NWS politics

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 2:08 PM GMT on November 02, 2005

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The tropics look to be quiet this week, so I will discuss some of the political issues going on with the National Weather Service that deserve attention.

Today is the last day for the public to comment on NOAA's proposed changes to its Policy on Partnerships in the Provision of Environmental Information. For those of you who wish to comment on the proposed change, you can click here.

NOAA proposes to change Section 4 to read as follows:

4. The nation benefits from government information disseminated both by Federal agencies and by diverse nonfederal parties, including commercial and not-for-profit entities. NOAA recognizes the government best serves the public interest by cooperating with private sector and academic and research entities to meet the varied needs of specific individuals, organizations, and economic entities. NOAA will take advantage of existing capabilities and services of commercial and academic sectors to avoid duplication and competition in areas not related to the NOAA mission. NOAA will give due consideration to these abilities and consider the effects of its decisions on the activities of these entities, in accordance with its responsibilities as an agency of the U.S. Government, to serve the public interest and advance the nation's environmental information enterprise as a whole.

For comparison, the present Section 4 reads as follows:

4. NOAA recognizes the public interest is served by the ability of private sector entities and the academic and research community to provide diverse services to meet the varied needs of specific individuals, organizations, and economic entities. The nation benefits from government information disseminated both by Federal agencies and by diverse nonfederal parties, including commercial and not-for-profit entities. NOAA will give due consideration to these abilities, and consider the effects of its decisions on the activities of these entities, in accordance with its responsibilities as an agency of the U.S. Government, to serve the public interest and advance the nation's environmental information enterprise as a whole.

I've been too busy with hurricane season to do much research on the ramifications of this change. Wunderblogger Skyepony has set up a disscussion page about this issue, though. I did contact an official at the National Weather Service Employees Organization (NWSEO) last week to ask what he thought the greatest threats facing the NWS were, and he did not mention this issue at all. The top issue in his mind was the proposed budget cuts coming for NWS, which I will discuss later this week. I also asked about the the National Weather Service Duties Act of 2005, Senate Bill S.786, introduced April 14 by Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa. This bill would make it illegal for the National Weather Service (NWS) to issue non-severe weather forecasts, should a company in the private sector be able to provide them and lodge a formal request with the Secretary of Commerce for the NWS to stop issuing the products. The Santorum bill was of little concern to the NWSEO, he indicated, since there is no interest in the Senate subcommittee where the bill sits in pursuing it, and the bill still has no co-sponsor. Santorum has been quiet about the bill of late, and this bill's unpopularity has done him harm in the re-election campaign he is currently losing in Pennsylvania. My April blog discussing the matter can be found here.

Assuming the tropics stay quiet, I'll be back tomorrow to talk about the upcoming NWS budget cuts or the new NWS gag order issued after Katrina.

Jeff Masters


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46. FloridaBorn
11:10 PM GMT on November 03, 2005
I agree with Inyo: "There has been a big push to privitize/outsource work, and the results have been downright horrible." It can be horrible not just from the perspective of taxpayers, but from the perspective of those unsuspecting people in the private sector who've become entangled in the web of new rules and regulations that were not expected of state workers.

For several years, I was part of the "privitize/outsource work" force. I can tell you that privitization serves at least 3 purposes. (1) The state is now one step removed from the blame, yet in total control over the privitized work force, (2) The state is free to heap pie-in-the-sky expectations upon their privitized work force and to expect a level of accountability that the state employees never had and, (3) the state gives a lump sum to the privitized work force who must pay all taxes, health insurance, overhead, etc., from a pool of money.

I had to sign a contract stating that I could not sue the state, and the state had the right to fire me without cause. What that means to people who are not from Florida is that if one of your overseers from the state office doesn't like you, you can find yourself without a job and without any explanation as to why. This happend to one of the more headstrong people in my field (the kind who is fond of pointing out that "The Emperor has no clothes").

There are good people who work for the state and good people who are privitized workers for the state. There are also bad apples in both areas.







