An interruption in data communication from NOAA's National Weather Service (NWS) is limiting access to crucial weather data provided to the public and America's weather industry.
On Wednesday, the National Weather Service (NWS) had an outage of their satellite broadcast network and other dissemination systems, which are the primary communication methods between the NWS and its field offices for transferring weather data.
"NCEP [National Centers for Environmental Prediction] is aware of a major network issue..." NWS said in a statement before noon on Wednesday, July 13, adding that the outage was under investigation.
There are active severe thunderstorm watches and warnings in effect in western Missouri and western Wisconsin. AccuWeather Vice President of Research and Development Jonathan Porter said that there are indications that severe thunderstorm warnings earlier in Kansas and Missouri were delayed in reaching the public as a result of this issue - in some cases up to an hour.
Marshall Moss, AccuWeather vice president of Forecasting and Graphics Operations, indicated that another major impact has been to the availability of certain types of weather radar and surface weather reporting sites.
"Although most of the primary weather reporting sites are not available due to this outage, AccuWeather's proprietary algorithms and supplemental datasets help to ensure AccuWeather's Superior Accuracy™," Moss said.
NWS statements note that they are actively working to resolve the network issues, which resulted in the communication and data outages.
Several local NWS offices have taken to social media to provide updates on the situation.
These are all the observations we have received nationwide at 11 am. National comms outage being worked on. #ILwx pic.twitter.com/g21qbSLOiU— NWS Lincoln IL (@NWSLincolnIL) July 13, 2016
1/2 If we have any warnings/advisories we will tweet them. NOAA weather radio is still working fine & will go across in a timely matter.— NWS New Orleans (@NWSNewOrleans) July 13, 2016
2/2 The website is not updating currently but we will update you through our social media platforms of any weather issues.— NWS New Orleans (@NWSNewOrleans) July 13, 2016