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Government shutdown could impact future hurricane predictions

During the offseason, forecasters fine-tune the storm predictions they implement during hurricane season.
Credit: Thinkstock

The partial government shutdown is nearing three weeks, and Americans are seeing more impacts with each passing day.

The effect on your current weather forecast is minimal. A spokesperson with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said operations remain in place to provide forecasts and warnings to protect lives and property.

"With several storm systems impacting the country, staff continue mission-essential functions. In addition to forecasters at our local offices and national centers, appropriate technical and engineering staff are ensuring our Earth observations, high-performance computing, modeling and other systems required to meet this mission are up and operating.”

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However, 10News meteorologist Grant Gilmore explained that while your forecast is not in jeopardy, important research could be affected ahead of the next hurricane season.

Year after year, forecasters improve their hurricane predictions based on the research they do now, in the offseason. For instance, last season, the National Hurricane Center was able to shrink its "cone of uncertainty" with the goal of making a more accurate forecast.

Predicted storm tracks and intensities have continued to get more precise and accurate over the last several years. Much of that is thanks to the work done in the offseason.

Hurricane season starts June 1.

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