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What the federal shutdown means for weather and climate services

You might not know it, but most of the weather information you consume ultimately comes from federal agencies such as the National Weather Service. This includes most of what is used by the media in their daily broadcasts including the Weather Channel, and includes what they provide in their smartphone apps too. Even the University of Georgia weather network, while it is not directly funded by the federal government, does get funded in part by contracts to provide supplementary data to the National Weather Service.  NOAA estimates that about half its workforce will have to go home if the federal government shuts down as expected tonight. How does that impact your access to weather information? While vital services like forecasting for the airline trips you might be taking this weekend will continue, many other services will have to shut down. Dr. Marshall Shepherd of UGA provides an overview of what to expect in this Forbes.com article at https://www.forbes.com/sites/marshallshepherd/2018/12/21/what-a-holiday-government-shutdown-means-for-u-s-weather-activities/#2986f35b4002. Thanks to all of the dedicated civil servants who will be working in spite of no pay to keep us safe for the next few days or however long the shut-down lasts. We appreciate what you do!

Solar halo on Eglin AFB, source: Samuel King, Jr., defenseimagery.mil via Commons Wikimedia