That's equivalent, he said, to the quality of weather predictions four decades ago. "If you look back in time to see when our forecast scale was roughly 30 percent less than today, it was 1980." Jacobs told the House Subcommittee on the Environment. That reduction would give coastal residents two or three fewer days to prepare for a hurricane, and it could lead to incorrect predictions of the storms' final path to land, Jacobs said. [...]
In March, the FCC began auctioning off its 24-gigahertz frequency band to wireless carriers, despite the objections of scientists at NOAA, NASA, and the American Meteorological Society. [...]
While the FCC can switch which regions of the spectrum it allocates to phone companies, forecasters are stuck. That's because water vapor emits a faint signal in the atmosphere at a frequency (23.8 GHz) that is extremely close to the one sold for next-generation 5G wireless communications (24 GHz). Satellites like NOAA's GOES-R and the European MetOp monitor this frequency to collect data that is fed into prediction models for upcoming storms and weather systems.
"We can't move away from 23.8 or we would." [...] NOAA's Jacobs told the House committee that the number currently proposed by the FCC would result in a 77 percent data loss from the NOAA satellite's passive microwave sounders.
NOAA's acting chief said that interference from 5G wireless phones could reduce the accuracy of forecasts by 30 percent.