BATON ROUGE, La. — Despite the Federal government shutdown, all NOAA agencies, including the National Weather Service, will keep their doors open for business.
Coming during a seasonal increase in severe weather and Hurricane Season still active, meteorologists and scientists at the the National Weather Service, National Hurricane Center, and other government departments say that they will continue to issue and maintain updates through the shutdown.
When visiting the NOAA website, you'll find the following statement:
"Due to the Federal government shutdown, NOAA.gov and most associated web sites are unavailable. Only web sites necessary to protect lives and property will be maintained. See Weather.gov for critical weather information or contact USA.gov for more information about the shutdown."
The National Weather Service employs more than 6,000 employees nationwide. Locally, the NWS, covering southeast Louisiana and south Mississippi, houses 46 workers at both the Weather Forecast Office and River Forecast Center in Slidell.
"We are here during the shutdown fully staffed concentrating on mission activities only," Kenneth Graham, meteorologist-in-charge at the NWS in Slidell says. "No products will be impacted. We are here on duty and considered 'excepted' for protection of life and property."
Ken adds any Storm Spotter Training classes or public speaking engagements scheuled will, however, be impacted until the shutdown is finished.
Along with the meteorologists at the NWS working through the shutdown, the StormTracker33 Meteorologists are also continuing business as usual. Get the latest forecast here.