Bush’s Budget Would Include Millions for Hurricane Research

February 14, 2008

President Bush’s proposed budget would include millions more in funding to improve hurricane forecasts and further research the storms, a federal official said at a recent regional discussion of the budget.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s number two official, Mary Glackin, discussed her agency’s proposed budget in Miami this week, though it was officially released Feb. 4. Hurricane-related money is only a fraction of NOAA’s proposed $4.1 billion budget but closely watched.

The money would be used to improve hurricane forecast modeling, including predicting how rapidly storms intensify and dissipate, as well as upgrade and deploy ocean buoys that gather information about the storms. Approximately $5 million would go to improving forecast models and another $6 million to deploying and maintaining the buoys.

Separately, the budget also includes a request for $242 million to support the next generation of geostationary satellites which provide images of storms such as hurricanes but also carry instruments that collect other data.

National Hurricane Center director Bill Read called the proposed budget “very encouraging” after the meeting, but said he and others would have to wait to see what actually gets enacted.

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