Wednesday, April 3, 2013

More seriously, sequestration could increase weather disaster impact

J. Marshall Shepherd, President of the American Meteorological Society, provided a scathing criticism of sequestration and its impact on the National Weather Service and our weather forecasting resources.

Unlike my previous post, this is totally for real.  And SCARY.

Here's his money paragraph, but I recommend reading the whole thing (click the link above).  I added a little emphasis.

"During a recent interview on CNN, today's interview, I discussed the Arctic Oscillation, Blocking Highs, and a high resolution RPM model forecast.  The knowledge and capabilities related to these discussions emerged from years of research, development, collaborative sharing via meetings, and investments. The public may take for granted a tornado warning (probably from a Doppler indicated signature) or satellite loop of an approaching hurricane. Likewise, the public probably just assumes that they will have 5-9 day warning of storms like Sandy; 15-60 minutes lead time for tornadic storms approaching their home; an airline with appropriate data for safe air travel; or a military with reliable information to avoid hazardous weather on a mission protecting our freedom. However, these capabilities "can" and "will" worsen/ degrade if we cut weather balloon launches, cut investments in the latest computing technology for our models, reduce Doppler radar maintenance, delay satellite launches, or shatter employee morale. We are accustomed to progress, innovation, and advancement and have come to expect it. I am honestly concerned that we will regress in capability and this will jeopardize lives, property, and our security. Anyone that knows me, understands that I am not an "over-the-top," hyperbolic person. I just call things as I see them. And by the way, I have not even spoken about the challenges that a changing climate adds to the weather mix."

Keep that in mind, slash-happy Republicans, when a tornado or hurricane takes aim at YOUR district.

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