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May 31, 2013

To All Employees,

The events over the past week, including more devastating tornadoes tonight in Oklahoma and Missouri, remind us how important every single employee within NOAA is to the health, safety, and well-being of this nation.  I want to thank you all for continued commitment and dedication even in times of danger to your lives, families, and property.  The work you do truly is important to each and every American from coast to coast.

That is precisely why I’m pleased to report that this evening the Department of Commerce transmitted a plan to Congress that will avoid all furloughs in NOAA. This was possible because of an increase in flexibility in how we use our funding within the Department.

Because of this new development we are cancelling our intent to furlough all 12,000 of our employees.

The above is a snippet from an email sent out by Dr. Kathryn Sullivan (Acting Under-Secretary of NOAA) and posted to the Digital Meteorologist blog operated by meteorologist Nate Johnson of WRAL.

The furlough of all 12,000 of the agency's employees -- including meteorologists at the National Weather Service -- made everyone nervous and called into question the effectiveness of weather forecasting over the next few months, given the recent tendency towards major severe weather outbreaks and the predicted above-average hurricane season that starts today.

Bravo, NOAA. The country thanks you.

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