MIAMI (Reuters) - Nature has not stinted in unleashing deadly weather on the United States this year and leaders should recognize the need for good forecasting services when they wield the cost-cutting knife, the director of the National Weather Service said on Thursday.

Jack Hayes used the opportunity of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's updated 2011 Atlantic hurricane forecast to stress "what taxpayers are getting in return for their investment in the National Weather Service," which is part of NOAA.

A hard-fought deficit-cutting deal passed by Congress and signed into law by President Barack Obama this week foresees $2.1 trillion in overall budget savings over 10 years, with painful cuts expected across the government.

"Here in Washington, D.C., our nation's leaders are making extremely tough decisions about federal spending, including what government services to fund and which to trim in efforts to reduce the nation's deficit," Hayes said on a conference call before the hurricane forecast update.