Thursday, September 24, 2015

Government Shutdown Could Affect Weather Forecasts

This is the message that greeted us on the
National Weather Service web site during
the 2013 government shutdown. It might be
about to happen again.  
The morons in Washington DC who want to shut down the federal government to score their elusive political points instead of serving their nation might even affect your weather forecasts.

By the way, if Congress Creatures and the grandstanders among them don't get their act together by September 30, there might be another government shutdown even stupider than the one in 2013.

Thanks Ted Cruz! 

Marshall Shepherd, writing in Forbes, says National Weather Service forecasts will go on, just as they did in the last government shutdown, but there are risks that things won't go smoothly.

For starters, we wouldn't have the great access to NWS products that we're used to, and there are a lot of 'em.

The last time we went through this ridiculousness, National Weather Service web sites were down, except for the parts that conveyed critical weather forecasts and updates during dangerous weather.

That was frustrating to say the least, because it's the go to place for all things weather.

True, there are private weather forecasters and other outlets, like the Weather Channel and AccuWeather, that do a fine job.

But Shepherd points out in Forbes that even these outfits depend on NWS and federal resources.

He writes: "Satellites monitoring the tropics for looming threat of hurricanes are federal assets. The dual-polarimetric, Doppler radar network watching for tornadic storms or flood-inducing rains are federal assets. The major weather models that provide day-to-day and long range forecasts are federal assetts.

I have often said, 'We wouldn't have french fries with the potato farmer, yet most people just see the french fries.'"

Many of the federal assets Shepherd describes would still run during a shutdown, but if something went wrong with them, maybe nobody would be around to  maintain them.

And what of morale among all federal employees, including NWS meteorologists?  Many would keep working while being promised to be paid eventually during a shutdown, but geez, talk about an employer - the federal government and Congress - disrespecting their employees!

I wonder how many talented NWS meteorologists would flee, leaving a weaker agency?

Shepherd takes an even handed, sober approach in his Forbes article, which is better than I can do.

I can't take that approach. So hey Congress Creatures: Stop your stupid politicizing and being big dicks and get to work!

Do your job!

Thanks for letting me rant.

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