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Bill could be a boon for weather watchers

Proposal awaits Trump’s signature

A bill awaiting President Donald J. Trump’s signature could be a boost to those whose livelihood depends on the weather.

Sen. Maria Cantwell’s proposal to improve weather forecasting for Central Washington passed the U.S. House this week and now awaits Trump’s approval.

It would direct the National Weather Service to study areas of the country with inadequate Doppler weather radar coverage and develop a plan to improve radar coverage.

“They’ve gotten a lot more accurate than they used to be, but there’s room for improvement,” Sunnyside farmer Tom Paul said.

And this time of year it’s especially crucial to have an accurate forecast.

“The other night it was only supposed to get down to 34 degrees, but when I walked outside I could tell the weatherman wasn’t right, so I covered my crop,” Paul said. “It is frustrating, you could lose a crop over it.”

Santos Trevino is the city of Grandview’s assistant public works director, and he kept a close eye on the weather last winter to help him move snow and spray de-icer at just the right time.

“The applications that I use do a great job on being accurate with the future forecasting that I get,” Trevino said.

But, as Paul said, there’s room for improvement.

“I am sure I can say this with all confidence that every city in the valley would welcome more information when it comes to determining the weather so we can be as efficient as possible with our snow budgets,” he said.

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