#National Weather Service
We Need To Expand the National Weather Service To Provide More Climate Services

We Need To Expand the National Weather Service To Provide More Climate Services

By Monica Medina, Founder and CEO of Our Daily Planet Earlier this year, I drafted a chapter for a book of “big” new environmental ideas entitled “A Better Planet: Forty Big Ideas for a Sustainable Future.”  In my essay, I propose that in order to brace ourselves for the impacts of climate change that we […]

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One Hysterical Thing: Colbert’s Water-gate, Sharpie-gate, and Lightbulb-gate Monologue

Leave it to Stephen Colbert to perfectly cap off Our Daily Planet for the week.  His monologue from Wednesday night covers fertile ground for us — the “boob job” the President gave the storm track map to make it a “perfect 10” and the tweets about the poor NOAA spokesperson who was not allowed to […]

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Sharpie-Gate Reaches Fever Pitch – Rightfully So

The media frenzy over the doctored Hurricane Dorian map reached new highs (or lows) after NOAA put out an unsigned statement on Friday night retracting a tweet that launched the whole debacle — the Birmingham local National Weather Service forecast office clarifying that the storm track would not impact Alabama.  It led to a downward […]

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Directors of NOAA Research and National Weather Service Push Back

The Sharpie-Gate saga continued yesterday when The Washington Post obtained an internal email from the Chief Scientist at NOAA, Craig McLean, who wrote his colleagues that he “is investigating whether the agency’s response to President Trump’s Hurricane Dorian tweets constituted a violation of NOAA policies and ethics.” In addition, the head of the National Weather […]

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Most of U.S. Feeing the Heat; Dangerously Hot Days Are Increasing

Most of U.S. Feeing the Heat; Dangerously Hot Days Are Increasing

The National Weather Service warned that a “widespread and dangerous heat wave is building in the central and eastern U.S. this weekend – with more than a hundred fifty million people under heat watches and warnings, as the actual air temperature is forecast to reach at least 95 degrees for more than half the population of the continental U.S. through the weekend.

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U.S. Midsection Stuck in “Spin” Cycle

U.S. Midsection Stuck in “Spin” Cycle

The Midwest and Great Plains have battled historic storms and flooding over the last few weeks seemingly “stuck” in a dangerous weather pattern — more than 250 tornadoes have struck since May 17, according to the Omaha World-Herald’s reporting from the National Weather Service, most happening in “swarms” of 25 or more at a time, including the latest deadly round in Dayton, Ohio yesterday.

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Despite Rampant Sexual Harassment at AccuWeather, Former CEO to Get Senate Vote

Despite Rampant Sexual Harassment at AccuWeather, Former CEO to Get Senate Vote

Barry Myers, the nominee to be the Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), led a company, AccuWeather, that had a culture of “rampant sexual harassment and retaliation” against women, including “groping, touching and kissing of subordinates without consent,” according to a report by the government’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs. 

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Heroes of the Week: Weather Forecasters Keeping Us Safe

Heroes of the Week: Weather Forecasters Keeping Us Safe

These meteorologists gave local residents 30-40 minutes lead time and pinpoint locations of where two highly destructive tornadoes were heading.  So this week we salute the storm forecasters who warned the public and kept millions of people across the nation out of harm’s way. 

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Private Weather Company To Use Different Hurricane Severity Scale

Private Weather Company To Use Different Hurricane Severity Scale

The nation’s largest private weather provider, AccuWeather, is going to begin to use a new “scale” for conveying the severity of hurricanes in the future, diverging from the current scale used by the National Weather Service (NWS) and followed by all private weather forecasters and meteorologists.  AccuWeather’s CEO, Joel Myers, claims that the current scale only measures wind, but that recent hurricanes from Sandy to Florence have proved that storm surge and flooding can be quite dangerous or deadly even when a hurricane’s wind is not at the top level of severity.

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Breaking:  Winter Storm Gia Expected to Bring Weekend Snow To Wide Swath of U.S.

Breaking:  Winter Storm Gia Expected to Bring Weekend Snow To Wide Swath of U.S.

A big snowstorm will barrel across the middle of the country over the weekend — following a 1500 mile pathway from Denver to Baltimore.  The storm will begin on Friday and last through late Sunday before it blows out to sea.  According to the National Weather Service, 20 million people are in the storm’s path, including the cities of Kansas […]

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Government shutdown negatively impacting weather forecasts

Government shutdown negatively impacting weather forecasts

Among the most consequential impacts of the government shutdown are the strain and diminution of capacity to the National Weather Service (NWS) operations, upon which all public and private daily weather forecasts are based. 

Why This Matters: One-third of the U.S. economy is impacted by the weather.  Indeed, as The Post points out, that means many sectors such as transportation, energy, national security, agriculture, the stock market, not to mention forecasts of extreme weather — are now operating on less than the highly accurate forecasts they usually can rely upon. And imagine if we have a “billion dollar” storm such as a “snowmaggedon” while the shutdown drags on, with lives and profits at risk, which seems increasingly probable as we are now squarely in winter snow season.  Offices like the one that Saha works in are down to skeleton staff — only one or two rather than dozens.  This weather forecasting degradation is much riskier to the general public than any risk we face from the lack of a feckless border wall segment.  

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