Sunday, June 4, 2006

Hurricane Forecasters Lose a Tool

Excerpt:

Published Sunday, June 4, 2006
SCIENTISTS VS. ENTREPRENEURS

Hurricane Forecasters Lose a Tool  FSU will not give the Hurricane Center free data from its acclaimed system.


LAKELAND -- For the first time this decade, the National Hurricane Center doesn't have one of its best tools in its forecasting toolbox.

Florida State University -- the alma mater of NHC Director Max Mayfield -- will not send data to the NHC from its acclaimed Superensemble computer forecasting model this season because it sold the commercial rights to its patented technology to a North Carolina company called Weather Predict.

The dilemma has pitted scientists against private enterprise and could put a price tag on information used to determine whether millions of people need to be evacuated as a storm approaches.

FSU meteorologists, including T.N. Krishnamurti, who created the forecast method in 1998, say they've been ordered by school administrators not to send Superensemble data to the NHC. 
 

2 comments:

oinosakai said...

I can understand that the contract would forbid the giving away of the data, but I don't like the decision to sell this technology.  

Librarians have for a long time disliked it that Gale Research Corporation has re-packaged and sold data that the taxpayer has already paid the government to collect and distribute.  But Gale does re-package the data in a way that makes it easier to locate and use.

At the moment, it isn't clear that the average citizen is going to benefit from this transaction.  The professors at FSU might remember that the next time they take part in a protest against 'corporate greed.'

pagadan said...

They've decided not to charge the Hurrican Center....