Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

'Quantum Leap' in Forecasting

Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

'Quantum Leap' in Forecasting

Article excerpt

GUEST EDITORIAL

Bob Dylan once sang, "You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows." Maybe not, but you do need a good weather satellite to track tornadoes, hurricanes, flooding, volcanic ash clouds, lightning storms, wildfires, solar flares and all sorts of weather-related data that could save lives.

Last weekend, the new GOES-R spacecraft, described by many as the most advanced weather satellite ever built, was launched from Cape Canaveral into a 22,300-mile-high equatorial orbit. GOES-R now shares the sky with three aging satellites that will be replaced by three more advanced satellites soon.

Fifty of the nation's top TV meteorologists were on hand to witness the launch of the spacecraft that has been described by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration as a "quantum leap" beyond the generation it is replacing. …

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