Due to the manner in the occurrence of weather and climate disasters, it has raised lots of concern among several countries today. However, these happenings are becoming more critical and higher than ever; with these, precise and consistent weather forecasting is very important for lives and properties to be protected at all times.
President Donald Trump’s White House Budget plans to decrease the finance of the National Weather Service (NWS) to 8% which is a reduction of over $75 million by next year. Trump’s budget also intends a cut of 355 job opportunities in the National Weather Service. This plan by the White House would cut lots of jobs from the National Weather Service, including forecasters after the country had undergone one of the worst hurricane seasons last year.
It is important to know that America has been a victim of lots of climate disasters in the past, thus, it has also been estimated through a January report from the National Centers for Environmental Information that the total loss of the United States is more than $ 1 billion. In 2017, the U.S experienced critical climate and weather disasters which cost $306 billion – according to a recent U.S annual report.
Trump government have justified the staff cuts as a result of the 2016 Weather Service Operation and Workforce Analysis, which stated an “incongruity between the workforce and workload” in some place of the NWS.
Due to this intends from Trump’s administration, employees and the labor union from the NWS disapproved the plans.
The labor union through its president, Dan Sobien, told Huntsville, a news station WAFF, that “it is going to cost lives, it is going to cost the economy. There will also be inaccurate weather forecasts which will also cost the country”.
In addition, the president of the labor union also said that the rate of employees is now lower to 600 and that the stated cuts from the budget will make the labor force in NWS even smaller.
“The cuts will make lots of offices to be closed and offices such as Huntsville might be a victim of this,” Sobien also stated, “ These important offices have been the ones that are in charge of issuing different warnings when it comes to climate disasters that may hit the country. Closing the offices during the night or some key time may be detrimental. Weather forecasts will have to be issued in some other places and it is going to be from people who are not really acquainted with the Huntsville area.”
The organization in October stated that the agency is “going to fail for the first time”. With this, Sobien has also told weather.com that weather forecasts that are not accurate will definitely put the country at great risk and cost more than $75 million on the country. Sobien also added that “the proposed budget by the administration is risking the lives and properties of innocent citizens across the country.”
Furthermore, there other proposed cuts by Trump’s administration. This also includes a $15 million cut in certain programs on the observation of marine areas, which also comprises of data points that offer vital information on the ocean cycles of the country.
Secondly, in the proposed budget, there will be $11 million cut to the agency’s tsunami warning program. There will also be $14 million cut to the activities of science and technology integration, which would reduce the funds of weather and water models and some other auxiliary appraisals
When this proposed budget was stated, lots of weather forecasters in the NWS have been surprised ever since. Dan Sobien has made it clear that the agency cannot take any more cuts and still do the job that the American public needs to do. On Monday, Sobien went ahead and told the Washington Post that “There simply will not be any employee that will issue the forecast and weather warnings which the nation solely depends upon.”
Moreover, E&E News notes stated that the proposed budget by Trump’s administration on the cuts of staffs of the NWS would help to eradicate “inadequacies that are related to the structure of the NWS offices”.
However, vital cuts to the NOAA has to be given approval by the Congress, and the White House budget only serves as a guideline. Although, it inaugurates the significances of Trump’s administration and offers a structure for lawmakers to act upon.
It is important also to note that Trump’s proposed budget comes shortly after the NOAA said 2017 broke the record of the costliest weather-related disasters.
The proposed budget to cut staffs of the NWS is not a good news due to the fact that the nation recently saw its most expensive year for weather disasters on record. Overall, the NOAA is now faced with a 37% cut compared to the percentage in 2017.