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Lawmakers ready to reauthorize legislation for U.S. forecasting, emergency preparedness

Rebecca Barnabi
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The Weather Research and Forecasting Innovation Reauthorization Act would strengthen the United States’ forecasting and emergency preparedness.

The legislation improves research, observations forecasting and public communications regarding extreme weather events.

On Wednesday, Congresswoman Jennifer McClellan of Virginia, a member of the House Science, Space and Technology (SST) Committee, joined her colleagues in a markup of the bill, also known as H.R. 6093. She offered an amendment to prioritize the assessment of storm impacts on under-observed, underserved and highly vulnerable populations.

“As our nation and the global community continue to grapple with increasingly severe weather events, we must do more to effectively prepare, monitor and recover from their impacts. The Weather Act Reauthorization is an important piece of legislation to ensure the United States can more accurately forecast dangerous weather events and support impacted communities,” McClellan said. “As a member of the House Science Committee, I was proud to help advance this bill out of committee. I am thrilled the bill included my amendment to prioritize the needs of marginalized communities, who are disproportionately impacted by severe weather and climate degradation. We must continue to comprehensively gather data regarding the impacts of these weather events, so the federal government can properly respond to communities’ needs.”

H.R. 6093 updates the Weather Act of 2017, the first comprehensive weather policy legislation in more than 20 years. The 2017 bill bolstered America’s weather forecasting tools and improved collaboration and coordination between various entities in the weather enterprise.

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca J. Barnabi is the national editor of Augusta Free Press. A graduate of the University of Mary Washington, she began her journalism career at The Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star. In 2013, she was awarded first place for feature writing in the Maryland, Delaware, District of Columbia Awards Program, and was honored by the Virginia School Boards Association’s 2019 Media Honor Roll Program for her coverage of Waynesboro Schools. Her background in newspapers includes writing about features, local government, education and the arts.