(WHDH) — President Trump’s new budget proposal could create a “perfect storm” for weather forecasts across the country.
The new proposal would slash more than 350 forecasters, greatly reducing the ability to issue reliable forecasts and timely warnings of severe weather.
The budget proposes a cut of eight percent to funding for the National Weather Service (NWS) next fiscal year. Funding would by slashed by more than $1 billion next year. The savings would be achieved by cutting 355 additional forecasters and other operational staff and closing forecast offices at night and weekends.
The NWS will no longer be able to issue reliable forecasts or timely warnings of severe weather if these cuts are implemented, according to a union that represents forecasters and technicians.
“The quality of the NWS’s warning capability corresponds with its capacity to muster an ample, fully trained local staff at its Weather Forecast Offices as severe weather unfolds,” according to the National Academy of Sciences.
Hundreds of operational positions at the NWS are already vacant.
“We can’t take any more cuts and still do the job that the American public needs us to do – there simply will not be the staff available on duty to issue the forecasts and warnings upon which the country depends,” said Dan Sobien, President of the National Weather Service Employees Organization.
The proposed cuts come on the heels of a devastating hurricane season. Any major cuts would need to be approved by Congress.
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