Sequestration will rain on the meteorologists' parade, too. The National
Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration may freeze hiring for 2,700 positions,
furlough 2,600 employees and reduce its contractors by 1,400, Acting Commerce
Secretary Rebecca Blank said in a Feb. 8 letter to Congress. NOAA would reduce
the number of weather balloons released to collect data used for forecasts, and
two weather satellite programs may be delayed. The combination of satellite
gaps, a smaller staff and reduced balloon deployments increases the risk of
errors in weather forecasts, Kathleen Miller reports.
"The government's ability to warn Americans across the country about
high-impact weather events, such as hurricanes and tornadoes, will be compromised,"