However the development of consumer/end-user services, such as weather apps for smartphones, seems to me more properly done by the private sector (by which I do NOT exclude open-source projects).
The santorum bill the new NOAA chief supported in the past was pretty explicit about allowing _no_ competitive service, which would allow them to preclude even the most basic data sharing.
We've shown during the last N crises that american weather forecasting is already notably behind european models, and our lack of proper prediction and information dissemination has been very visible over the last decade of storm recoveries of varying success. I simply don't see the private sector incentives that would lead to fixing this, and see the competition argument as just another avenue to allow existing corporations to extract profit from even the most basic aspects of human safety.
Why? NOAA is producing all this data, why shouldn't they aim to make it actually useful to people?
We probably shouldn't sink a huge amount of money into it if it's going to be provided just fine by the private sector, but I don't see an issue with putting a small amount of money into it if a lot of tax payers get a benefit from it.