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Sun May 26, 2013, 11:15 AM

What happens when the Weather Satellites stop working?

http://www.wafb.com/story/21291107/some-noaa-satellites-to-stop-working
<snip>
The federal government is scrambling to figure out a fix for several weather satellites that may soon stop working. The consequences could be the difference between life and death here in south Louisiana come hurricane season and beyond.

Forecasters use weather satellites to help predict where a storm might end up, everything from hurricanes to snow storms to every day weather.

A recent report from the Government Accountability Office says the system is in big trouble.

Nan Walker is a professor and director of the Earth Scan lab over at the LSU School of the Coast and Environment and says this is a problem that could affect many things.

"So many people around the world use satellites to study so many things," said Walker.

"It's just hard to even imagine who all will be affected."

Some of the satellites are expected stop working as soon as next year and the replacements aren't scheduled to be in place until 2017.

The report says the system could be less than fully-operational for at least 17 months.

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Arrow 34 replies Author Time Post
Reply What happens when the Weather Satellites stop working? (Original post)
malaise May 2013 OP
Rosa Luxemburg May 2013 #1
Arkansas Granny May 2013 #2
malaise May 2013 #9
greytdemocrat May 2013 #13
malaise May 2013 #19
quinnox May 2013 #3
jollyreaper2112 May 2013 #4
starroute May 2013 #5
Junkdrawer May 2013 #8
quinnox May 2013 #15
magical thyme May 2013 #30
malaise May 2013 #29
Cirque du So-What May 2013 #10
Yo_Mama May 2013 #12
Arkansas Granny May 2013 #14
bahrbearian May 2013 #16
quinnox May 2013 #17
JaneyVee May 2013 #20
quinnox May 2013 #22
cherokeeprogressive May 2013 #24
quinnox May 2013 #25
jeff47 May 2013 #26
cherokeeprogressive May 2013 #27
jeff47 May 2013 #28
greytdemocrat May 2013 #6
alarimer May 2013 #7
intheflow May 2013 #18
TreasonousBastard May 2013 #11
datasuspect May 2013 #21
MNBrewer May 2013 #23
madrchsod May 2013 #31
IDemo May 2013 #32
FirstLight May 2013 #33
MADem May 2013 #34

Response to malaise (Original post)

Sun May 26, 2013, 11:26 AM

1. Not good

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Response to malaise (Original post)

Sun May 26, 2013, 11:28 AM

2. For starters, the RWNJ's will declare that it's"gawd's will" because the victims

didn't pray enough.

Seriously, this could impact a lot of people in all regions of the country. The best chance of survival in extreme weather is knowing what is headed your way and when it's will arrive.

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Response to Arkansas Granny (Reply #2)

Sun May 26, 2013, 11:48 AM

9. Better news here

http://www.spacenews.com/article/civil-space/35463weather-satellite-glitch-prompts-noaa-to-activate-on-orbit-spare#.UaIulZyyCXl
<snip>
One of two primary satellites used by the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to track severe weather in the United States has been knocked out of service, prompting the agency to activate a spare satellite to maintain East Coast coverage.

According to status updates posted on NOAA’s website, service from the Geostationary-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES)-13 suffered an outage of its two main instruments May 22. The Boeing-built spacecraft was launched in May 2006 into a storage orbit and was activated in April 2010.

With GOES-13 out of commission, East Coast coverage is now being provided by the newly activated GOES-14 satellite, which was launched into a storage orbit in June 2009, the latest status update, issued May 23, said.

NOAA normally maintains two operational GOES satellites, overlooking the East and West coasts of the U.S. mainland. Each satellite has an imager, which monitors storms and cloud coverage, and a sounder, which takes vertical profiles of atmospheric temperature and humidity.

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Response to malaise (Reply #9)

Sun May 26, 2013, 11:51 AM

13. That is good news.

But we still need better more secure coverage.

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Response to greytdemocrat (Reply #13)

Sun May 26, 2013, 12:19 PM

19. Agreed

but the first article was scary

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Response to malaise (Original post)

Sun May 26, 2013, 11:33 AM

3. mankind did just fine for thousands of years

 

without satellites, I'm sure we could handle a disruption.

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Response to quinnox (Reply #3)

Sun May 26, 2013, 11:44 AM

4. Wow

What an astoundingly stupid thing to say. Really. Hats off to you.

