The snowfall and resulting natural disaster that affected Buffalo, Erie County and much ofWestern New York last week has left Gov. Andrew Cuomo more convinced than ever that he needshis own New York State weather prediction service.
The governor had first mentioned his desire for a state-run weather service in January of thisyear in Albany as part of a visit from Vice President Joe Biden.
The governor estimated that the initial start-up cost of the state weather service would be $18million.
Decrying the pre-storm estimates of the National Weather Service (NWS) the governor told themedia last week that the lake-effect snowstorm that crippled the western end of the state bydropping as much eight feet of snow was poorly predicted by the NWS.
Cuomo said that the NWS largely got it wrong and that the snow fell heavier and sooner thanestimated by the weather service, a federal office.
Cuomo’s remarks have left Albany observers wondering if the governor may have cynically usedthe storm that left at least 13 people dead as a way to further justify his call for a NewYork State weather service.
The left leaning news website Salon.com blasted the governor for criticizing the NWS in a storyon Nov. 24 by Joanna Rothkopf titled, “Gov. Andrew Cuomo shamefully blames lack of preparationfor Buffalo snowfall on the National Weather Service.”
Rothkopf wrote about the storm and Cuomo’s claims of inaccurate weather prediction, in part,stating, “Why had there been so many deaths? Why was the region seemingly unprepared to dealwith such extreme conditions? Cuomo in an attempt to appease the state’s residents blamed iton the National Weather Service.”
In any event it does look like Cuomo is going to get his very own weather prediction agency.Of this the governor said “We will have the most sophisticated weather prediction system andthat it will be located in Albany.”
The Reporter predicts that the $18 million start-up costs will be but a drop in the bucket.And, that Cuomo’s friends or campaign donors will eventually appear in the paperwork that makesthe state weather service a reality.