Social Media Shutdown: Climate & Weather Edition

A budget impasse has shutdown all "non-essential" federal government operations as of Tuesday. As many as 800,000 federal workers have been furloughed without pay. Many climate and weather sites, social media channels, and resources for the public have gone dark.

  1. The federal government shutdown has left a number of Parks and Monuments shuttered and non-essential services stopped. In the case of the climate and weather services, certain functions have been deemed essential and are continuing to run. For example, the National Weather Service's website is still up and running and providing forecasts and warnings, as is the Environmental Protection Agency.

    It's also left a number of federal agencies that deal with climate, weather and related issues without a public face as a number of social media accounts and websites have gone dark.
  2. Of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) 12,001 employees, 5,368 are exempted. Most NOAA employees staying on the job work for the National Weather Service branch and perform jobs such as weather forecasting that "protect life and property."
  3. The Geological Survey has fewer "essential" employees than NOAA. Of the 8,623 employees, only 49 of them will stay on the job during the shutdown.
  4. At the Environmental Protection Agency, 613 of the Agency's 16,205 employees will remain on the job.
  5. Astronauts on the International Space Station are part of a small minority of NASA employees who can stay on the job. Roughly 97 percent of NASA's 18,134 employees have been furloughed. That means you'll have to find updates about the threat of potential asteroid strikes elsewhere.
  6. Even though the National Weather Service continues to provide forecasts, social media updates from the national Twitter account have ceased.
  7. However, many regional forecast offices and the National Hurricane Center have continued to provide updates via social media, illustrating how different offices have interpreted what essential services are.
  8. Some offices also took to Facebook to announce limited or no services but left their pages up. Others have removed their Facebook presence entirely. These include NOAA and NOAA's climate.gov.
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  10. Accounts on the popular photo sharing services Instagram and Flickr have also gone quiet. Previously posted images are still available, though.
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