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Trump signs ‘monumental’ weather bill into law

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Staff Writer | April 19, 2017
U.S. President Trump Donald signed a bill into law that will improve weather forecasting and researching capabilities across the American weather enterprise.
Weather prediction
Weather   To improve weather data and modeling
The bill, which received strong bipartisan support, is titled the Weather Research and Forecasting Innovation Act of 2017, H.R. 353. It was passed in the House of Representatives in January and was approved by the Senate on March 29.

The legislation authorizes the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to prioritize research to improve weather data, modeling, computing, forecasting and warnings to better protect lives and property.

The Weather Research and Forecasting Innovation Act is a major step toward more accurate and timely weather predictions, said U.S. Rep. Frank Lucas, a Oklahoma Republican, the bill’s sponsor.

"When a major storm or tornado is quickly approaching your community, every additional minute of preparation time counts. This legislation strengthens our country’s commitment to severe weather forecasting and ensures NOAA has access to the best weather data," Lucas said.

AccuWeather CEO Barry Lee Myers called the bill a “monumental piece of legislation.”

“It’s a significant milestone for the whole weather enterprise,” Myers said.

“It’s the first time that there has ever been a piece of federal legislation in this field that works to bring NOAA, the research community and the weather industry together in various ways.”

Part of the research that will be conducted by NOAA will emphasize high-impact weather events such as improved tornado warnings and hurricane forecasts to the public.