National Weather Service

NWS HQ in Silver Spring, Maryland
Sample maximum temperature map from the NDFD.
NWS IMET Chris Gibson taking observations in the field.
Map of NWS Weather Forecast Offices. Colors indicate area of responsibility, letters indicate each office's call sign. Alaska, Pacific and Puerto Rico offices are only indicated with call sign letters in the corners.
Meteorologists preparing a forecast, early 20th century.
National AHPS map.
The National Weather Service areas of marine weather forecasting responsibility.
Sample CPC 3.5-month temperature outlook.
An Automated Surface Observing System (ASOS).
A Cooperative Observer Program weather station.
3 m discus buoy located off the Southeast U.S. coast.
A radiosonde shortly after launch.
A NWS composite radar image of the Continental United States, composed of many regional radars.
Typical forecast office (WFO)
Specially designed hurricane-proof building constructed to house joint offices of the Houston-Galveston National Weather Service Forecast Office and the Galveston County Emergency Management Office.

Agency of the United States federal government that is tasked with providing weather forecasts, warnings of hazardous weather, and other weather-related products to organizations and the public for the purposes of protection, safety, and general information.

- National Weather Service

500 related topics


Signal Corps (United States Army)

Branch of the United States Army that creates and manages communications and information systems for the command and control of combined arms forces.

US Army Signal Corps coat of arms
Standard Issue Civil War Signal Corps Kit, complete with flags and torches.
Click photo to enlarge for history of the wigwag.
US Army Signal Corps automobile at the Manassas maneuvers in 1904
First military assigned to the Army Signal Corps' ballooning program
World War II recruitment poster (1942)
Radio operator Cpl. John Robbins, 41st Signal, 41st Infantry Division, operating his SCR 188 in a sandbagged hut at Station NYU. Dobodura, New Guinea on 9 May 1943.
Argosy Lemal c. 1940, one of two Australian vessels acquired by the SWPA chief signal officer for the SWPA CP fleet.
SC345199 – Korean War Equipment at Repeater Station, Taegu, Korea. Quad cable terminal on left, testboard on right and center on 1 August 1950.
A Combat Documentation Specialist of the 1108th Signal Brigade documents 10th Mountain Division soldiers as they search a mountainside near Shkin Firebase in late 2003.
The Signal Corps Regimental Color

Such responsibilities included military intelligence, weather forecasting, and aviation.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

American scientific and regulatory agency within the United States Department of Commerce that forecasts weather, monitors oceanic and atmospheric conditions, charts the seas, conducts deep sea exploration, and manages fishing and protection of marine mammals and endangered species in the U.S. exclusive economic zone.

Two NOAA WP-3D Orions
NOAA Headquarters in Silver Spring, Maryland
Seal of the National Weather Service
NOAA engineer at work
Aerial photographer in the unpressurized cabin of a NOAA de Havilland Buffalo breathing with the assistance of an oxygen mask, operating a Wild Heerbrugg RC-8 camera
Seal of the NOAA Commissioned Officer Corps
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration flag, flown as a distinguishing mark by all commissioned NOAA ships.

Supplying Environmental Information Products. NOAA supplies to its customers and partners information pertaining to the state of the oceans and the atmosphere, such as weather warnings and forecasts via the National Weather Service. NOAA's information services extend as well to climate, ecosystems, and commerce.

Storm Prediction Center

An example of an Enhanced Risk day overlaid with the radar with Severe Thunderstorm Watches in effect.
Graphic associated with the example mesoscale discussion
Graphic associated with the example watch.
Day 1 Fire Outlook map issued by the Storm Prediction Center on April 10, 2019, depicting extremely critical fire conditions over portions of New Mexico and Texas.

The Storm Prediction Center (SPC) is a US government agency that is part of the National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP), operating under the control of the National Weather Service (NWS), which in turn is part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) of the United States Department of Commerce (DoC).


NEXRAD Radar at the WSR-88D Radar Operations Center.
Testbed of the WSR-88D on display at the National Severe Storms Laboratory.
Spin-up tornado associated with a QLCS as seen from a nearby Doppler weather radar, which often goes unseen.
NEXRAD coverage below 10,000 feet
Multi-Function Phased Array Radar during installation in Norman, Oklahoma, 2003

NEXRAD or Nexrad (Next-Generation Radar) is a network of 160 high-resolution S-band Doppler weather radars operated by the National Weather Service (NWS), an agency of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) within the United States Department of Commerce, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) within the Department of Transportation, and the U.S. Air Force within the Department of Defense.

Tornado warning

Severe weather warning product issued by regional offices of weather forecasting agencies throughout the world to alert the public when a tornado has been reported or indicated by weather radar within the parent severe thunderstorm.

F5 tornado near Elie, Manitoba on June 22, 2007

The first such forecast came after the events that occurred five days earlier on March 20, 1948; Miller – a California native who became stationed at Tinker Air Force Base three weeks earlier – was assigned to work the late shift as a forecaster for the base's Air Weather Service office that evening, analyzing U.S. Weather Bureau surface maps and upper-air charts that failed to note atmospheric instability and moisture content present over Oklahoma that would be suitable for producing thunderstorm activity, erroneously forecasting dry conditions for that night.

List of National Weather Service Weather Forecast Offices

Map of regions covered by the 122 Weather Forecast Offices

The National Weather Service operates 122 weather forecast offices in six regions.

National Hurricane Center

Location of Miami Hurricane Warning Office, depicted by the arrow, 1958–1964
Building which housed NHC from 1964–1978 at the University of Miami (Ungar Building)
The HSU operations area comprises four desks (pictured) from which the tropics are monitored
The National Weather Service areas of marine weather forecasting responsibility

The National Hurricane Center (NHC) is the division of the United States' NOAA/National Weather Service responsible for tracking and predicting tropical weather systems between the Prime Meridian and the 140th meridian west poleward to the 30th parallel north in the northeast Pacific Ocean and the 31st parallel north in the northern Atlantic Ocean.

United States Department of Commerce

Executive department of the U.S. federal government concerned with creating the conditions for economic growth and opportunity.

Assistants William McCracken (left) and Walter Drake (right) with Secretary Hoover (center)
Herbert Hoover listening to a radio receiver
Hoover (left) with President Harding at a baseball game, 1921

In 1940, the Weather Bureau (now the National Weather Service) was transferred from the Agriculture Department, and the Civil Aeronautics Authority was merged into the department.


Battery-powered telemetry instrument carried into the atmosphere usually by a weather balloon that measures various atmospheric parameters and transmits them by radio to a ground receiver.

Modern radiosondes showing progress of miniaturisation
A GPS sonde, approx 220 × 80 ×75 mm (8.7 × 3.1 × 3 in) (with grounding station in the background, used to perform a 'ground check' and also recondition the humidity sensor)
Kites used to fly a meteograph
Meteograph used by the US Weather Bureau in 1898
U.S. Bureau of Standards personnel launch radiosonde near Washington, DC in 1936
US sailors launching a radiosonde during World War 2

In the United States the National Weather Service is tasked with providing timely upper-air observations for use in weather forecasting, severe weather watches and warnings, and atmospheric research.

Cleveland Abbe

American meteorologist and advocate of time zones.

Portrait of Abbe published in Popular Science Monthly
Cleveland Abbe letter to Wilbur Wright inviting publication of an article on "soaring flight" in the Monthly Weather Review

In 1870, Congress established the U.S. Weather Bureau and inaugurated the use of daily weather forecasts.