Oklahoma Congressman’s Weather Forecasting Bill Passed by U.S. House

April 17, 2014

The U.S. House of Representatives in early April passed a bill sponsored by an Oklahoma congressman that would enable development of technology for improving weather forecasting and predicting.

Rep. Jim Bridenstine of Oklahoma’s 1st District said HR 2413, the Weather Forecasting Improvement Act of 2014, would help save lives and protect property from severe weather, including tornadoes, without adding to the budget or debt.

HR 2413 directs the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to prioritize weather-related activities and rebalances NOAA’s funding to bring weather related activities to a higher level.

By requiring coordination and prioritization across the range of NOAA agencies, HR 2413 will help get weather prediction and forecasting technologies off the drawing board and into the field, according to an announcement released by Brindenstine’s.

It also enhances NOAA’s collaboration with the private sector and universities. The bill clarifies that NOAA can purchase weather data through contracts with commercial providers and place weather satellite instruments on private payloads.

“The National Severe Storms Lab at the University of Oklahoma is repurposing military radar technology for tornado forecasting and warning. These improved forecasts have the potential to give the public over an hour of lead time to respond to a tornado, compared to the 13 to 15 minute average currently possible,” Bridenstine said in the announcement.

The legislation was cosponsored by the entire bipartisan membership of the Environment Subcommittee of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology.

Source: Office of U.S. Rep. Jim Bridenstine

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