Government Shutdown Impacts National Weather Service
By Caitlin Alexander
The ongoing government shutdown is impacting parts of the National Weather Service. However, the Channel 8 weather team said it will not prevent viewers from getting vital weather information."Some of the extended, long-range forecasting is not happening right now, but those things we can live without. The most important thing is keeping you and us and everybody safe, and that data's still coming to us," said Bud Ford with Channel 8 Weather Team. If you attempt to visit the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration online, you receive this notification: "Due to the Federal government shutdown, NOAA.gov and most associated web sites are unavailable. Specific NOAA web sites necessary to protect lives and property are operational and will be maintained. See Weather.gov for critical weather information or contact USA.gov for more information about the shutdown."NWS is continuing to report important weather notifications, like watches and warnings.A local office for NWS confirmed that public outreach, including information classes, is not happening with the shutdown.Channel 8 reached out to a NWS spokesperson via email. An automated response spoke directly about the furloughs: "I am currently unavailable to respond to e-mails because of the shutdown of government operations. I will be unable to respond until funding has been appropriated and the shutdown ends. I regret the inconvenience."Ford said meteorologists can still access the information they need for daily forecasts. He said weather personnel have the training to do their own forecasting as well, so viewers may rest assured that someone is always looking out for them.Channel 8 also reached out to the National Weather Service Employees Organization for comment.
KTUL ABC 8 provides local and national news, sports, weather and notice of community events in Tulsa, Oklahoma and surrounding towns including Broken Arrow, Owasso, Claremore, Jenks, Bixby, Coweta, Muskogee, Westport, Beggs, Okmulgee, Council Hill, Henryetta, Skiatook, Collinsville, and Bartlesville.