Just days after Governor Andrew Cuomo spent a week in Buffalo, NY to help his state with snow removal and flood prevention programs, Cuomo released plans to create a weather monitoring system for NYS that would, reportedly, be even more accurate than the National Weather Service (which he blamed for giving an inaccurate prediction before Buffalo was hit with seven feet of snow).
His proposal is well-intended, and an enhanced weather monitoring system certainly wouldn’t be taken for granted in the state of New York.
Buffalo may have grabbed the most recent news headlines with its unpredictable lake-effect weather, but even down in New York City, state residents are no strangers to bad winter weather. Whereas the average American spends about $700 annually on heating and cooling costs, heating bills and emergency HVAC system repair bills can be particularly expensive for New Yorkers during the winter.
In fact, one local NYC news source has noted that last year’s “heat season,” which runs from October 1 to May 31, resulted in $5 million worth of emergency heating repairs for just NYC residents. Sudden drops and rises in temperatures — just like what recently happened in Buffalo — is actually fairly common across the state, and these unexpected changes put a lot of stress on wallets and home heating systems alike.
This is exactly where Cuomo hopes to help out residents — but at the steep price of $18.7 million.
Cuomo’s weather detection system would apparently involve 125 individual sensor stations across the state, which would collect data such as wind speed and precipitation, among other things, and the data would then be forwarded to the National Weather Service for professional analysis.
Even though Cuomo’s system would certainly provide a more accurate analysis of immediate weather patterns, compared to the system currently used by the National Weather Service, experts note that the system still wouldn’t be able to predict weather patterns any farther in advance.
In other words, even if Cuomo’s $18.7 million detection system had been in place before Buffalo’s most recent snowstorm, it’s unlikely that the state would have been able to prepare for the storm without more advance notice.
Nevertheless, if Cuomo manages to get his plan passed, it’s very possible that certain regions of NY state could benefit from it (most notably, regions in and around NYC). Western NY, on the other hand, has probably already accepted that no amount of technology can offer protection against unpredictable lake effect weather.