Recent hurricanes and floods have put a point on it: Severe weather is an increasing problem in the United States and Americans need to have a better sense of what's coming.
That's why the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is investing $6 million to improve severe weather forecasting systems, it said this morning.
"Extreme weather is on the rise, and Americans are increasingly vulnerable to its effects. The NWS must provide modern customer service to meet the needs of 21st-century America," NOAA said in a release. "Despite thousands of weather warnings that [the National Weather Service] issues each year, hundreds of American lives are lost each year to flooding, snowstorms, tornadoes, and other weather events. But getting new and more powerful forecasting tools into the hands of forecasters is not simple or often speedy."
The funds will be granted to a number of partner institutes, the agency said, and will be used to "improve the accuracy of rainfall estimates and forecasts of flash flooding, hail, severe winds, thunderstorms, and other weather hazards," as well as improve weather prediction models, better predict flooding and thunderstorms, and improve drought monitoring systems.