Group meeting in Austin advocating better prediction of dangerous storms

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by HEATHER KOVAR / KVUE News and photojournalist JOHN FISHER

Bio | Email | Follow: @HeatherK_KVUE

kvue.com

Posted on January 7, 2013 at 6:57 PM

Updated Monday, Jan 7 at 7:01 PM

AUSTIN -- Great strides have been made in predicting when and where severe weather will hit, but there's a push this week in Austin to examine when dangerous storms will strike.
 
To help better plan and ensure that the U.S. government continues investment in weather technology, there's a push for the creation of a U.S. Weather Commission.
  
Dr. Thomas Bogdan, president of the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research, is among a group meeting in Austin to discuss the possibility of a commission.
 
"It's motivated by the fact that weather, extreme weather, has such a huge impact on our economy," said Bogdan. "Coming together and making some recommendations, some clear, prioritized recommendations to Congress and the White House about where our investments need to be in a time when we're facing severe budget issues."
  
Bodgan says currently we don't have the capabilities to look ahead several years, or even months, at what the weather will be like.
 
"Will we be able to maintain, but not just maintain, but improve what we have for future generations?" Bogdan said.
 
Plus, according to KVUE meteorologist Albert Ramon, extreme weather and climate, even the drought is affecting the way they forecast.

"Models are used to normal, average weather. You know, it takes a snapshot of what is happening now, and it doesn't take those variables of what we've been dealing with for the last two years when it comes to this historic drought," Ramon said.
 
Monday Shoal Creek was fairly dry. It wasn't even flowing. However, this week's rain could change that.

"It's not a drought ender, but this is going to put a dent in that Texas drought -- not just locally but statewide," Ramon said.

Ramon says the heaviest rain will fall Wednesday.
 
While we know what to expect this week, we still don't know how long this drought will last.
 
The group looking to create a U.S. Weather Commission is meeting in conjunction with the American Meteorological Society Convention going on this week in downtown Austin.

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