On a day when a blizzard is pasting Maine and Northern California faces a dire flooding threat, several of the National Weather Service’s primary systems for sending out alerts to the public failed for nearly three hours. Between approximately 1:15 p.m. and 4 p.m. Eastern time, products from the Weather Service stopped disseminating over the Internet, including forecasts, warnings and current conditions.

At about 4 p.m., a Weather Service spokesperson said the “system just came back up” and that more information about the cause of the outage was forthcoming. During the outage, the Weather Service’s public-facing website, Weather.gov, no longer posted updated information. Ryan Hickman, chief technology officer for AllisonHouse, a weather data provider, called the situation “catastrophic.” READ MORE