The proposed cuts (described here) are huge and would cripple the ability of the National Weather Service to improve the quality of weather predictions provided to the American people.
1. A half-billion dollar reduction in NOAA's satellite program run by National Environmental Satellite, Data and Information Service (NESDIS).
Weather satellite's provide 95% of the information used to initialize weather prediction models and such a large cut would result in the loss of major satellite observing systems. Weather prediction skill would decline.
2. A 26% (126 million) cut in the Office of Atmospheric Research (OAR)
OAR is responsible for the development of the next generation of weather prediction models and the technologies underlying U.S. operational weather forecasting. Such a large cut would greatly undermine current activities to replace the problematic current generation of U.S. global models. It would undermine the development of new approaches to data assimilation of observational data. And much more.
3. The National Weather Service would be hit by a 5% cut plus additional cuts necessary for NOAA (the parent of the NWS) to cut a total of 17%.
Thus, total NWS cuts would probably be in the range of 5-15%. Even a 5% cut would result in the loss of at least one forecaster per NWS office (like Seattle, Portland, or Spokane). Many of the NWS offices are undermanned and understaffed at this point, so further cuts would be very difficult. Less forecasters would result in reduced forecast quality and reduced interactions with local communities.
4. NOAA and the NWS would sharply reduce extramural funding, including funding of applicable university research.
Extramural funding is a very cost-effective approach for the NOAA/NWS to tap the creative energies and innovations coming out of the academic community. It also supports the training of the next generation of forecasters and scientists. The loss of extramural support will cripple the ability of NOAA/NWS to innovate and to improve U.S. weather prediction
The Trump administration has been vocal in its opposition of climate research and attempts for mitigation of global warming. In the proposed cuts, they have taken the knife and harmed the wrong target: U.S. weather prediction operations and research.
NOAA's satellites and numerical weather prediction is key infrastructure for the United States and a foundation of U.S. economic strength and protection of American lives. It needs more resources, not less.
Ironically, as shown below, red states suffer more from severe weather than blue states (e.g., hurricanes, severe thunderstorms), so the proposed cuts will preferentially hurt Trump's own supporters.
It is also ironic that an administration that claims to want to "make American great, again" is taking actions that will make U.S. weather prediction fourth rate. They are undermining the interests of the American people, undermining public safety and our economy, much of which is weather dependent.
It is time to email or contact our congressional representatives, to encourage them to stop this