Monday, January 7, 2013

Why Is the National Weather Service in the DVD Business?

The National Weather Service complains, sometimes with justification, about needing more resources. For example, there is no question that we need to fix our weather satellite problems and that better weather observations over the Pacific would lead directly to more accurate weather forecasts in the central and western United States.

However, when the NWS stays from its core mission, it undermines the efforts of those of us who support increasing resources. So, I ask: Why is the NWS in the DVD business? It takes effort to gather the videos, secure rights, edit the videos, burn the DVDs, send them out, etc.

There are lots and lots of companies that produce weather videos. We don't need the NWS to do this, just like we don't need them to produce coloring books. Besides, even if the NWS had plenty of resources for its core mission, this is unfair competition to the entrepreneurs who are in the weather video business.

I urge the NWS to rethink this and stick to its core mission.

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