Member Since: June 8, 2002 Posts: 3 Comments: 11
45. TampaSteve
5:06 PM GMT on November 03, 2005
jeffB wrote:

"...AccuWeather, a leading for-profit weather service, is based in State College, PA, Sen. Santorum's state?"

Yup...follow the $$$...Santorum should be voted out of office for even proposing that bill...moron...
44. TampaSteve
5:02 PM GMT on November 03, 2005
weatherdude65 wrote:

"I have to say that Florida is pretty safe from any tropical development!!"

Yup...dry as a bone here in Florida...
43. skubaaruba
4:41 PM GMT on November 03, 2005
If I recall correctly from media reports that Senator Santorum's bill was announced in prominent private forecasting company in Pennsylvania! HMMM I smell a rat!!
Member Since: November 13, 2003 Posts: 3 Comments: 34
42. weatherdude65
2:44 PM GMT on November 03, 2005
Link I have to say that Florida is pretty safe from any tropical development!!
41. weatherboyfsu
2:21 PM GMT on November 03, 2005
Just wanted to check in..........the western caribbean is starting to kick....looks like the shear is low, convection is impressive, could be interesting..........
Member Since: July 17, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 1025
40. globalize
7:52 AM GMT on November 03, 2005
Excuse me, typo. 'NWS'.
Member Since: August 30, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 1150
39. globalize
7:50 AM GMT on November 03, 2005
The scientist must be comfortable, be able to work in a relaxed state. His work, scientific endeavor, is his primary gratification. But he must not feel burdened and harassed by corporate zealots, wringing hands for the next dollar. Then the science fails.
Member Since: August 30, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 1150
38. Inyo
7:26 AM GMT on November 03, 2005
also, from the standpoint of an employee, it seems that many consultants/contractors treat their employees like dirt and it is much better careerwise and sanitywise to work for the government themself. It is a bit off-topic.. but let's face it.. dissatisfied scientists generate bad data.
Member Since: September 3, 2002 Posts: 42 Comments: 873
37. globalize
7:23 AM GMT on November 03, 2005
Yes, conceptually 'privatization' is good for the fair and reasoning mind. Fact is, America has too much criminal element at this point in history, even in high places, particularly in the American government. Nothing much is proven, but you know it in your bones. Can't give the responsibility of high science such as is contained in the NWC to float and skim artists. But it will happen.
Member Since: August 30, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 1150
36. Inyo
3:11 AM GMT on November 03, 2005
I haven't worked with the NWS but i have worked extensively with other government agencies (the Forest Service and Park Service.) There has been a big push to privitize/outsource work, and the results have been downright horrible.

The expenses have skyrocketed while quality has gone down the toilet.. sometimes fixing the contracted work takes as much time as doing the work ourselves. There is a total lack of efficiency or consistency in contractors. The Republicans like to pretend this means 'less government' but in reality it means more government as the politicians toss money to their pet contractors in exchange for lousy data which tells them what they want to hear, instead of the truth.

I can only imagine a NWS mostly contracted out.. and it isnt a pretty site. When the forest service produces a faulty document, the wrong trees are cut down... a disgrace by any standard.. but if the NWS produces faulty data, many people can die.
Member Since: September 3, 2002 Posts: 42 Comments: 873
35. dcw
2:00 AM GMT on November 03, 2005
"more damaned double-speak. why is it written so the average lay-person CANNOT understand what is being stated?"
Because it's being written by a Lawyer and Senator, you fool! Lawyer/Senator=not workin for little people. I don't care what party they're on.
Member Since: August 2, 2001 Posts: 2 Comments: 3
34. NOLAinNC
1:50 AM GMT on November 03, 2005
Thanks, Dr. Jeff for the heads up and thanks to all who posted links clarifying the issues. I find this a very frightening development, but it pretty much fits the M.O. of the current administration. When we can no longer get ANY scientific data other than from profit driven entities, then this country will be a dark and sad place. Data and information can be manipulated to scare people into spending money in certain ways - just like information can be manipulated to scare people into supporting war. It just seems to get worse and worse every day.
33. cgableshurrycanegal
1:49 AM GMT on November 03, 2005
oh yes, I did smile with your track, it was a nice interlude. Got me to slow down and just relax for a few moments!

