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Weather Service suffers 'catastrophic' outage; Stops forecasts, warnings...

Weather Service suffers 'catastrophic' outage; Stops forecasts, warnings...

THE WASHINGTON POST --

On a day when a blizzard is pasting Maine and Northern California faces a dire flooding threat, several of the National Weather Service’s primary systems for sending out alerts to the public failed for nearly three hours.

Between approximately 1:15 p.m. and 4 p.m. Eastern time, products from the Weather Service stopped disseminating over the Internet, including forecasts, warnings and current conditions.

At about 4 p.m., a Weather Service spokesperson said the “system just came back up” and that more information about the cause of the outage was forthcoming.

During the outage, the Weather Service’s public-facing website, Weather.gov, no longer posted updated information.

Ryan Hickman, chief technology officer for AllisonHouse, a weather data provider, called the situation “catastrophic.”

Hickman said two core routers for transmitting information from the Weather Service offices out to satellites, which beam the information back to public service providers, stopped working. “There is a primary and a backup, and both have failed,” Hickman said.

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