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Response to quinnox (Reply #3)

Sun May 26, 2013, 11:46 AM

5. Only if your definition of "just fine" includes thousands of dead people

Do you really want to go back to those days?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1900_Galveston_hurricane

The Hurricane of 1900 made landfall on September 8, 1900, in the city of Galveston, Texas, in the United States.[1] It had estimated winds of 145 miles per hour (233 km/h) at landfall, making it a Category 4 storm on the Saffir–Simpson Hurricane Scale.[2] It was the deadliest hurricane in US history, and the second costliest hurricane in U.S. history based on the dollar's 2005 value (to compare costs with those of Hurricane Katrina and others).

The hurricane caused great loss of life with the estimated death toll between 6,000 and 12,000 individuals;[3] the number most cited in official reports is 8,000, giving the storm the third-highest number of deaths or injuries of any Atlantic hurricane, after the Great Hurricane of 1780 and 1998's Hurricane Mitch.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Hurricane_of_1780

The Great Hurricane of 1780, also known as Huracán San Calixto, the Great Hurricane of the Antilles, and the 1780 Disaster,[1][2] is probably the deadliest Atlantic hurricane on record. Between 20,000 and 22,000 people died when the storm passed through the Lesser Antilles in the Caribbean starting on October 10 and ending on October 16.[3] Specifics on the hurricane's track and strength are unknown since the official Atlantic hurricane database only goes back to 1851.[4]

The hurricane struck Barbados with winds possibly exceeding 320 km/h (200 mph), before moving past Martinique, Saint Lucia, and Sint Eustatius; thousands of deaths were reported on the islands. Coming in the midst of the American Revolution, the storm caused heavy losses to British and French fleets contesting for control of the area. The hurricane later passed near Puerto Rico and over the eastern portion of Hispaniola (today's Dominican Republic). There, it caused heavy damage near the coastlines. It ultimately turned to the northeast before being last observed on October 20 southeast of Cape Race, Newfoundland.

The death toll from the Great Hurricane alone exceeds that of any other entire decade of Atlantic hurricanes. Estimates are marginally higher than for Hurricane Mitch, the second-deadliest Atlantic storm, for which figures are likely more accurate. The hurricane was part of the disastrous 1780 Atlantic hurricane season, with two other deadly storms occurring in the month of October.[3]

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Response to starroute (Reply #5)

Sun May 26, 2013, 11:48 AM

8. Beat me to it....



But really, how the hell did you do that so fast?

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Response to starroute (Reply #5)

Sun May 26, 2013, 12:03 PM

15. never said I want to go back to those days

 

but the world won't end if satellites stopped working.

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Response to quinnox (Reply #15)

Sun May 26, 2013, 01:04 PM

30. well, the world might not end for you

 

and certainly for me, since I'm not in a hurricane or tornado area, and prepare automatically for blizzards.

But for those who live in severe storm areas, yeah, without warning the world may well end for them. For example, just last week, the world didn't end for thousands of residents of Moore because they had sufficient warning to go to ground or get out before they could see the tornado bearing down on them.

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Response to starroute (Reply #5)

Sun May 26, 2013, 12:48 PM

29. Well said

Unfreakingbelievable

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Response to quinnox (Reply #3)

Sun May 26, 2013, 11:49 AM

10. Define 'handle'

If by 'handling' it, thousands could die because of insufficient warning, then, yeah, we'll 'handle' it alright. See? Those bubonic plagues weren't any big deal either, seeing that Europe bounced back after losing a full third of the population after successive waves of the disease; they 'handled' it.

This is the DU member formerly known as Cirque du So-What.

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Response to quinnox (Reply #3)

Sun May 26, 2013, 11:51 AM

12. Well, when I was a kid in the pre-satellite era

weather forecasts were quite erratic.

Mankind wouldn't die off, but storm casualties would be expected to rise with less warnings and less time to take shelter/evacuate.

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Response to quinnox (Reply #3)

Sun May 26, 2013, 12:00 PM

14. Sure they did. Even if you believe that, with a larger population and

with more and more people living in large population centers, the chances of thousands of people being killed during a catastrophic storm have greatly increased.

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Response to quinnox (Reply #3)

Sun May 26, 2013, 12:09 PM

16. I think that we will have to re-learn how to get by without technology.

This will not be the last of how we survive with out it.

