WASHINGTON (KFOR) – An Oklahoma Congressman introduced a bill that would help communities prepare for severe weather events in the future.

Rep. Stephanie Bice (R-OK) and Paul Tonko (D-NY) introduced The National Mesonet Authorization Act.

Supporter say the legislation would increase the overall coverage and accuracy of the current Mesonet program, which provides reliable, real-time data to help enhance prediction, preparedness, and response strategies for severe weather events.

The National Mesonet Program is essential in protecting property, businesses, and lives across Oklahoma and the nation. The authorization and expansion of this program will benefit weather-sensitive segments of the U.S. economy, including agriculture, defense, and energy,” Rep. Bice said. “I’m grateful for the support of my colleague, Rep. Tonko, on this vital legislation that will benefit hardworking Oklahomans and keep our communities safe.”

The legislation will allow for more state and regional partnerships across the country to expand the data collected by established systems.

“With extreme weather events rising in frequency and intensity due to climate change, expanding forecasting capabilities is key to protect our communities,” Rep. Tonko said. “Programs at the University at Albany in New York and others across the nation provide critical data to make accurate weather readings in real-time through the National Mesonet Program. I’m proud to join my colleague, Congresswoman Bice, to introduce legislation that will strengthen this program and ensure that accurate and potentially life-saving information is delivered to the public.”