This beautiful artistic rendition of the QuikSCAT is not as sexy as a cute pair of heels nor is it as compelling as a tidal wave or Category Five Hurricane aimed at your hometown but it is breaking and it seems to be on...BACK ORDER UNTIL 2016!?!?!
Sorry.. but we really can't wait until 2016.....and weather satellites are not a pair of Candie's High heels or a brand new fishing rod.
This is a very serious problem and there is nothing cute, funny or whimsical about it.
IF you think cover stories on AOL and Yahoo are just fluff, think again...
Sometimes you laugh and other times you cry and people in weather circles are upset and in disbelief.
How does a satellite this important get "back ordered" on some "wish list" ??? This is not like waiting an extra month for those size 7 shoes they were all sold out of but advertised on some website as "in stock"
Shoes can be back ordered... weather satellites shouldn't be on "back order." Like hello but Washington we have a SERIOUS problem!
Money is short and the people in charge of making budget decisions decided there wasn't enough to go around. There are sadly no Farm Aid Concerts to raise money and no Global Warming Live Aid sort of events for the every day nitty gritty, nuts and bolts pieces of equipment that help storm specialists keep you and me safe with much needed early warning. See 1935 Labor Day Hurricane for what happens when people are not warned with enough time to get to safety.
We can talk on how we want to have an accurate 7 day forecast or 10 day forecast but do we want to pay for it?
Does Washington want to pay for it?
Do I get a vote? Do you?
Where are our priorities?
I am sure if the President was told that a satellite doing military surveillance of Iran or Iraq was soon to go blind and stop working they would get something up there as soon as possible and not back burner it until 2016 but ASAP!
And ASAP is what we need here regarding this nice little satellite that worked it's butt off and needs replacement.
I bet Condi would get the heels fixed on her nice high heel leather boots if they were breaking or she'd buy a new pair darn fast. Not knocking Condi here, I like those boots and I don't think she has a say in what happens at NOAA or NASA but neither it seems do you or I.
The NHC does incredible work! They look at a wave coming off Africa, while it is over Africa still ... they watch it, they run models, they make good estimates sometimes up to 10 days out as to where that wave may end up. Yet we want them to be perfect. Well it's hard being perfect with imperfect, broken equipment when the replacement is on back order for about ten years.
You know that old saying? Garbage in.. garbage out?
I know you don't want garbage hurricane forecasts...
So...for example the NHC hypothetically decides that Florida is "under the gun" and the big, bad storm may come in from the SW and hit the SW coast of Florida as a major hurricane. Maybe Naples, maybe Ft. Myers or perhaps Bonita Beach. People want specifics, they get angry that the NHC can't tell them MORE Specifically. They want to go on google or skeetobite's site and get the exact street that will get hurricane force winds not tropical storm force winds. They want maybe Hurricane Erin should pick them up some AA batteries on her way up Tamiami Trail North in a dollar store staying open as late as it can before she makes landfall in Naples???
I think the fact that the NHC is able to look at Hurricane Condi who is cruising out in the Atlantic and be pretty damn sure she will hit Miami or Tampa vs Cape Hatteras or Galveston or Belize is pretty amazing, but the public wants them to be "more better" perfect. Could you look at a storm in the Atlantic and without the help of the proper satellite and decide 7 days out where she will hit..short of throwing a dart onto a hurricane map? 3 days out?
The government however seems to think that based on a wing and a prayer the little weather spy satellite will keep on working until
they can "get around to it" and even then the new one is not supposed to be as good as the one we already have? Hello? Excuse me? I thought we try to be better as time goes by, we improve on things lacking.. we don't settle for going down a step or two.
People online are upset, people want to know who to write to..where to go?
I'd say start with your local government officials? If you know people who work for the media, ask them to high light it in their news.
Call a radio or TV station and ask them to do stories on it? Try writing Senator Nelson, he got to go up on the space shuttle..maybe he has a vested interest? Maybe he appreciates what it's like to be able to look down at Planet Earth and see it from high up above? Worth a shot, email him and tell him Bobbistorm@aol.com wants him to please get that satellite up ASAP. Tell him YOU want it now not later. ASAP.
Make a bake sale to raise money? I don't think peanut butter cookies will help... you might bribe some people with them but don't think it will help here.
Weather Aid? Make a concert..couldn't hurt but will it help?
What will help?
A wise, informed public who understands the how important these satellites are (especially this one) can make a difference.
If you would rather worry on the icebergs melting and the gulf stream going kaput some day ... instead of worrying about a problem that exists here today... well then there isn't much I can say to change your mind.
It is always easier to worry on big disasters than small ones and always easier to fight over whose fault it was so that many people died in Katrina .. than to do something about it before they die. Ye Olde Barn Door Philosophy is still alive and well in Washington it seems.
And, when you are upset that the NHC didn't have their "line down the middle of the cone going due west on Sunrise Blvd" 3 days out because the last time you looked you thought it was going "due west on Flagler Street" and you thought you were a little bit safer up there in Broward County so you didn't buy that wood to board up your windows or extra AA batteries and you are upset with the NHC for not being MORE specific... you may wish that there was more money spent on Hurricane Research and less on "global warming."
The way we pollute this beautiful planet is a big problem.
The way we IGNORE a clear and present danger is criminal.
You can get a ticket for not driving with a seat belt on and yet...yet forecasters are supposed to do forecasts without the tools of their trade????
Where is our money going? There is always a paper trail and I would bet money it's not going to the NHC or the NWS.
http://billnelson.senate.gov/ start there and if you go to some political event with someone running for President in the next election you might want to ask them what their policy will be regarding proper funding for the NWS and the NHC. Then you might ask them about healthcare or any other issue that weighs heavy on your mind and heart.