ah, I am sorry to learn of the child. We have heard little over here. Guess the media has been so inundated with our own misery there is little room left for others... which is sad considering we are neighbors and I know folks really DO care what happens to you all.
I wondered at the strength of the winds, given that Wilma would be back over water and fueled by the Gulf Stream... just when you hope that nature might start some sort of recovery - it gets flattened again... ::sigh::
Glad to hear your loss was only some shingles. Ours were some ridge tiles... I believe my bro has spoken with the roofer, but have no idea where that ended...
Member Since: July 12, 2005 Posts: 24 Comments: 212
32. mybahamas
1:29 AM GMT on November 03, 2005
hiya cgable. Hope you smiled at the track :)
We fared pretty well in Nassau -- lost a piece of shingle on our house, I think.
In Grand Bahama, they had awful surges and swells and a toddler was sucked out of his home and killed by the sea :(
The areas affected by Frances and Jeanne last year were ravaged again with winds that were stronger than they were over mainland FL. My chief photographer went up into a helicopter and shot some of the damage ... very sobering.
We are thankful that there was not more persons lost and we wish the best to all during this hurricane season.
31. cgableshurrycanegal
1:28 AM GMT on November 03, 2005
skyepony, am going to send that link around on a few of my lists and see what sort of response I stir up.
::G:: I have friends nation-worldwide of all stripes. This should be real interesting.
Member Since: July 12, 2005 Posts: 24 Comments: 212
30. cgableshurrycanegal
1:21 AM GMT on November 03, 2005
hey mybahamas!!! Great track! Happy toddler and loved the island sound!
How did you fare with the south side of Wilma?
We're still cleaning up over here as you, no doubt, are seeing on the Miami newscasts...
Member Since: July 12, 2005 Posts: 24 Comments: 212
29. Skyepony (Mod)
1:17 AM GMT on November 03, 2005
Squeak~ Here's an article on the gag order.

Also this isn't about the research. You & I will pay for that & it remains the govt's job. This is about where you get your daily forcast from. The duplication thing is about restricting NOAA, NWS, NHC & etc from making a forcast & putting a chart, graph, satalite or any other info it has obtained with tax money through contract, national sharing laws, produced by them or a university to the public in anyway, including online. Imagine no NOAA website, no NWS daily forcast.
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 162 Comments: 37779
28. cgableshurrycanegal
1:12 AM GMT on November 03, 2005
Hey caneman! Just for comparison:

000
ABNT20 KNHC 022152
TWOAT
TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOK
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
530 PM EST WED NOV 2 2005

FOR THE NORTH ATLANTIC...CARIBBEAN SEA AND THE GULF OF MEXICO...

TROPICAL STORM FORMATION IS NOT EXPECTED THROUGH THURSDAY.

FORECASTER PASCH

You think maybe Accuweather, the for-profit guys want everyone to keep checking in and keep the ratings up while the NHC, paid by our tax dollars and not caring a whit if we check in or not give us the straight skinny and no hype?
It certainly makes you think doesn't it? I remember back in the day when you could call NHC and talk with the guys like Jerry Gerald directly and they'd tell you to listen to NOAA Weather Radio rather than the commercial TV and Radio as the NWS and NHC weren't trying to boost ratings and advertising dollars...
Member Since: July 12, 2005 Posts: 24 Comments: 212
27. mybahamas
1:05 AM GMT on November 03, 2005
Allo from The Bahamas :)
Here's a track I produced with my toddler's voice :)

Link

Hope it makes you smile during this lil lull in the Atlantic :)
26. caneman
12:42 AM GMT on November 03, 2005
Yes.
I found that blub on accuweather. I was not posting it as an endorsement of that site but rather as a bit of information about the still restless tropics.......at least according to accuweather's perspectvie.
Member Since: May 27, 2003 Posts: 14 Comments: 100
25. code1
12:33 AM GMT on November 03, 2005
I too, sent in my comments this evening. However, I fear that there are far too many who do not know of this issue and what it would mean to all.
Member Since: September 18, 2005 Posts: 66 Comments: 13872
24. wynn
12:18 AM GMT on November 03, 2005
Thanks for bringing this to our attention, Dr. Masters.

