National Weather Service In Norman Ready To Weather Storm Of Possible Government Shutdown

Friday, April 8th 2011, 2:54 pm
By: News 9

Gan Matthews, News 9

NORMAN, Oklahoma -- If the federal government shuts down Saturday, some federal employees at the National Weather Center in Norman will go on furlough. But essential services at the center will go on.

That includes the National Weather Service Forecast Office, whose 26 federal employees issue forecasts, watches, and warnings for Oklahoma.

"We have a dedication to our mission, which is that of protecting lives and protecting property," said Meteorologist-in-Charge Michael Foster. "We would be prepared to go ahead and do that as we normally do under any circumstances."

The Storm Prediction Center's 34 federal employees will also remain on the job in the event of a government shutdown, ready to turn out weather advisories for the entire country.

A shutdown would put all the employees of the National Severe Storms Laboratory on furlough, along with the federal employees of the Warning Decision Training Branch, and some federal employees of the NEXRAD Radar Operations Center.