By Charles Roop
March 6, 2017
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration could see cuts under a budget memo from the White House, The Washington Post reported Friday night.
The cuts, if allowed, could have impacts to weather observations and forecasting.
The paper obtained a four page budget memo that wants 26 percent cuts from current levels to NOAA's Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research. The satellite division, known as National Environmental Satellite, Data and Information Service, would get a 22 percent cut.
The National Weather Service could lose 5 percent of its funding.
That means a 17 percent cut to NOAA's budget across the agency, according to The Washington Post.
The 5 percent cut to the NWS may not sound like much, but according to the National Weather Service Employees Organization, the agency is understaffed, and currently under a hiring freeze. The 16 percent vacancy rate stated by the NWSEO may have impacts on aviation, warning issuance, and human-issued forecasting.
Cuts to the satellite division could impact environmental, weather, and climate monitoring.
As of now, this is just a proposal. Congress will decide the fate of any funding within NOAA - or other federal agencies - when they put together the budget for the 2018 fiscal year.
"We’re not going to allow that to happen," Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) said in a statement sent to Eyewitness News regarding the proposed cuts. "NOAA’s mission is too important.”
Nelson has been critical of the federal hiring freeze that was put in place by President Trump in January, which he said could put lives at risk.