NOAA Weather Partners logo NOAA Weather Partners

NOAA Weather Partners

Severe Weather Research, Forecasting and Support for the Nation

The Department of Commerce/National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Weather Partners are five federal government organizations involved in weather research, forecasting and support located in Norman, Okla. They are: National Severe Storms Laboratory, National Weather Service Forecast Office, NEXRAD Radar Operations Center, Storm Prediction Center and Warning Decision Training Branch.

Radar reflectivity displaySPC forecasters at workOriginal prototype NEXRAD Doppler Radar

The NOAA Weather Partners are united in their focus on severe weather. Collocation in Norman invigorates collaborations that lead to a rapid transfer of knowledge from research into technology, training and improved forecasts and warnings nationwide. Combined, the five partners employ nearly 400 people and have total annual expenditures of close to $50 million.

The National Severe Storms Laboratory leads the way in investigations of all aspects of severe and hazardous weather. Established in 1964, NSSL is part of NOAA Research and the only federallysupported laboratory focused on severe weather. The Lab’s scientists and staff explore new ways to improve understanding of the causes of severe weather and ways to use weather information to assist National Weather Service forecasters, as well as federal, university and private sector partners.



The National Weather Service Norman Forecast Office prepares and disseminates life-saving warnings, watches and advisories for all types of hazardous weather conditions affecting 48 counties in central, western and southern Oklahoma and eight counties in western north Texas. In addition to providing services to protect life and property, the office also produces a wide variety of forecasts, and collects and disseminates climatological and hydrologic data and observations. The office is part of the Southern Region of the National Weather Service. Meteorologists are on duty 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The office was established in Oklahoma City in 1890 and moved to Norman in 1987.



Tornadogenesis modelDimmitt, TX,  tornado

The NEXRAD Radar Operations Center provides centralized meteorological, computer software, maintenance, and engineering support for all 158 NEXRAD (WSR-88D) radar systems deployed worldwide. Supported by the Departments of Commerce, Transportation and Defense, the ROC is responsible for modifying and enhancing the WSR-88D systems during their operational life to address changing requirements, technology advances and improved understanding of the application of these systems to real-time weather operations. The ROC also operates and maintains WSR-88D test systems for the development of hardware and software upgrades to enhance system reliability, maintenance, operation and provide new functionality. The facility maintains a 24 hour, seven days a week help desk that assists radar sites with technical support. The ROC also provides or arranges for depot-level maintenance support for field sites. The ROC was established in 1987.



The Storm Prediction Center provides hazardous weather forecasts including critical tornado and severe thunderstorm watches for the contiguous United States. The SPC also monitors heavy rain, heavy snow and fire weather events across the U.S. and issues specific national products for those hazards. Part of the National Weather Service’s National Centers for Environmental Prediction, SPC meteorologists are on duty 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Established in Washington, D.C. in 1952, the center moved to Kansas City in 1954 and then Norman in 1997.



The Warning Decision Training Branch develops and delivers training on the integrated elements of the warning process within a National Weather Service forecast office. Part of the National Weather Service Training Division, the WDTB training activities provide basic and advanced WSR-88D operator proficiency, with an emphasis on the integrated data environment, warning methodology and situation awareness. Established in 1989, the WDTB’s goal is to increase expertise among NWS personnel in order to better serve the public in warning situations.




National Severe Storms Laboratory  ·   120 David L. Boren Blvd.  ·   Norman, OK 73072  ·   405.325.3620  ·