Federal meteorologists unable to attend annual meeting due to shutdown

Published: Jan. 11, 2019 at 6:49 PM EST
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By: Charles Roop | WCTV Pinpoint Weather

January 11, 2019

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) — Meteorologists at federal agencies such as the National Weather Service, Storm Prediction Center and National Hurricane Center are all working - without pay - to issue forecasts, watches and warnings. But that’s it.

The limited duties because of the federal government shutdown meant a lot of people were missing at the annual meeting of the American Meteorological Society this week in Phoenix, Arizona. The shutdown prevented federal employees from attending. Nearly 700 had to cancel the trip, the AMS said in an email. Also, nearly 300 presentations withdrawn.

There was disappointment on social media that meteorologists from varying government offices.

"All of these different weather events we could have learned more about from the people that were in the line of fire essentially as well as some of the communication aspect of things,” he said in a lab at FSU’s Love Building. "Their presence is invaluable.”

Carstens says that missing knowledge will trickle down to the general public.

"Those conversations, you know, potential debates that we might have, are really how we grow as scientists and as a field as a whole,” he said.

The shutdown also bothers those who want to work for the NWS. FSU meteorology junior Michael Anand is one of those, and attended the annual meeting.