After four years of attempting to get Congress to pass his Weather Research and Forecasting Innovation Act, Rep. Jim Bridenstine is successful.
President Trump signed the measure into law this week. Actually, it was the Lucas-Bridenstine Act because Rep. Frank Lucas was also a sponsor of the measure first introduced in 2013.
But it was Rep. Bridenstine who led much of the push for the measure, urging the House in January to move ahead with it.
The Act, according to Bridenstine is an opportunity “for moving us closer to a day when we have zero deaths from tornadoes and severe weather events.”
The act directs the Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to rebalance NOAA funding to put a higher priority on weather-related research and activities. It also emphasizes development of accurate forecasts and timely warnings of high impact weather events. NOAA is directed to create programs to extend warning lead times and improve forecasts for tornadoes and hurricanes.
What Bridenstine considered to be important to him was the extension of a NOAA pilot program to issue contracts to procure commercial satellite weather data.
“This legislation is the product of a bipartisan effort that spans nearly my entire career in Congress,” he said following the President’s Tuesday night signing of the act. “This is a big step toward improving our weather data, models and forecasts—-and saving lives.”