16 May 2005

NOAA's NWS - Upcoming threats to how people receive their weather part 1

Okay, so we get things about how we shouldn't lobby as a weather service employee. I can't go out during an outreach event, like say a spotter talk, and then go tell people to go tell their congressman or senator that we need a certain piece of equipment at this place to help us do our job. However, as a private citizen I can go out on my own and tell people about certain peices of legislation and how they are bad for them.

One such threat is coming from outside the weather service, in the form of legislation to get the NWS out of releasing its forecasts to the public. The Commercial Weather Services would like you to pay them to see all of the forecasts that flow out of the government that are designed to help you make decisions on protecting your life and property. A few years ago I heard the statistic that it took $2 a person per year( in the US) to run the NWS. From that you get forecasts and warning services, that have steadily improved in quality, as well as, vehicles to get the information out. So they are asking you to pay for it a second time or at the least look at it with ads popping up in your face.

I try not to be paranoid, and use terms like "slippery slope," but if the commericial weather services get their way, I could see a day, when the warnings don't go out unless you have subscribed. But that's just me being extreme.
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