Up to a dozen National Weather Service bureaus in Western states, including one in Milford, Beaver County, are on the federal budget chopping block.
"No determinations have been made as to what offices are to be closed," said Glen Rasch of Salt Lake City, the weather service's Western regional supervisor. "What's being done right now is the weather service is looking at various options of places to reduce hours or to outright close to meet budget cuts."Earlier this week, the weather service issued a partial list of 33 bureaus nationwide that are being considered for cutbacks or closure to meet a $25 million budget cut.
"If we don't get any relief from that, then there will be quite a few closures."
But Rasch said the list, which also includes four stations in California, two in Oregon, two in Alaska, and one each in Idaho, Washington, Montana and Arizona, is in no way final.
"The list is not even close to what's being considered," he said. "Everything is too uncertain. The list is kind of out in left field."
But, he said, "The longer we go into the (fiscal) year (which began Oct. 1) before these cuts are made, the larger the number closures will have to be because we're already paying for operations at these sites. It takes time to take down the operations."
Last month, the weather service ordered closure by Nov. 1 of three other stations where the government contracts the weather-data-gathering task to private contractors. Those stations are Stampede Pass, Wash., Sexton Summit in Oregon northeast of Medford and Blue Canyon in California.
However, this week the agency decided to keep Stampede Pass open at least until Jan. 1 after Washington's congressional delegation complained that the station is vital to commercial aviation flights crossing the Cascade range.