Monday, October 10, 2005

Less is not always more.

An AP report details how hurricane forecasters have been plagued with missing or broken equipment for more than a decade. Yet another symptom of the "wait until it breaks" syndrome.
Forecasters at the National Hurricane Center have struggled for more than a decade to issue accurate storm reports using broken equipment, an overbooked airplane fleet and tight budgets, a newspaper reported Sunday.

Key forecasting equipment used by the center has broken down or been unavailable for nearly half of the 45 hurricanes that have struck land since 1992, The Miami Herald found after an eight-month investigation.

"It's almost like we're forecasting blind," said Pablo Santos, a science officer at the National Weather Service's Miami office, which assists the hurricane center during storms. "We've never really had the equipment to do it."
Full story here.

There are some things we rely on the government to do for us, because no one else can or will. And running them on too tight a budget is often a false economy.

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