In an official public forecast discussion, the Anchorage National Weather Service office – whose employees are working without knowledge of when they will be paid during the ongoing Federal shutdown – encoded this secret message: “Please pay us.”
The first letter in each of the first 11 lines in the forecast discussion spells out the message, as shown below.
It appears the office published an alternative version of the discussion, without the stealth plea, simultaneously (5 a.m. Alaska daylight time).
As of 5 p.m. EDT, two versions of the forecast discussion, with and without the hidden message were viewable on the National Weather Service Web site.
To support its mission of protecting life and property and to continue issuing forecasts and warnings, the National Weather Service excepted approximately 3,935 employees from the shutdown.
“There’s no money to pay them,” Dan Sobien, president of the National Weather Service Employees Organization, told Popular Science. “Nobody knows when anyone’s going to get paid.”