On April 9, 1989, the UCAR Board of Trustees, after extensive discussions with the NWS and the university community, passed a resolution creating COMET - the Cooperative Program for Operational Meteorology, Education and Training - as part of the UCAR organization. Marking COMET's 10th anniversary, Dr. Tim Spangler, COMET's Director, distributed the following message.
Since that day, a lot has happened. We have created 200 hours of interactive multimedia training, offered over 220 weeks of courses, funded over 120 research projects involving 70 faculty researchers, and engaged over 115 universities to work with the NWS on the common goal of improving operational weather forecasting.
There were early doubts that the National Weather Service was truly committed to this effort. However, we have seen that the NWS at all levels has been committed to working with the university community, and committed to the professional development of their weather forecasting staff. Their support and commitment to the COMET Program and the University community has surpassed all expectations and is to be commended.
There were also early doubts that the University community was interested in the COMET Program or operational weather forecasting. However, we have seen that the University community has become engaged beyond anyone's expectations and they should also be commended for their support.
We extend our appreciation to NCAR which has hosted COMET since its first day and provided facilities, and scientists for the program. NCAR was the rock that we could always lean on for assistance and facilities, and without its support the program could have foundered.
There are seven other federal agencies that have provided support for COMET - Air Force, Navy, NSF, NESDIS, FAA, FEMA, and NASA. We appreciate their support and especially appreciate the commitment of the Air Force and Navy to the long term success of COMET.
All of us at COMET and UCAR would like to thank the National Weather Service for its steadfast support of the program, and especially for being so engaged with our efforts at every level. We would also like to thank all the university faculty and NCAR scientists who have personally worked to make the program a success.
I trust that everyone involved with the COMET Program - staff, agency personnel, scientists - will join with me in celebrating ten years of success, and pledge to keep the university and operational communities working together for their mutual benefit.
Director of COMET