U.S. Senator Introduces Bill to Build Weather Radars for the Country or Maybe Just His State

Dennis Mersereau · 09/18/15 06:30AM

The accidental invention of the weather radar during World War II was one of the most important advances we’ve made in keeping people safe from severe storms. Today, the United States is covered by more than 150 Doppler radar sites, but there are some pretty dangerous gaps in that coverage. Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) recently introduced a bill ordering the construction of new radar sites to cover some of the country’s most vulnerable cities, but the bill might be worded just cleverly enough that it applies to exactly one city, which is coincidentally the largest in Burr’s home state.

U.S. Senate Chickens Out of Fixing Major Issues in Weather Forecasting

Dennis Mersereau · 06/23/15 01:35PM

Last week, the United States Senate briefly flirted with the idea of actually doing something useful. Depending on whom you ask, the National Weather Service Improvement Act was either a positive step toward modernization or destructive enough to give Rick Santorum the quivers. Even though the bill is now dead and gone, the idea of fundamentally restructuring the National Weather Service is a debate worth having.

President Obama Helped Issue a Hurricane Forecast This Morning

Dennis Mersereau · 05/28/15 12:57PM

President Obama paid a visit to the National Hurricane Center in Miami, Florida, this morning, to observe how the agency works and to speak with officials in the days leading up to the beginning of Atlantic hurricane season on June 1. While there, he helped the agency issue a forecast for Tropical Storm Andres.

Chemtrails Are Too Crazy for Even the Tea Party to Believe

Dennis Mersereau · 04/23/15 02:12PM

It’s hard to imagine a conspiracy theory so off the rails that it makes people involved with one of the country’s major Tea Party groups throw their hands up in the air and go “whoa, man, this is too much,” but lo and behold, chemtrails rose to the challenge.

In Defense of Public Opinion Polls

Dennis Mersereau · 11/05/14 02:25PM

People lie. People say they'll do one thing and then do another. People have free will. Predicting what people will do is harder than predicting the weather. Those who religiously track political polling found this out the hard way last night.

Crappy Weather on Election Day Favors Republicans

Dennis Mersereau · 11/04/14 10:30AM

The weather is a great equalizer, but it doesn't affect everyone equally. A 2007 study revealed that foul weather depresses voter turnout, which heavily favors Republicans. With so many close elections today, any foul weather could result in a last-minute shift towards the GOP.

"Loan Sharknado" Is the Most Cringeworthy Political Ad This Year

Dennis Mersereau · 10/24/14 02:29PM

The Michigan Republican Party is now the proud owner of the worst weather-themed political ad ever created. The party released a painfully cheesy thirty-second spot last week calling the Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate a "loan sharknado." It's so bad that it's uncomfortable to watch.

House Passes Bill Redirecting $330 Million to Weather Forecasting

Dennis Mersereau · 04/02/14 10:00AM

In the near future, the U.S. House of Representatives plans to consider a bill that aims to force NOAA to "prioritize" a large number of its financial resources on the improvement and execution of near-term weather prediction.