Space Weather Forecasting

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Space weather officials asked for more money Thursday in Washington for the agency in charge of forecasting geomagnetic storms and solar flares.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Space Environment Center is based in Boulder. It's responsible for space weather alerts and warnings.

The plea was timed well, given the recent powerful geomagnetic storm that hit earth.

Air Force and NASA officials warn that cutting funds to the center in Boulder would jeopardize their own activities.

The House has proposed reducing President Bush's 2004 $8 million budget request for the center to $5.2 million.

The Senate has proposed eliminating the center's funding altogether and shifting some of its core responsibilities to the Air Force and NASA.