The House Science Committee is considering legislation that would prioritize weather forecasting over ocean and climate research at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). H.R. 2413 would not provide new funds to support a NOAA initiative to improve forecasting of tornados to an hour or more or to improve prediction of hurricanes or other severe weather events. Instead, the legislation would require NOAA to make “weather-related activities the top priority in the planning and management of programs within all relevant line offices,” according to the text of the bill. This essentially means that all other NOAA activities would likely be cut.
The “Weather Forecasting Improvement Act” is sponsored by Representative Jim Bridenstine (R-OK), a freshman lawmaker who serves on the House Science Committee. Two NOAA weather forecasting facilities are located in his district, including a forecast center that models the Arkansas-Red Basin River. The bill was the focus of two recent hearings by the panel.
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