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Trump administration’s budget will cripple program for forecasting hurricanes!

Hurricane forecasting is a casualty in the war on climate science, By DIANE CARMAN | The Denver Post
On May 25, scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration checked their satellite data, crunched the numbers on ocean temperatures, water currents and weather patterns, and made a prediction. They said this would be an above-normal hurricane season, with 11 to 17 named storms and two to four major hurricanes churning through the Atlantic.

Then they really got to work. The first of the named storms, Arlene, had already jumped the gun in April, forming in the Atlantic weeks before the official opening of the hurricane season. The folks at NOAA knew if they applied the latest in science and technology, they could save lives.

The scientists at the NOAA offices in Boulder, at Princeton and around the country had a new tool — the Finite-Volume on a Cubed-Sphere (FV3) — which produces better models and helps them forecast hurricanes more accurately so that residents can be warned as early as possible on whether to shelter in place, evacuate or seek safe harbor.

So five days before Harvey hit, NOAA’s Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory used the fabulous FV3 to predict that the storm would develop a second eyewall and produce extreme rainfall across the region. Both predictions as well as those about the path of the storm were spot on.

Residents and public officials relied on the forecasts, and as a result the death toll was remarkably low for a storm of such magnitude in the fourth-largest city in the U.S. Early reports are that 60 people died in Harvey, compared to 1,833 in Hurricane Katrina and 117 in Superstorm Sandy………

the high-powered computing and data-gathering technology also is essential for understanding climate change.

Which is why the Trump administration’s budget calls for crippling the program.

Under Trump’s plan, NOAA’s budget is to be slashed by one-fifth, including eliminating programs to improve the agency’s ability to predict tornadoes and to create a tsunami-warning program for the West Coast. The budget for weather satellites — vitally important in hurricane forecasting — is to be cut by 17 percent.

While the Trump administration is laser-focused on jobs for coal miners, it’s busy planning for widespread layoffs of climate scientists who are accused of doing “crazy stuff” — like accurately predicting hurricanes…….


September 11, 2017 - Posted by | climate change, politics, USA

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