And thanks to CrucianCrip for so eloquently stating the Truth. I second your thoughts, Crucian!
23. squeak
11:56 PM GMT on November 02, 2005
The changes in section 4 seem to simply add that NOAA will cooperate with private sector, academic, and research entities, and will limit its research to areas that are not duplicated by such entities, and consistent with its mission.
22. AySz88
11:46 PM GMT on November 02, 2005
Bamma is a character in the Flinstones, a reference to Wilma. He is saying "screw you" to the "possible" Gamma in the article he linked to.
Member Since: August 25, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 8
21. squeak
11:46 PM GMT on November 02, 2005
"the new NWS gag order issued after Katrina."

Can anyone elaborate on this please?
20. jeffB
11:28 PM GMT on November 02, 2005
caneman, could you clue in the rest of us as to (a) what triggered the "Gamma bamma" comment, and (b) the relevance of the link you posted, other than reminding us that AccuWeather, a leading for-profit weather service, is based in State College, PA, Sen. Santorum's state?
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 42
19. rwdobson
10:35 PM GMT on November 02, 2005
jnoblegas wrote:Im very skeptical when any government agency starts whinning about there budget being "cut". Its been a blue moon since any government agency has had actual cut..ie less money this year than last.

Well, to make a quick example, EPA's budget went from $8.079 billion in FY 02 to $7.626 B in FY 03. Isn't that a real cut? This happens to EPA pretty regularly when Republican presidents are in office. For example, the budget decreased from $4.35B in FY 85 to $3.63B in FY 86. Good ol' Reagan.
Member Since: June 12, 2002 Posts: 0 Comments: 1589
18. caneman
10:32 PM GMT on November 02, 2005
Link

Gamma bamma.....screw you and the horse you rode in on!
Member Since: May 27, 2003 Posts: 14 Comments: 100
17. rwdobson
10:23 PM GMT on November 02, 2005
Since tropical season is slowing down, now we can turn our attention to weather in other parts of the country. I've started my own blog about weather in the Kansas City area, and figured if I ever wanted someone to read it, I would need to go mention it on a more popular blog...

RWDobson's blog
Member Since: June 12, 2002 Posts: 0 Comments: 1589
16. FloridaBorn
10:13 PM GMT on November 02, 2005
Republicans? Democrats? Same suit: Different face.

Clinton was no better than Bush and I can't think of too many people in the past few decades who have actually voted for a candidate instead of voting for the lesser of 2 evils.

Instead of nit-picking the information Dr. Masters has provided, we now have the opportunity to express our opinions regarding something that most of us would never have known about if he hadn't told us.
Member Since: June 8, 2002 Posts: 3 Comments: 11
15. DocNDswamp
9:40 PM GMT on November 02, 2005
One correction...I meant to write:
...desperate pleas ignored by ALL administrations for OVER the last 2 decades.
Member Since: September 21, 2005 Posts: 94 Comments: 4792
14. TheLimey
9:38 PM GMT on November 02, 2005
Senator Santorum lives up to the dan savage definitiomn of his name again.

And if that makes no sense, look up the Savage Love column online and search back....
13. DocNDswamp
9:05 PM GMT on November 02, 2005
Well said Dr. Jeff...another excellent analysis and reply.

ohBrother's post and links reveal how desperate the Republican reelection committee's attack dogs are, as they are hard at work trying to clean up the self-inflicted muck from Sen. Santorum...and try to not-so-cleverly disguise the agenda behind SB 786.

So I would like to address the points made by ohBrother and his beloved Sen. Santorum and pose a few questions.

