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Why the NWS losing funding makes no sense

By: VaStormGuy , 3:57 AM GMT on November 17, 2012

Let's look at the numbers, shall we?

In FY 2012, the budget for the National Weather Service was 988.0M dollars. This is a 2M dollar decrease from FY 2011 and an 11M dollar decrease from 2010. 988M dollars is .026% of the total budget which was $3.796T dollars (in expenditures) in FY2012.

By contrast, the government spent 683B on the military, and 891B on programs such as Medicare and Medicaid.

The NWS budget is .063% of the size of the combined budgets of the military and HHS. (Health and Human Services)

The government cut .02% of the budget of the NWS saving a total of 2M dollars.

If the government cut .02% of the budget of the military and HHS, they would save 315M dollars, or 32% of the ENTIRE NWS budget.

Here's a graphic by the New York Times showing the size of the budget by department, with NOAA (5.1B dollars total) highlighted. (click to expand)

The NWS budget is less than 20% of the NOAA budget.

It should be apparent by now how ridiculously little of an impact the budget cuts to the NWS made to the debt, and how large of an effect it will have on our critical weather forecasting in this country.


to the government.

The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.

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