Report Warns Budget Cuts Could Hamper Hurricane, Tornado Forecasts
On May 2 the National Research Council released an analysis indicating that the ability to track tornadoes and forecast hurricanes will decline because the number and capability of weather satellites is being diminished by budget restrictions. According to the analysis, tight budgets have already begun to significantly delay or eliminate missions to replace weather satellites. The report says that NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration estimate that only six in-orbit Earth observation missions by 2020, compared to 23 this year. The number of monitoring instruments is expected to decline from the record level of approximately 110 in 2011 to fewer than 30 by 2020.
Read more on the effects of the proposed budget cuts on natural disaster forecasts: Report Warns of Weather Satellites ‘Rapid Decline’ (USA Today 5/3/12)