All the talk of the federal government debt has me somewhat concerned over the future of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. While this branch of government is by no means a hog in terms of the U.S. government’s entire budget, it still uses a sizable chunk of money. If push comes to shove, I wonder how much of it will get cut in future years?
The fiscal year 2011 proposed budget for NOAA is roughly $5.5 billion. Of this about $1 billion is earmarked for the National Weather Service. Of course the National Weather Service if vital in providing forecasts to the public including severe weather warnings. NOAA as a whole controls other sectors which deal with the monitoring and health of the oceans, putting weather satellites in space, and climate research. They develop and operate computer weather models and install weather radar systems across the U.S. You can read more in depth about NOAA’s budget breakdown from the following link. http://www.corporateservices.noaa.gov/nbo/11bluebook_highlights.html
It would be extremely difficult to keep track of the weather to the high level that we are now used to without their equipment and information. Local National Weather Service offices lead educational weather seminars for broadcast meteorologists. Justin and I have gone to many of these and they are a valuable resource for training and staying up with the latest advances in weather technology and theory.
I have several friends that work for the National Weather Service. I worry for them and their families. It’s not nice to think about someone losing a job, government employee or not. I sure hope people realize the importance of keeping a strong and progressive weather service going on the national and state level. Public health, safety, commerce, transportation, and many other interests are at stake when it comes to dealing with the weather. I urge people to contact their lawmakers and tell them this is a critical agency and please do not cut it to shreds.
This post was written by Tony Schumacher on August 9, 2011