Cuts to national weather forecasting would devastate, Sen. Chuck Schumer says

The White House has proposed cutting the NOAA budget by 23 percent.

A White House-proposed 23 percent cut to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration could severely impinge on the agency’s data gathering, Sen. Charles Schumer cautioned on Sunday.

Schumer’s announcement comes after Hurricane Florence devastated the Carolinas over the weekend.

“A storm is brewing at the federal level when it comes to our ability to robustly track the paths of severe weather events and deliver early warning forecasts to the public,” Schumer said in a statement. “That is why we need to put high pressure on Congress to stop the unwise cuts proposed by the Administration that could impact everything from our weather forecasters to our critical data gathering and modeling methods that scientists use to perfect predicting and in turn save lives on the ground when an erratic storm begins its churn.”

The Senate minority leader said the proposed cuts of NOAA’s overall budget includes an $189 million reduction to the agency’s research program. He also said the National Weather Service could see an 8 percent cut, including 248 forecasting positions.

Schumer said reaching a bipartisan spending bill agreement by the end of the month is a must.

A representative for NOAA declined to comment.

Alison Fox