So what happened in Dec 2004 that "ended" this cooperative relationship between NWS's data distribution to private entities? Most likely NOAA realized, to their credit, that certain private entities would be disseminating data gathered at taxpayers expense for a fee to those who could afford to pay for this "service". A dangerous precedent that could leave American citizens at the mercy of private industry to provide a simple daily forecast.

Sen. Santorum's newsletter made sweeping allegations without being specific....so a few questions are in order.
Who, or what entity is not being given real time data by the NWS?

Other than possibly the military, who is being given insider information or "secret briefings"?

Would you care to identify the un-named private entities or media outlets you charge are given preferential consideration..and who is not?

What favorite TV reporters did the NHC choose to use as a "ratings generation tool"? Or is this an attempt on your part to muzzle the NHC?

Your example of Hurricane Charley is a hollow, ridiculous excuse to use if the residents of Port Charlotte/Punta Gorda, FL felt they were caught off guard. I refer you to NHC's 2004 graphic archive section on H Charley. Look at the watch/warn 3-5 day strike probability animated map. On 5 am EDT Wed Aug 11 2004 the center line - which is ONLY a reference point - tracks Charley directly into that area...and it did 2 and 1/2 days later! Sure, next day probability was shifted further towards Tampa which was wise to do so. However, the cone of error CLEARLY INCLUDED the area Charley struck. And the "center track" shifted back well in time before impact.
And what part did private forecasting experts play in "misleading" those residents into a Tampa landfall? At any rate IT WAS TOO CLOSE TO IGNORE, yet some chose to do so...As some did with Katrina, as some did with Wilma. NHC's chart on Katrina 3 days out was further off than was Charleys, yet we in SE LA still had over 36 hours warning. Evolving weather patterns alter forecasts to that degree and the public needs to understand that as a fact.

And if you want to blame lack of more aircraft reconnaissance in hurricanes, perhaps you - and the rest of Congress - should look in the mirror.
Want more examples? Well please tell us why the US govt has failed to adequately fund NOAA so that Data Buoys in the Gulf of Mexico damaged by Katrina and Rita, were not repaired and functioning before Wilma slammed Florida? Valuable insight could have been gained.

You complained about lack of radar sites not being maintained by NOAA/NWS. Are we to believe they couldn't afford them because so much is being spent on their delivery of forecasts? Show us the figures.

Most of us see through the smoke screen for what it is. We all are aware that Accuweather made generous contributions to your campaign and are now trying to "recoup their investment". Futhermore, SB 786 and the hoopla about it is a weak, pathetic attempt to discredit NOAA, NWS, and the NHC to further justify slashing the budget to already underfunded agencies.

In addition, I ask you this...How much money have you voted to allocate to protect and shore up USA infrastructure outside of Pennsylvania in an effort to save lives and property? What have you and the majority in Congress done for us in SE LA, who have pleaded for adequate funding that only the federal govt. could provide?...desperate pleas ignored by ALL administrations for the last decade. How much of a budget did you give to the Army Corps of Engineers, Senator? ... I'm waiting....

And lest any think otherwise, I've voted for both Democrats and Republicans...the most qualified and effective being MY criteria for choice, regardless of party affiliation.

Thanks, but no thanks Senator..and I'm hoping YOU return to the private sector soon.



Member Since: September 21, 2005 Posts: 94 Comments: 4792
12. cgableshurrycanegal
8:53 PM GMT on November 02, 2005
more damaned double-speak. why is it written so the average lay-person CANNOT understand what is being stated?
This was one of my objections raised in my comments to my reps in DC, when I sent in my comments this morning.
I also sent one into the Director of NWS, with same complaint.
We, the tax-payers, always get government-ese when it would be so simple to explain things in simple English. I am not a stupid person who fails to grasp the concepts behind well-worded, grammatically correct and structurally sound sentences, but I'll be damned if I ever know what I'm voting about in referendums or the like...
Member Since: July 12, 2005 Posts: 24 Comments: 212
11. Skyepony (Mod)
8:38 PM GMT on November 02, 2005
And there's this:

This bill (in part below) is not part of the privatization bill but a great bill on the runnings of the NWS, NOAA & etc. Section 5 e would allow members of congress to get together in Committee behind closed doors and privatize weather information dissemination, according to provision in Section 5 e quoted below. (personally I think it's where the weather info from the universities could eventually end as well).

