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[aprssig] More on S.786

Gerry Creager N5JXS gerry.creager at tamu.edu
Thu Nov 10 13:08:34 UTC 2005


Thanks for the link.  It's changed over time, apparently in response to
some of the criticism of those who have read the actual bill.

As near as I can tell, short of interviews to the Weather Channel and
CNN, no one is getting "insider information" or secret briefings.  OK,
well, maybe I have, but they've been in terms of potential research
efforts in concert with NWS, and honestly, I don't think they were
secret.  Or even well guarded, considering I was never asked to not
mention the topics, numerous NWS folks were involved, or if they
wandered up/in during the conversations, were informed of what we were
working on, etc.

What I *did* hear, at a meeting sponsored by the American 
Meteorological Society, was Accuweather's CEO, and their vice president, 
rant on and on about the NWS providing data for free to the public, now, 
that Accuweather could charge for.  And I also heard Gen. D.L. Johnson, 
NWS Administrator, being very careful to not tell these folks where to 
get off, although he looked like he was steaming in the process.

I've spent more time than I should have looking at this bill and reading 
it as carefully as possible.  It's not designed to foster competetion 
and improve service to the public.  It's designed to make NWS stop 
providing data to the public that someone could charge them for.

More specifically, the bill is so poorly worded that, if enacted and
followed to its letter, NWS and its National Centers for Environmental
Prediction couldn't perform routine predictive modeling, unless there
was severe weather imminent or active.  The problem with that is that
numerical prediction requires essentially sequential model runs, with
observational data assimilated into the initialization matrix of each
successive model run, to nudge its starting parameters toward reality.

There's more, but it's not necessarily suitable to this forum.

73, gerry
 > stanzepa at sbcglobal.net wrote:

 >>> Senator Santorum's web page has the following article: Fact vs. 
Fiction: S.
 >>> 786, Strengthening the Core Mission of the National Weather 
Service. The
 >>> URL is:
 >>> entRecord_id=1304&CFID=19874078&CFTOKEN=61769882
 >>> Personally, I don't trust the Gang of Privateers in D.C. as far as 
I can
 >>> throw them, but here is their side of the story. The following from the
 >>> aforementioned article seems very pertinent to our discussion:
 >>> "MYTH: This bill will prevent the general public from getting access to
 >>> weather information. The bill could also undo years of advances in
 >>> communication and push the weather service back to a "pre-Internet 
era" and
 >>> force NWS to shut down its website.
 >>> "Reality: The NWS under this bill is required ­ not allowed, but 
required ­
 >>> to collect and exchange meteorological, hydrological, climatic, and
 >>> oceanographic data and information. The only new caveat is that this
 >>> information must be provided to ALL taxpayers, not select ones. NWS 
 >>> have to make its information available ³in real time, and without 
delay for
 >>> internal use, in a manner that ensures that all members of the 
public have
 >>> the opportunity for simultaneous and equal access to such data,
 >>> information, guidance, forecasts, and warnings.² NWS can, and should,
 >>> continue to maintain its website and distribute information that is 
 >>> accessible to all interested parties. The only ones that won¹t have the
 >>> same ³access² are those who benefited from insider information and 
 >>> briefings based on information that was NOT available to the public."
Gerry Creager -- gerry.creager at tamu.edu
Texas Mesonet -- AATLT, Texas A&M University	
Cell: 979.229.5301 Office: 979.458.4020 FAX: 979.847.8578
Page: 979.228.0173
Office: 903A Eller Bldg, TAMU, College Station, TX 77843

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