Weather forecasters working tirelessly amid winter storm, shutdown

Washington is to see dumped snow of about eight inches in coming days, says National Weather Service while its staff and meteorologists are working and providing vital forecasts even without paycheck amid partial government shutdown stepping into fourth week.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration their forecasts are on track and operations are in place to protect lives as well as property from extreme cold weather of the season.

Meteorologist James Lee at the weather service’s Baltimore/Washington forecast said their forecasting is not being affected due to the ongoing partial federal closure.

NOAA administrator Neil Jacobs praised the tireless working of the staff and forecasters who are working as usual with no degradation in model performance or forecast skill.

The entire Washington region is under winter storm warning and heavy snow is expected to fall. There could be possibilities of power outages, transportation impacts and downed trees.

Meanwhile, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam declared Saturday night state of emergency to mobilize resources in response to recovery efforts like National Guard, department of transportation and state police.

Travel will become very dangerous in the state amid slippery roads due to snow cover.

The Virginia Department of Transportation though has been busy pre-treating roads for past couple of days and especially in the Fredericksburg area.

Paul Linus