Note:
H.R.50
Title: To provide for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep Ehlers, Vernon J. [MI-3] (introduced 1/4/2005) Cosponsors (1)
Latest Major Action: 5/19/2005 House committee/subcommittee actions. Status: Subcommittee Hearings Held.

"Section 5. (e) Public-Private Partnerships- Not less than once every 5 years, the Secretary shall develop and submit to Congress a policy the defines processes for making decisions about the roles of the National Weather Service, the private sector, and the academic community in providing weather -related and climate-related products, technologies, and services . The first such policy shall be completed not less than 12 months after the date of enactment of this Act. At least 90 days before each submission of the policy to Congress, the Secretary shall publish the policy in the Federal Register for a public comment period of not less than 60 days."


Thanks Dr Masters for getting the word on the deadline out & for addressing this political issue. I'm a fairly neutral nonpolitical person myself. It seemed like an issue that needed research. That's why I created a blog to research it. Thanks also to all that spent time finding info. The winner for most info gathered is by far Guygee!

I was suprised by the 3 different angles our info is trying to be privatized. Though this above is very related to the policy we ask you to comment on today, almost a duplicate or a means to rewrite. Yesterday, I dug a little & discovered that in 2004 the policy was clarifed (pro duplication ~ against privatization)to read as it does now. The last change was decided on 1400 or so comments.
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 162 Comments: 37779
10. CrucianCrip
8:31 PM GMT on November 02, 2005
WARNING: Purely partisan speech ahead. You've been warned.

This bill is just another case of the GOP's -- and Santorum's -- standard operating procedure of trying to "fix" something that isn't broken by taking away funding and function from a government entity and giving it the private sector, especially those companies who cough up contributions and play by Delay's K Street project rules of only hiring Republican lobbyists.

I might not be so offended by this if:

1) a private company could actually do this better and more cost-efficiently, which I don't believe it could, and

2) the company was selected through a blind open-bid process in which no company names are known to the selectors - they would only be able to view the products, budget, methodology and evaluation process proposed in each bid.

Call me a liberal (and proud of it, too), 'cause I know we'll never see condition #2 as long as the GOP runs the Administration and both chambers of Congress. Evidence: the blatant cronyism that dominated the hiring of contractors to provide services during/after the Katrina/Rita/Wilma disasters in which local companies who could do the work cheaper and would use the local labor force were not even approached so that no-bid, price-inflated contracts with no oversight or penalty clauses could be awarded to the buddies of Congressional GOP leaders. How else to explain how a company from Alaska, which is represented in Congress by Ted Stevens (R), chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee, got a no bid award to set up classroom trailers for $88k each when the average cost for these trailers runs about $42k each. Sadly, this $40 million contract doesn't even register in the top 10 Katrina likely political paybacks list. (If you're not totally disgusted yet, check out the Center for Public Integrity's Profiting from Katrina page, which contains links to a vast collection about no-bid awards for Katrina-related services.)

Thanks for bringing the politics behind the weather to light, Dr. Masters. As small a population as we are, there are political geeks like me (I was a professional online grassroots organizer working in DC until earlier this year) who secretly want to be meteorologists.

--CC
9. jnoblegas
8:11 PM GMT on November 02, 2005
Im very skeptical when any government agency starts whinning about there budget being "cut". Its been a blue moon since any government agency has had actual cut..ie less money this year than last. The way it usually works in Washington is the "agency" requests a 10% increase and then when they are only allocated a 8% increase they start railing about their budget being cut by 20%.
8. hodgedog
7:22 PM GMT on November 02, 2005
Rerrrrrrreeeer!
7. FloridaBorn
5:06 PM GMT on November 02, 2005
Dr. Masters, there are many of us who are thankful for your Blog. You give much more information, and a human side to the weather, that otherwise would not be found on the Weather Underground website.

