Sunday, September 7, 2014

The Value of the U.S. Weather Enterprise: Huge!

In Warnings: The True Story of How Science Tamed the Weather I called the National Weather Service one of the very best values the taxpayers receive. Since writing those words in 2010, stories of federal agencies destroying hard drives and covering up facts only make the NWS stand out more.

There is now a study out that looks at the value created by the American Weather Enterprise (the National Weather Service plus AccuWeather and other private sector weather companies) in detail.

The study is short and concise (and, available here). The federal government spends $3.4 billion to create forecasts and warnings. Private sector weather companies spend $1.7 billion. The value is $31.5 billion.

So, for every dollar spent on weather forecasts and storm warnings, we get $6.20 of value!!

As forecasts improve, that number will only go up.

I have stated on a number of occasions that meteorology is the "Rodney Dangerfield of Sciences -- No Respect." Perhaps with this study, Warnings, and the increased recognition of the contribution we make to American society, that might be starting to change.

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