NYC, LI severe weather data system needs upgrade in aftermath of Ida, Schumer says

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NEW YORK, NY – SEPTEMBER 02: Cars sit abandoned on a flooded highway in the Bronx following as night of heavy wind and rain from the remnants of Hurricane Ida on September 2, 2021 in New York City. Numerous people were killed in New York and tornadoes did heavy damage to parts of New Jersey as the evening storm caught many off guard with the severity of its rain and wind and flooding. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images))

NEW YORK — Ida brought unexpected and deadly amounts of rain to the New York region and, in its aftermath, the area’s severe weather data system needs an upgrade, Sen. Chuck Schumer said Sunday.

The system, made of 126 observation stations across, New York, needs upgrades as climate change makes forecasting more difficult, Schumer explained. He warned that without changes, local forecasting ability could impact public safety.

“The good news here is that New York has an artery-like system of weather observation stations scattered across the state, at least one in every county, that help us perfect forecasting with hyper-local data,” Schumer said. “The issue is, they need to be maintained and upgraded to keep pace with the new challenges posed by climate change and how those challenges make it critical to be as precise as possible with forecasting.”

Schumer called for $3 million to the University at Albany, which oversees New York’s weather data program, along with a $30 million investment in the country’s weather observation system.

After Ida, Gov. Kathy Hochul said she wanted to determine if the level of rain could have been anticipated.

We did not know that between 8:50 and 9:50 p.m. last night, that the heavens would literally open up and bring Niagara Falls level of water to the streets of New York,” she said the day after the storm.

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