A landmark hurricane research project is losing the commitment of federal dollars as research shifts to a more “holistic” approach to weather forecasting.
The Hurricane Forecast Improvement Project improved forecasts by 20 percent in five years, but its development is being “slowed.”
Florida Republican Senator Marco Rubio, who last year co-sponsored legislation with U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, D-FL to maintain money going to the project, is leading a hearing Wednesday to discuss the future of storm research.
Rubio is chairman of the Subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries, and Coast Guard, which will meet at 2 p.m.
The subcommittee hearing will examine these advancements as the director of the National Hurricane Center will testify on efforts to improve hurricane path forecasts and the ability to predict a hurricane’s intensity.
The Hurricane Forecast Improvement Project was originally given $13 million annually beginning in 2009. That was cut to $4.8 million last year and is expected to be further reduced to $3.8 million as focus turns to a broader array of prediction products that will refine all hazardous weather forecasts, said NOAA spokesman David Miller.