Categories
In Brief

They deserve better

The best part of the past 10+ years of running @chswx has been the opportunity to partner with the National Weather Service to disseminate their message. These are fine, fine public servants who deserve much better than 27 days and counting of government shutdown and no paychecks.

Categories
Weather

Support your local National Weather Service

In recent years, I have been loath to bring up politics on this blog as the vitriol in our national discourse is a complete turnoff. However, concerns over cuts to the National Weather Service prompted me to do something I have never done before: write a letter to one of my Senators (in this case, Lindsey Graham — I may yet write Jim DeMint). The text of that letter is below:

Senator Graham,

I am deeply concerned about proposals in Congress to significantly cut funding to the National Weather Service. Much as cutting funding to our defense and intelligence apparatuses may very well render America less able to defend herself, slashing the National Weather Service’s ability to collect and act on data that generates critical forecasts and warnings leaves Americans more vulnerable to life-threatening weather events. Your office has consistently demonstrated a commitment to keeping our national defense fully funded in the name of keeping Americans safe; similar logic should follow in ensuring the full funding of the National Weather Service, as its warnings have a demonstrated track record of reducing loss of life in severe weather.

I understand that cuts to the National Hurricane Center have been proposed as part of this package. Cutting funding to the National Hurricane Center is something that no South Carolinian should accept. South Carolina’s economy and safety absolutely depend on the unrestrained ability of the National Hurricane Center to do its job and properly warn residents, and it is unfathomable to think that just over five years after the catastrophe of Hurricane Katrina that members of Congress would want to cut its funding.

I have personal experience interacting directly with the National Weather Service, as I am fortunate to have had the opportunity to train as an advanced storm spotter with the Charleston forecast office. This office is staffed with very bright, dedicated, and focused public servants and I feel safe knowing that they are on the job, keeping us informed when routine afternoon thunderstorms take a turn for the worse or when a Category 4 storm threatens our shore. These individuals do their job quietly, without fanfare, sensationalism, and often without thanks. NWS provides a steady, clear voice when dangerous situations arise, and I deeply appreciate their efforts in doing so.

Please ensure continued full funding for National Weather Service operations in the new budget.

Respectfully yours,

Jared Smith

Categories
As Per Whatever Weather

Testing day at the National Weather Service

The National Weather Service has been testing new flash flood warning products, interlaced all over the place with the word TEST so that nobody will actually take action on them, throughout the day here and up in Washington state. Their test warnings have been the ultimate in worst case scenarios, and are somewhat amusing if not a little chilling considering that these things could actually happen:

BULLETIN – EAS ACTIVATION REQUESTED
TEST…FLASH FLOOD WARNING…TEST
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE CHARLESTON SC
1124 AM EDT FRI SEP 14 2007

…THIS MESSAGE IS FOR TEST PURPOSES ONLY…

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN CHARLESTON HAS ISSUED A

* THIS IS A TEST MESSAGE. FLASH FLOOD WARNING FOR A DAM FAILURE ON
THE SANTEE RIVER BETWEEN THE SANTEE DAM AND U.S. HIGHWAY 52 IN…
NORTHERN BERKELEY COUNTY IN SOUTHEAST SOUTH CAROLINA…
NORTHEASTERN CHARLESTON COUNTY IN SOUTHEAST SOUTH CAROLINA…

* THIS IS A TEST MESSAGE. UNTIL THE FLOOD SUBSIDES AND EMERGENCY
OFFICIALS DECLARE THE AREA SAFE.

* THIS IS A TEST MESSAGE. AT 1121 AM EDT FRIDAY MORNING A FAILURE
OF THE SANTEE DAM ON THE SANTEE RIVER WAS REPORTED.

* THIS IS A TEST MESSAGE. IF YOU LIVE IN THE LOW LYING AREAS ON THE
SANTEE RIVER BETWEEN THE DAM AND U.S. HIGHWAY 52…YOU SHOULD MOVE
TO HIGHER GROUND IMMEDIATELY.

