Weather observers losing jobs due to sequestration

The sequestration process will begin affecting Alaska May 1st, when many contracted weather observers will be relieved of their current duties and lose their jobs.A computerized system called the Automated Surface Observing System or ASOS will replace the observers.

According to weather observers the ASOS system has many drawbacks in that it is not able to see the entire sky and cannot warn of approaching storm systems.

Additionally, to replace the contracted observers, current air traffic controllers will have added to their responsibilities observing the skies for weather conditions.

One weather observer in Gulkana says the replacement of current observers could cause numerous critical situations.

Christina Weimer a Weather Observer from the Gulkana regions, says this change could bring some dangerous complications with it implementation.

"You know I say to people, if your grandmother was having a heart attack and she needed to fly out, and the machine says, "Sorry, you can't fly out," there's nobody there to say that's wrong, that the weather's fine. Then, you know, your loved one could perish."