Friday, April 8, 2011

Government Shutdown and Weather Forecasting

It appears that the parties that be in Washington DC are deadlocked and the government will be shutdown at midnight tonight.  What does this mean for the weather prediction enterprise?

Most National Weather Service employees are considered essential and will be working during the shutdown to ensure that forecasts, watches, and warnings will be issued.  Let's face it, we take this stuff for granted, but weather watches and warnings save many lives.  Fortunately they will continue.

I understand that most weather data feeds from the National Weather Service and other entities, which are essential for many private sector forecasting and weather services companies, as well as their clients, will also continue during the shutdown.  However, the US weather enterprise today is a remarkable collaboration between government, private, and academic sector entities, so time will tell if there aren't a few hiccups or two along the way or if downtime is longer than usual when problems develop.

Update 9:15 PM: Sounds like the shutdown has been averted, at least for now.  Let the data continue to flow...

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