Wednesday, April 1, 2020

The Coronavirus Events of the Last Two Weeks...

...are making meteorologists look like geniuses.  
[Updated 5:30pm Wednesday]

[Original Posting]
As Scott Adams, creator of Dilbert, said of public health modeling earlier today:
Meteorologists model the atmosphere and weather. And, while we are far from perfect, the quality of our modeling is amazing compared to some of the forecasts that have been published by public health modelers the last month (1.7 million coronavirus deaths in the U.S. with social distancing?! -- ain't gonna happen).

Not only have some of the public health models been wildly wrong, take a look at what is spent on health in the United States.
So, we spent $10,739 on health, per person, in the United States in 2017 (most recent stats available). We will, undoubtedly, spend much more this year.
Want to know what we will spend on weather satellites, weather balloons, radars, the National Weather Service, et. cetera, per person this year? $5.34. Yes, $5.34. And, the NWS is getting its budget cut so we will spend even less than that meager amount next year. 

No question: if you have chest pains, you are mighty glad for excellent emergency room physicians. They can save your life.
If you were a resident of Jonesboro, Arkansas, Saturday afternoon, I'm certain you were grateful for the National Weather Service and local TV meteorologists. A violent tornado in a heavily populated area with zero deaths is an amazing outcome. Meteorologists save lives, too. And, we do it for the cost of one Big Mac Meal per year.

Undoubtedly, when all of this is over, there will be a reassessment of how the United States prepares for and responds to natural disasters. The NWS needs more money, not less. 

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