SOUTH BURLINGTON, Vt. — The National Weather Service office in South Burlington is set to get two new meteorologists next month and two more this winter to alleviate a chronic staffing shortage that Vermont’s congressional delegation calls outrageous.

The office currently has seven full-time meteorologists, down from 13 in 2012. Meteorologist and union steward Brooke Taber told The Burlington Free Press that given the staffing situation, the agency’s ability to fill its mission of protecting life and property would be nearly impossible in the event of a big storm.

The situation isn’t unique to Vermont. A National Weather Service spokesman says the agency is actively working to fill vacancies and in the meantime is supplementing staffing with temporary assignments.

Vermont’s congressional delegation says the vacancies are the result of misguided budget cuts.

Information from: The Burlington Free Press,