May it die a happy death soon.
Legislation now before Congress would prevent the National Weather Service from providing information that the private sector is supplying, or could supply, to the public. That would seriously damage the quality of the nation's weather forecasting, says an atmospheric scientist whose research focuses on improving local weather prediction.
"It would cripple the weather service and would be a great disservice to the public," Cliff Mass, a University of Washington atmospheric sciences professor, said of a bill introduced in April by Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa.
"It would very seriously limit what the weather service does," Mass said. "The weather service would be out of the business of supplying day-to-day local forecasts and weather information, except for severe weather."
The bill, referred to as the National Weather Services Duties Act of 2005, in general would prevent the weather service from providing a product or service, other than severe-weather forecasts and warnings, that could be provided by the private sector. Exceptions include situations in which the federal government is obliged by treaty to provide information, such as aviation forecasts, or if the secretary of commerce determines the private sector is unwilling or unable to provide it.
The measure likely would prevent the weather service from issuing local daily and long-term forecasts for cities and towns across the country, currently one of its most-recognized functions, Mass said. Those forecasts would be replaced by products from private companies that often do not match the quality of the weather service information.
"In addition, the private sector doesn't have to forecast for every place in the United States," he said. "The weather service does." ...
No where did I see a proposal in this to actually reduce the weather service our taxes already pay for. Shouldn't there be a noticeable tax break built into this proposal?