Thursday, September 11, 2008

Stormfury Revisited

An effort is needed to re-establish the Stormfury project in Guam with private money. The applied science project will take about 375M. This sounds like an onerous sum but the politics are right and there is a virtual frenzy of environmental interest in governmental circles right now—up to and including both Presidential candidates. There are also huge energy aspects both solar and wind to environmental studies this project would enhance and lead in—including airborne weather radar and the affect wind farms are having on land based radar.

The National Center for Atmospheric Research [NCAR] has recently published advice to the “transition teams” for both political parties making the case for a 9B increase in the funding for environmental issues over the next 5 years. This is over and above the current multi-billion dollar annual spending for hardware, personal and software to man the U. S. government’s wide-ranging weather and environmental programs.

We applaud this effort. The Federal Government funding of such programs has actually decreased from proposed numbers in recent years highlighted by the non-funding of 17 key satellites systems.

However, the project we envision is the “premiere” top of the food chain environmental issue that should be done primarily by the private sector with the Government, both state and local, working to the degree they can to help speed the project. This is for several reasons:

· The Federal Government gave up on the project—they will be slow to add the issue to any new and budget strapped program
· Global warming issues are now real. They can best be investigated and addressed with satellites and aircraft. Having reconnaissance aircraft operating in the Western Pacific would do this—and make it available now—ground truth is essential.
· Hurricanes and Cyclones, for whatever reason, seem to be on the increase
· Cyclones—in particular—have been stronger and now occur in a vast area from the Philippines to Africa
· Eye data, wind field data, and pressure reading from the eye are an essential forecasting tool. They are not available to most of the oceans meteorological services. Deaths in these areas cause a huge burden on the U. N. and its refugee organizations.

Governmental involvement can be a help and a curse. The private implementation proposed can move faster because there is the prospect for a service that could generate 1B in revenues annually—for each Cyclone affected ocean.

Details of the aircraft plan and budget are available to interested parties. Sponsors and donors can reach the project at

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