The National Weather Service (NWS) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) are complaining that the current government shutdown is really endangering US citizens because it has stopped some research. The organizations posting titled “The government shutdown is putting the US further behind in a weather-forecasting race with Europe” however suggests that the issue is a race with Europe more than saving us from serious problems.
The shutdown is in its 26th day and it has the potential to make poor predictions about the 2019 tornado and hurricane seasons, alleges NSW and NOAA. Their predictions were way off for both tornados and hurricanes in 2018. But one wonders about how much this shutdown has impacted their work. Being that the 26 days have contained 6 Saturdays and Sundays and more to the point the entire Christmas week as well as the following New Years week. Probably not much would have been done in that period of time. This sounds like a CYA or a political statement about the stakes in the shutdown.
Speaking of lost time, they tell us that in 2012, the European weather forecast system predicted that Tropical Storm Sandy would make US land fall and our system said it would not. So this is 6 plus years later and our agencies have not caught up with the European system. What is some small part of 26 days got to do will the fact the European system has been better than ours for at least 6 years?
The posting tells us:
“Atmospheric scientists and meteorologists tend to agree about one thing: Europe is better than the US (and arguably the rest of the world) at predicting weather.
The NWS has been falling behind the European Centre for Medium Range- Weather Forecasting for some time.”
My suggestion is to start using the European system. Looks like that would have saved the US a lot of money by not spending 6 year’s worth of research money and we are still falling behind.
The complete NWS and NOAA posting can be read by clicking here