WASHINGTON — The House on Friday approved $1.6 billion in two-year spending authority for the government's weather, environmental and land-mapping satellite services and a plan to modernize weather forecasting radars.
By a 341-65 vote, the House passed and sent to the Senate a measure that supporters said would help the National Weather Service give advance warnings of such phenomena as a recent rash of tornadoes in Texas and the Washington area's surprise Veterans Day snowstorm.
Rep. James H. Scheuer (D-N.Y.) said the weather service's radar equipment is antiquated and cannot provide reliable predictions of severe storms, hurricanes, tornadoes and flash floods that cost the fishing, agriculture and construction industries $30 billion annually.
The measure would set a spending ceiling of $769.8 million in fiscal 1988 and $870.4 million in fiscal 1989 for the weather service and related environmental, research and satellite services of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Actual appropriations must be approved in separate legislation.