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MYSTERY: Weather Service stops receiving satellite data, issues notice about forecast quality

(The Washington Post) -- Since at least Tuesday, some satellite data – an important input to weather prediction models – has stopped flowing into the National Weather Service due to an apparent network outage.

At 1 p.m. today, the National Weather Service’s National Center for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) issued the following statement cautioning the outage could impact forecast quality:

NCEP HAS NOT RECEIVED A FULL FEED OF SATELLITE DATA FOR INPUT INTO THE NUMERICAL MODELS SINCE 22/0000Z…POTENTIALLY IMPACTING THE MODEL FORECASTS.NESDIS AND NCEP ARE INVESTIGATING THE ROOT CAUSE OF THE ISSUE. ONCE THE SITUATION IS RESOLVED ANOTHER MESSAGE WILL FOLLOW.

It is unclear if the data outage is only impacting the National Weather Service or whether it extends to other international modeling centers such as the European Centre for Medium-range Weather Forecasting, home of the top-performing European model, and Environment Canada.

Within the National Weather Service, the outage could affect the performance of National Weather Service’s Global Forecast System (GFS), North American (NAM), and HRRR (High-Resolution Rapid Refresh) models.

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