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Response to bahrbearian (Reply #16)

Sun May 26, 2013, 12:11 PM

17. very possibly, in a way, technology has become a crutch

 

for the human race.

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Response to quinnox (Reply #17)

Sun May 26, 2013, 12:29 PM

20. But the human race created technology, therefore that crutch is now part of human evolution.

 

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Response to JaneyVee (Reply #20)

Sun May 26, 2013, 12:33 PM

22. that is interesting

 

I think you make an interesting point. Let's hope it is not to our peril, this kind of evolution.

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Response to quinnox (Reply #3)

Sun May 26, 2013, 12:36 PM

24. It's funny how people act as if satellites are the only way to tell a storm is coming.

 

I understand the need for them, but not the urgency that leads people to scream "but we'll die!!!"

And maybe this time the EU can pick up some of the tab? Wouldn't that be nice...

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Response to cherokeeprogressive (Reply #24)

Sun May 26, 2013, 12:39 PM

25. yep

 

I was thinking the exact same thing.

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Response to cherokeeprogressive (Reply #24)

Sun May 26, 2013, 12:43 PM

26. It's funny how people ignore what has to actually be done for a large storm.

If you know that a hurricane is coming days from now, you can evacuate a city.
If you know that a hurricane is coming hours from now, you can't.

Satellites turn that "hours" into "days".

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Response to jeff47 (Reply #26)

Sun May 26, 2013, 12:43 PM

27. Um, so do airplanes.

 

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Response to cherokeeprogressive (Reply #27)

Sun May 26, 2013, 12:48 PM

28. No, airplanes can't be used for general surveillance.

You can use an airplane when you know where the storm already is.

You can't use an airplane when you don't. There's literally millions of square miles of ocean to cover.

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Response to malaise (Original post)

Sun May 26, 2013, 11:47 AM

6. Not that I'm fond of Executive Orders...

But this is just too important to screw around with.

Get them fixed/replaced. No excuses, no politics. Do it. Now.

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Response to malaise (Original post)

Sun May 26, 2013, 11:48 AM

7. This is a direct result of anti-science policies by Republicans.

Because the satellites will also provide insight into the effects of global warming, rethugs will not allow
funding. Also, they like to de-fund these programs and then when disaster happens, proclaim that
government does not work.

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Response to alarimer (Reply #7)

Sun May 26, 2013, 12:19 PM

18. I was going to post the same thing.

We can thank the anti-science crowd for this.

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Response to malaise (Original post)

Sun May 26, 2013, 11:51 AM

11. This is from February and makes one wonder...

if Congress might have some things other than Bengazi and taxing Appple and teabaggery to look at.

From the link:

<...>
"The government report blames the problem on more than a decade of chronic program mismanagement and cost overruns.

The report specifically blames the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which helps operate the satellites with other government agencies."
<...>

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Response to malaise (Original post)

Sun May 26, 2013, 12:31 PM

21. maybe if we ask nicely enough

 

china will share theirs.

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Response to malaise (Original post)

Sun May 26, 2013, 12:36 PM

23. We can send Pat Robertson into space, so he can pray the weather around for us.

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Response to malaise (Original post)

Sun May 26, 2013, 01:54 PM

31. farmers almanac.......

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Response to malaise (Original post)

Sun May 26, 2013, 02:18 PM

32. These satellites do much more than keep an eye on storm systems

They are also used to convey an immense amount of data from ground based sensors to monitor in near real time water levels and stream flows of virtually every body of water in the hemisphere, along with soil temp and moisture and other environmental data.

The hurricane images are something everyone appreciates, but there is a lot more going on with NOAA satellites that is of tremendous environmental and economic importance as well.

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Response to malaise (Original post)

Sun May 26, 2013, 02:19 PM

33. hmmm

my mom and I just had this conversation after the OK tornado... "What did the Native Americans do?" we thought...hos did they know if a storm was coming...you know they had to have a way because they were much more in sync with nature. and then...how did they shelter? did they have underground places or did they just sit in their teepees and wait to be sucked up by the sky gods?


I wonder sometimes at how vulnerable we truly are as a species...take away our technology and we are still just neanderthals huddled around the fire...

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Response to malaise (Original post)

Sun May 26, 2013, 03:25 PM

34. Oh Ben..... Ben??????

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