Hi folks! This is Part 1 of 2 about the National Weather Service. It is important for everyone (especially if you pay taxes) to know what the federal government actually does (Insert laughing emoji here!). So here is a snapshot of the National Weather Service.

• Do you know the National Weather Service’s mission? The NWS mission is “The Preservation of Life and Property and the Enhancement of the National Economy.”

• Do you know what cabinet-level agency the NWS falls under? The NWS is part of the Department of Commerce.

• Do you know how much each taxpayer pays for the NWS? About the cost of a Big Mac meal! A great return on investment. The NWS budget is around $950 million.

• Do you know what the National Weather Service does (other than the public forecast)? The NWS provides Aviation Forecasts, Marine Forecasts and Fire Weather Forecasts.

• Did you know that the NWS is the ONLY entity that is allowed by law to issue Weather Advisories, Watches or Warnings? It is illegal for any private entity or other agencies to issue these on their own. They can be fined and sued, whereas the NWS employees cannot be sued for a wrong forecast etc (it has been tried and thrown out of court every time).

I hope this helps everyone understand what the NWS does. Part 2 will be on March 27. Are you surprised by any of this? Get in touch.

Mark Strobin is a meteorologist who loves family, weather, mountains and traveling. Got a weather question? Send it to him at news.ind.weather@gmail.com or find his East Mountains Weather group on Facebook.