The Washington Post

NOAA warns weather forecasts will suffer from budget cuts

The Post’s Capital Weather Gang is warning that ongoing budget negotiations could negatively impact the government’s ability to forecast the weather:

Colleague Andrew Freedman writes that “the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is sounding the alarm, telling Congress that a failure to restore funding for development of the next generation of polar orbiting satellites, known as the Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS), would significantly reduce the accuracy of weather forecasts, particularly medium-range forecasts, and may have an outsized impact on forecasts for extreme events, such as blizzards or hurricanes.

Keeping NOAA’s satellite programs at fiscal 2010 funding levels would result in $382 million, far less than the $1.1 billion President Obama asks for in his 2012 budget.

“The satellite program has already been substantially delayed, and with one of the current satellites nearing the end of its expected lifetime, further delays could mean a major gap in coverage which, NOAA says, would significantly erode forecast skill,” Freedman writes. Read his full report here.

FULL COVERAGE: Battle over the 2011 budget

Ed O’Keefe is covering the 2016 presidential campaign, with a focus on Jeb Bush and other Republican candidates. He's covered presidential and congressional politics since 2008. Off the trail, he's covered Capitol Hill, federal agencies and the federal workforce, and spent a brief time covering the war in Iraq.

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