Current announcements for all projects, when available, can be obtained by clicking "Submitting a Proposal" in the menu at the top of this page.

Cooperative Projects

Cooperative proposals are submitted in response to an annual Request for Proposals and competitively reviewed for funding. Project features include:

  • Collaborative projects with an NWS office or multiple offices
  • One to three years in length
  • Annual average university award is approximately $35,000
  • May cover a variety of forecasting topics of interest to the various participants or focus on an in-depth study of a single forecast problem
  • Can include funding for workshops to disseminate research results
  • Frequently involve several faculty members and NWS forecasters
  • Geographical area of interest often extends beyond the local forecast office

PLEASE NOTE: There are currently no new funds available for Cooperative Projects, and we are not accepting proposals at this time.

Partners Projects

Proposals for Partners Projects are accepted throughout the year, as long as funds are available. Partners Project features include:

  • Collaborative effort with an NWS office or multiple offices
  • One year in length
  • Average university award is approximately $15,000 ($20,000 maximum)
  • Typically involve one NWS forecaster and one university faculty member, rather than a group (as is usually the case with Cooperative Projects)
  • Topics generally focus on a single case study or analysis problem
  • May be used to fund local/regional workshops