Three-day hurricane forecasts that were off by an average of 300 miles in 1990 were only off by 100 miles in 2010, a dramatic improvement in just 20 years. Those of us who live on the southern coast can attribute saved lives to that achievement.

Much of the improvement can be attributed to critical data gathered by weather satellites.

However, a recent report by the Government Accountability Office detailed a potential upcoming gap in weather satellite coverage. Mismanagement, overspending and poor planning have led to the likelihood of a gap in satellite data as soon as next year. And the report says the gap could last more than four years if nothing is done to address the problem.

We urge our lawmakers and government officials to find a quick and sufficient solution to this looming threat. Life-saving hurricane forecasts rely heavily on a comprehensive, dependable network of weather satellites and are critical to the future of a better Southwest Louisiana.