Legislation introduced to improve weather forecasts

New legislation introduced in the Senate seeks more accurate weather forecasting. The Learning Excellence and Good Examples from New Developers, or LEGEND Act, would require the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to make certain weather models public and seek innovations to improve weather models. The bill was introduced by Republican John Thune of South Dakota and Brian Schatz, a Democrat from Hawaii.

Thune says the legislation builds on his efforts to improve weather forecasting during his time on the Commerce Committee, saying the “livelihood of farmers and ranchers” often depend on accurate forecasts, adding it's "important that we find innovative ways to improve government forecasting capabilities.”

Included in the legislation is a requirement for the U.S. Weather Research Program to establish the Earth Prediction Innovation Center, which was intended to advance weather modeling. The legislation would clarify and strengthen those efforts, according to Thune. When fully established, the program will provide a platform for collaboration to improve operational models and advance NOAA’s forecasting skills.

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