"We can and must do more relative to severe weather," AccuWeather CEO Barry Myers testified on Thursday, May 23, 2013, during a hearing called Restoring U.S. Leadership in Weather Forecasting.
"People should not live in fear in America's heartland, in its cities and along its coasts," Myers added.
The Subcommittee on Environment of the Committee on Science, Space and Technology held the hearing in order to:
"...examine ways to improve the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) protection of lives and property through improved weather forecasting and to receive testimony on draft legislation to prioritize research and computing resources, augment observing system planning and emphasize research-to-operations technology transfer."
A draft bill in the House of Representatives, called the Weather Forecasting Improvement Act of 2013, would put a focus on NOAA's forecasting rather than climate research. The bill would also grant permission for the government to buy weather data from commercial providers. Furthermore, government weather instruments could fly on private satellites, or vice versa.
At the Thursday hearing, Myers pointed out that the National Weather Service did an outstanding job providing warning for the Moore, Okla., tornado on Monday, May 20, 2013. He mentioned the huge progress in tornado forecasting that has been made since the 1950s.
A National Weather Service survey team photo shows the devastation of the Moore, Okla., tornado that touched down on Monday, May 20, 2013.
Myers agrees that the partnership between the public and private sectors is crucial to further advancements in weather forecasting.
"In the United States, the National Weather Service, America's weather industry, and the academic and research communities, each have important and complementary roles to play. It is a unique and special partnership for the benefit of the nation."
This topic first came into focus during Superstorm Sandy as the ECMWF (European) model outperformed U.S. forecasting models in terms of the storm's track.
"This gap presents issues from an economic, safety and national security standpoint," Myers said. "Relying on other countries, for better weather models, places America in a weak and subservient position."
A powerful storm will bring disruptive weather from Spain to France and Italy for Christmas Day.
As California heads into its third consecutive dry winter with no relief in sight, firefighters continue to battle a late-fall blaze in Big Sur.
After several days of unseasonable warmth, bitter cold and rounds of snow will continue to spread across the Western and Central states into this weekend.
Similar to the days prior to Thanksgiving, the worst weather will focus on the days prior to Christmas as millions of travelers take to the roads and skies in the U.S. and southern Canada.
An abrupt and abnormal cold wave gripped parts of southeastern Texas in early December, catching many off-guard, including two native Southern California bobcats recently transferred to the area.
Warm air is forecast to surge into much of the eastern half of the nation by the weekend and will be accompanied by heavy rain and flooding risk in some locations.
Black Hills, SD (1964)
Chinook: temp. rise 0 degrees to 50 degrees.
Central Illinois (1836)
Famous "Sudden Change" in central Illinois. Cold front at noon caused quick drop from 40 degrees to zero.
Little Rock, AR (1998)
282 straight days without subfreezing temperatures, longest streak on record.