I'm not quite sure what all of the changes in section 4 mean. It looks like it means that the budget for NOAA is going to be cut but our taxes will not. It looks like our taxes will just be redirected to something else and we will probably end up paying much more to access our weather reports from Weather Underground because of it, with or without advertising. If that is so, then NOAA is just another in a series of government agencies finding a way to cut costs by accessing pre-existing technology in a way that is going to end up costing tax payers more money.

I have to wonder where the tax cuts are going. Could it be to increase funding for the war in the middle east?

Member Since: June 8, 2002 Posts: 3 Comments: 11
6. cgableshurrycanegal
4:40 PM GMT on November 02, 2005
Regardless of your political stance, Dr. Jeff has every right to make a powerful statement, and the years of experience in the field to back it up.
If you don't agree, don't read the blog, if you DO read the blog, at least show a modicum of respect.
I have chosen to fire off my opinion to my Congresswoman and two Senators.
Thank you for reminding me that today was the deadline.
Member Since: July 12, 2005 Posts: 24 Comments: 212
5. Dr. Jeff Masters , Director of Meteorology (Admin)
3:40 PM GMT on November 02, 2005
ohBrother commented:

which would make it illegal for the National Weather Service (NWS) to issue non-severe weather forecasts...

Since you clearly are incapable of opining with facts


You have a point, a more factual representation of the bill would have been to say:


which would make it illegal for the National Weather Service (NWS) to issue non-severe weather forecasts, should a company in the private sector be able to provide them and lodge a formal request to the Secretary of Commerce for NWS to stop issuing the non-severe weather forecast products.


I have changed the text of my post to reflect this. If you read the bill, this is clearly what it says. What Sen. Santorum says the intent of the bill is does not matter; it is the legal language of the bill we need to pay attention to.

As for my statment:
and this bill's unpopularity has done him harm in the re-election campaign he is currently losing in Pennsylvania
and your reply:

Of course, it's nice to see that you, as usual, have cited no evidence of this.


Perhaps since you live in Pennsylvania, you are a better judge of the bill's effect on Santorum's reelection campaign than I. However, I cite as evidence the fact that the NWSEO bought radio time this summer at several Pennsylvania radio stations to air attack ads with the intent of doing Santorum harm in his re-election campaign. Presumably, these ads had a political cost, and this was the opinion of the NWSEO official I talked to.

Jeff Masters
4. tripleb
3:06 PM GMT on November 02, 2005
On a lighter note:

Did anyone watch the Discovery Channel special concerning Hurricane Katrina last night?

I found it to be quite an "eye opener" concerning Local, State, and Federal level response, or lack thereof.
3. icepilot
2:56 PM GMT on November 02, 2005
This Bill seems to "fix" a problem that doesn't really seem to exist or at least significantly impact the "general public"

AND

The bit about the line "through a set of data portals designed for volume access by commercial providers"
is very distubing - The State of Florida does that for several data sets of "public data" and we (the General Public) end up paying a private enterprise for access to "Public" data - I'm in the wrong business - I want a job making money from selling a product that was made at Tax Payers expense.
Member Since: July 9, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 387
2. Denverite
2:50 PM GMT on November 02, 2005
Wow...How about a little respect?

...if you want a screaming news analysis, visit FoxNews.com
1. ohBrother
2:39 PM GMT on November 02, 2005
which would make it illegal for the National Weather Service (NWS) to issue non-severe weather forecasts


Since you clearly are incapable of opining with facts, and didn't even bother to link to the text of the actual legislation (here), the Senator's opinion on the legislation can be found here, here, and here.


and this bill's unpopularity has done him harm in the re-election campaign he is currently losing in Pennsylvania


Of course, it's nice to see that you, as usual, have cited no evidence of this. The fact of the matter is that none of us in Pennsylvania really care about this issue, except for weather geeks, because it has received exactly no press coverage. Come on. How about trying to be truthful about something regarding politics occasionally. I cannot believe that you are even looking a poll numbers with elections a year away, and the campaign not even begun yet. Who is running again?

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Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.

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