THIS IS A TEST MESSAGE. FURTHER STATEMENTS WILL BE ISSUED AS
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION BECOMES AVAILABLE.

THIS IS A TEST MESSAGE. DO NOT TAKE ACTION BASED ON THIS MESSAGE.

Here’s out of Washington state blaming global warming (haha):

BULLETIN – EAS ACTIVATION REQUESTED
TEST…FLASH FLOOD WARNING…TEST
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE SPOKANE WA
1235 PM PDT FRI SEP 14 2007

…THIS MESSAGE IS FOR TEST PURPOSES ONLY…

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN SPOKANE HAS ISSUED A

* THIS IS A TEST MESSAGE. FLASH FLOOD WARNING FOR A GLACIAL LAKE DAM
OUTBURST IN…
CENTRAL LINCOLN COUNTY IN EAST CENTRAL WASHINGTON…

* UNTIL 230 PM PDT

* THIS IS A TEST MESSAGE. AT 1235 PM PDT…A GLACIER AT DAVENPORT
HAS MELTED…RELEASING LARGE QUANTITIES OF IMPOUNDED WATER AND
CAUSING FLASH FLOODING.

* THIS IS A TEST MESSAGE. AFFECTED LOCATIONS INCLUDE DAVENPORT

THIS IS A TEST MESSAGE. DO NOT TAKE ACTION BASED ON THIS MESSAGE.

Watch out for that volcanic ash, too…

TEST…FLASH FLOOD WARNING…TEST
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE SEATTLE WA
1131 AM PDT FRI SEP 14 2007

…THIS MESSAGE IS FOR TEST PURPOSES ONLY…

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN SEATTLE HAS ISSUED A
* THIS IS A TEST MESSAGE.
FLASH FLOOD WARNING FOR VOLCANIC SNOW MELT IN…
SOUTHWESTERN KING COUNTY IN WEST CENTRAL WASHINGTON…
THIS INCLUDES THE CITIES OF…PALMER…KENT…FEDERAL WAY…
ENUMCLAW…AUBURN…COVINGTON-SAWYER-WILDERNESS…
NORTHEASTERN LEWIS COUNTY IN WEST CENTRAL WASHINGTON…
THIS INCLUDES THE CITY OF PACKWOOD…
PIERCE COUNTY IN WEST CENTRAL WASHINGTON…
THIS INCLUDES THE CITIES OF…TACOMA…SUMNER…SPANAWAY…ROY…
PUYALLUP…ORTING…LONGMIRE…LAKEWOOD…KAPOWSIN…GREENWATER…
GRAHAM…EATONVILLE…BUCKLEY…ASHFORD…SUMMIT…

* UNTIL 130 PM PDT.

* THIS IS A TEST MESSAGE. AT 1131 AM PDT ADDITIONAL VOLCANIC
ACTIVITY ON MOUNT RAINIER AND WAS CAUSING RAPID SNOWMELT ON ITS
SLOPES AND GENERATING FLASH FLOODING.

* THIS IS A TEST MESSAGE. AFFECTED LOCATIONS INCLUDE
COVINGTON-SAWYER-WILDERNESS…SUMMIT…ASHFORD…AUBURN…BONNEY
LAKE…BUCKLEY…CARBONADO…EATONVILLE…ENUMCLAW…FEDERAL WAY…
GRAHAM…GREENWATER…KAPOWSIN…KENT…LAKEWOOD…LONGMIRE…MAPLE
VALLEY…ORTING…PACKWOOD…PALMER…PARKLAND…PUYALLUP…
RAVENSDALE…ROY…SPANAWAY…SUMNER…TACOMA AND WILKESON.

THIS IS A TEST MESSAGE. DO NOT TAKE ACTION BASED ON THIS MESSAGE.

It’s not every day you see doomsday being tested…