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    National Weather Service experiences a significant communications, data outage

    February 14, 2017, 2:17:36 PM EST

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    A National Weather Service meteorologist in Norman, Oklahoma, tracks a super cell tornado outbreak. (Photo/National Weather Service)


    A significant outage in data communications at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) limited access to, or affected the accuracy of, critical weather data to the public for a period of almost three hours on Monday, Feb. 13.

    A National Weather Service (NWS) statement on Tuesday, Feb. 14, said that the two hour 36 minute outage prevented the agency from fully distributing forecasts and warnings.

    "During the outage, the public was able to access forecasts, watches and warnings by NOAA Weather Radio and the social media accounts of their local forecast office," the NWS statement said.

    AccuWeather-produced services remained available and reliable during this major government data outage.

    Unlike commercial weather organizations that repackage NWS products, AccuWeather generates its own forecasts and warnings based on both public and proprietary weather data.

    Starting at approximately 2:08 p.m. EST on Monday, the National Weather Service (NWS) experienced a complete outage of its satellite broadcast network, which is one of the primary communication methods between the NWS and its field offices for transferring weather data. The same network also transmits weather information to America's Weather Industry.

    The outage was a result of a power problem, according to the NWS.

    Several other data communication network, which provide weather data to the public and America’s Weather Industry, were also affected. Among those was NOAA’s Weather Wire service, which distributes NWS weather warnings.


    "Technicians quickly determined the cause of the problem was the simultaneous failure of two core communications routers - primary and backup - for the control facility due to a power problem. The routers were replaced and the system was restored to full service. We are still investigating what caused the power outage," the NWS said.

    "We are implementing additional communication pathways to the backup Network Control Facility to ensure that problems encountered in switching operations to this backup facility will not recur."

    AccuWeather’s unique technology aggregates and analyzes weather data through complex models and expert weather forecasters - the largest source of weather data and modeling available globally – to provide the most reliable weather information and updates with Superior Accuracy™. AccuWeather uses best-in-class technology that is recognized by leaders around the world to ensure full reliability of weather data storage, accessibility and communications globally.

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