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National Weather Service (NWS) Information

the National Weather Service


What is THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE and what do they do?

national weather service nwsWith the mission to protect life and property, and enhance the United States’ economy, the National Weather Service is the voice of the U.S. Government for issuing warnings during life-threatening situations, whether nationwide or local weather.

In addition to daily weather forecasts, severe storm warnings and climate monitoring, the National Weather Service also supports the nation’s economic vitality, with resources and information affecting more than one-third of America’s gross domestic product. Some of the world’s top scientists use the latest technology, research and instrumentation to provide the most reliable weather information available.

When was THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE founded?


In 1807 the nation’s first scientific agency, the Survey of the Coast, was created. The National Weather Service we know today started out as the “Weather Bureau” on February 9, 1870, when President Ulysses S. Grant signed a joint resolution of Congress authorizing the Secretary of War to establish a national weather service. Congress felt that the military discipline of the War Department would ensure the most timely, consistent, and accurate observations in the lab as well as the field. In 1890, the Weather Bureau was moved to the Department of Agriculture, and again moved in 1940 to the Department of Commerce. The Bureau was re-named the National Weather Service in 1967, and became part of the Environmental Science Services Administration, which later became the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) three years later with the National Environmental Policy Act.

Where is THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE located?

national weather service locationThe National Weather Service is part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). NOAA is an Operating Unit of the U.S. Department of Commerce. The National Weather Service
has regional headquarters located in Kansas City, Mo.; Bohemia, N.Y.; Fort Worth, Texas; Salt Lake City, Utah; Anchorage, Alaska; and Honolulu, Hawaii. The national headquarters is located at 1325 East West Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910. Laura K. Furgione is the Acting Director of the National Weather Service.

What about Meteorologists at THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE?

The National Weather Service employs meteorologists throughout the U.S. Meteorologists use data collected from sophisticated technologies like atmospheric satellite monitoring equipment and ground-based radar systems. They also monitor surface weather stations and launch weather balloons, which carry equipment that measures wind, temperature, and humidity in the upper atmosphere.

A bachelor of science degree in meteorology (or closely related field with classes in meteorology) is the minimum educational requirement. A master’s degree is more desirable and even necessary for some positions. And a Ph.D. degree is required for most basic research positions. Learn more about meteorology careers

What is THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE Doppler Radar?

national weather service radarDoppler radar can detect airflow patterns in violent storm systems, allowing forecasters to better predict thunderstorms, flash floods, tornadoes, and other hazardous winds, and to monitor the direction and intensity of storms. The WSR-88D Doppler weather radar system, also known as NEXRAD (Next-Generation Radar), was created by the National Weather Service during the mid-1980s and fully deployed by the early 1990s. There are 158 Doppler weather radar sites in the U.S. and select overseas locations. Doppler radar technology uses higher resolutions then previous radar, and can detect precipitation and atmospheric movement or wind. NEXRAD is the foundation of severe weather warning operations. In addition, meteorologists use a multitude of telecommunications and information systems called AWIPS to easily view massive amounts of weather and hydrologic information.


Covering the sun to the seas, the National Weather Service provides local and regional forecasting, and emergency alerts for severe storms, tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, extreme heat, winter storms, fire threats, tsunamis and solar flares. From its national centers to its 122 Weather Forecast Offices and 13 River Forecast Centers, the National Weather Service is watching over the nation and your neighborhood.

When conditions are favorable for severe weather to develop, a severe thunderstorm or tornado WATCH is issued. Weather Service personnel use information from weather radar, spotters, and other sources to issue severe thunderstorm and tornado WARNINGS for areas where severe weather is imminent. Severe thunderstorm and tornado warnings are passed to local radio and television stations and are broadcast over local NOAA Weather Radio stations serving the warned areas. These warnings are also relayed to local emergency management and public safety officials who can activate local warning systems to alert communities. If a tornado warning is issued for your area or the sky becomes threatening, move to your predesignated place of safety.


The National Weather Service – Weather Fatalities 2011

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The National Weather Service – Weather Fatalities 2011

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National / Local Weather Forecast 2-20-13 thru 2-22-13

National / Local Weather Forecast 2-20-13 thru 2-22-13


NATIONAL / LOCAL WEATHER FORECAST Wednesday Feb 20 2013 – Friday Feb 22 2013

NATIONAL AND LOCAL WEATHER FORECAST CALLS FOR HEAVY SNOW FOR THE ROCKIES AND CENTRAL PLAINS, STRONG THUNDERSTORMS FOR TEXAS AND THE DEEP SOUTH, AND SHOWERS FOR THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST.

THE MAIN THING MAKING WEATHER HEADLINES THIS WEEK IS THE IMPENDING SNOWSTORM FOR THE CENTRAL PLAINS STARTING ON TODAY. A DEVELOPING LOW PRESSURE SYSTEM OVER THE SOUTHWESTERN U.S. IS FORECAST TO MOVE INTO WESTERN TEXAS BY THIS EVENING. MOISTURE MOVING NORTHWARD FROM THE GULF OF MEXICO WILL INTERACT WITH A COLD AIR MASS OVER KANSAS AND NEBRASKA. THIS WILL SET THE STAGE FOR A SIGNIFICANT SNOWFALL EVENT OVER THIS REGION, WITH SOME PLACES POSSIBLY RECEIVING OVER A FOOT OF SNOW BEFORE IT IS ALL OVER. WIDESPREAD SNOW IS ALSO IN THE FORECAST FOR THE CENTRAL AND
SOUTHERN ROCKIES. TO THE SOUTH OF THE HEAVY SNOW AREA, SLEET AND FREEZING RAIN IS LIKELY OVER PARTS OF OKLAHOMA, MISSOURI, AND ARKANSAS AS WARMER AIR ALOFT WILL ADVECT OVER A SHALLOW COLD LAYER NEAR THE SURFACE. WIDESPREAD WINTER STORM WATCHES, WARNINGS, AND WINTER WEATHER ADVISORIES ARE IN EFFECT.

IN THE WARM SECTOR OF THIS SAME STORM SYSTEM, PERIODS OF MODERATE TO HEAVY RAINFALL FORECAST FROM TEXAS EASTWARD TO GEORGIA AND THE FLORIDA PANHANDLE. SCATTERED THUNDERSTORMS ARE ALSO EXPECTED TO DEVELOP, AND SOME OF THESE COULD BE STRONG TO SEVERE AT TIMES WEDNESDAY NIGHT AND INTO THURSDAY.

FOR THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST, A SERIES OF WEAKENING PACIFIC FRONTS AND UPPER-LEVEL SHORTWAVES ARE FORECAST TO MOVE INLAND OVER BRITISH COLUMBIA AND WESTERN WASHINGTON AND OREGON THROUGH THURSDAY, PRODUCING COASTAL RAIN AND MOUNTAIN SNOW. SOME OF THIS MOISTURE SHOULD REACH INTO PARTS OF THE NORTHERN ROCKIES ON THURSDAY.

Winter Storm Watches and Warnings are in effect for a large portion of the central U.S., as a powerful storm system is expected to bring more than a foot of snow along with strong winds to parts of the central Plains Today into Thursday. Farther south, freezing rain is likely over parts of Oklahoma, Missouri & Arkansas, with severe thunderstorms & heavy rainfall possible over parts of the South.


NATIONAL / LOCAL WEATHER FORECAST Wednesday Feb 20 2013 – Friday Feb 22 2013

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