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Wed Dec 9, 2020, 07:26 PM

Weather Service runs out of Internet bandwidth, proposes limiting key data. [View all]

Agency floats a solution to problems that could hobble private companies and affect popular weather apps.

'For the past decade, the National Weather Service has been plagued by failures in disseminating critical forecast and warning information that is aimed at protecting lives and saving property. In some cases, its websites have gone down during severe weather events, unable to handle the demand.

Other agency systems, including information and data streams that deliver vital weather modeling data to broadcast meteorologists and commercial users, have also suffered periodic outages. Many of these issues have revolved around problems with the agency’s “telecommunications gateway,” which is a portal through which the many computer models and other weather data the agency gathers is disseminated.

Now, during a year that featured record California wildfires and the busiest Atlantic hurricane season on record, the Weather Service says it has run out of Internet bandwidth and is seeking to throttle back the amount of data its most demanding users can access. The Weather Service, which is part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), announced the proposed limits in a memo dated Nov. 18.

“As demand for data continues to grow across NCEP websites, we are proposing to put new limits into place to safeguard our web services,” the memo stated, referring to the Weather Service’s National Centers for Environmental Prediction. “The frequency of how often these websites are accessed by the public has created limitations and infrastructure constraints.”

The Weather Service’s proposed remedy is to limit users to 60 connections per minute on a large number of its websites that provide weather observations, forecasts, warnings, computer model data, air quality information, aviation weather support and ocean conditions. The agency did not immediately reply to requests for comment.

According to companies that draw large amounts of this data, the proposed limit will substantially harm the services they provide to customers. The possible negative effect on forecasts has also raised concerns among congressional lawmakers.'>>>


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Reply Weather Service runs out of Internet bandwidth, proposes limiting key data. [View all]
elleng Dec 2020 OP
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