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Weather Reform Debate Invites Blizzard of Hostile Attacks

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Opinion pieces have the potential to reignite much-needed conversations on reform - but not without stepping on some toes first. In response to my column on January 22 about privatizing the National Weather Service (NWS), a spokesperson for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) issued a statement saying that the “National Weather Service has people working twenty four-seven during the shutdown to perform mission essential functions to protect lives and property.” This includes “observations, forecasts, watches/warnings, and all of the infrastructure to support these operations,” which undoubtedly continue to be carried out in the midst of the shutdown. This point was never in dispute, as I clearly state that “weather forecasts nationwide are likely degrading in quality as many of the ‘non-essential’ workers entrusted to verify and fact-check them are not in the office.”

This is hard to dispute. The Washington Post reports that the Global Forecast System (GFS), America’s premier weather model, has seen a marked decline in accuracy due to the lack of staff currently working on the data and modeling. The NWS in State College, Pennsylvania echoed........

© Townhall