Where can I find current and historical weather data?
Certified past weather data for legal purposes is available from NOAAs National Climatic Data Center (NCDC). NCDC Customer Support is
available Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Eastern Time except Federal Holidays. To
contact NCDC Customer Support for Weather and Climate Data and Products:
Phone: 1-828-271-4800 then press "2"
Fax: 1-828-271-4876 TTY: 1-828-271-4010
Preliminary, and therefore unofficial, local area climate and past weather are available at
I am a teacher - what weather related educational materials are
A number of educational resources for educators and students are available at http://www.weather.gov/education.
NOAA's Weather and
Atmosphere Education Resource page is designed to help students, teachers, librarians and the
general public access the many of NOAA's educational activities, publications, and
Additional educational resources are also available from the American Meteorological Society.
How do I work for the National Weather Service? What would be the best kind of
college courses to take for these jobs?
Most occupations with the National Weather Service are either for people trained in
meteorology, atmospheric sciences, climatology, hydrology or related fields. Jobs available with the
NWS are posted at USAJobs.
For more specifics on careers in meteorology and recommended college coursework, please visit
the American Meteorological Society’s
Is there any way to find out which Weather Forecasting Office serves my
Begin by retrieving a forecast for your area. To do this, enter your city and state or ZIP
code in the “Local forecast by City, ST or ZIP code” box on http://www.weather.gov.
On the local forecast, the name and a link to the serving office is located above the forecast
Can I visit my local NWS office?
Visiting your local NWS Forecasting Office is something that is not only allowed, but
encouraged. To arrange a visit, please contact the warning coordination meteorologist (WCM) or
meteorologist in charge (MIC) of the office you wish to visit.
If anyone in your group has special needs, please contact us ahead of time so that we may
better accommodate them.
No bags, packages, or purses are allowed to be carried into our building.
There may be times when it is not possible to arrange a visit; especially during severe
Tours may be cancelled on short notice by the National Weather Service due to severe weather.
If this happens, we'll re-schedule with you.
Tours will be cancelled when the National Terrorism Advisory System issues an elevated or
imminent threat alert indicating that public access to government facilities should be restricted.
Tours will not be re-scheduled until the threat expires or is modified to permit public access
When I'm viewing one your forecasts, I get an old forecast.
What's going on?
Always check the time and date of forecasts. Several types of products are not issued
year-round such as recreational and Great Lakes nearshore forecasts. The time and date of issue are
located in the Forecast Details section.
You may be unintentionally recalling data from your PC's cache memory. Use the
reload/refresh (or SHIFT-reload/refresh) function of your browser, and/or try rebooting your
computer. You could also clear your browser's cache/history but only do this if you are
completely familiar with the consequences.
Do you have any mobile apps for my iPhone/Droid, etc ?
The National Weather Service does not currently offer a dedicated mobile app. For mobile
weather and alerts, please visit http://mobile.weather.gov
or install one of the many apps for your device built from National Weather Service data.
What is Skywarn and where can I get more information?
Skywarn is the National Weather Service (NWS) program of trained volunteer severe weather
spotters. Skywarn Spotters support their local community and government by providing the NWS and
their local emergency managers with timely and accurate severe weather reports. These reports, when
integrated with modern NWS technology, are used to inform communities of the proper actions to take
as severe weather threatens. For more details on the Skywarn program, go to: http://www.skywarn.org/
How can I "tune-in" NOAA Weather Radio? How can I find the broadcast
frequency of the station in my area?
You can find the location and frequency of your nearest NOAA Weather Radio transmitter by using
the index located at http://www.nws.noaa.gov/nwr/nwrbro.htm.
Is the voice I hear on NOAA Weather Radio a computerized voice or a real
You are most likely listening to a computer
The enhanced voices generally have been better received by the public than "Paul" the
first computerized voice was. There is a better capability to fine-tune the pronunciation of words
and phrases along with controls to adjust the volume and rate of speech. These all help to make the
voices more understandable when it really counts - in warning situations.
Efforts are underway to both expand the coverage of the NOAA Weather Radio network and improve
the audio quality. If you hear words in a broadcast which need to have the pronunciation adjusted,
forward your comments to the appropriate NWS forecast
office so they can attempt to improve the pronunciation.
What is a Severe Thunderstorm or Tornado Watch?
A Severe Thunderstorm Watch outlines an area where conditions are favorable for an
organized episode of hail 1 inch diameter or larger and/or damaging thunderstorm winds are expected
during a three to eight hour period.
A Tornado Watch includes the similar large hail and damaging wind threats, as well as the
addition of the possibility of multiple tornadoes. Typical watches cover about 25,000 square miles,
or about half the size of Iowa.
Related video: What is a Watch?
What's the difference between a watch and a warning?
A watch means conditions are favorable for severe weather during the next 6 to 8 hours. A
Severe Thunderstorm Watch or Tornado Watch is issued when severe thunderstorms and tornadoes are
possible in and near the watch area. It does not mean that they will occur. It only means they are
possible. This gives a heads up to emergency managers, media and the general public guidance as to
where the greatest area for severe weather.
You do not always need a watch before a Severe Thunderstorm Warning or Tornado Warning is
issued. Many severe thunderstorms or Tornadoes affect only a small area for a short period of time,
making watches impractical. Watches are issued primarily for areas where well organized or
significant severe weather is possible, or the severe weather threat is expected to persist for many
A Severe Thunderstorm Warning or Tornado Warning is issued when severe thunderstorms or
Tornadoes are occurring or imminent in the warning area.
Who clears watches?
It is up to the local NWS forecast offices to clear or keep counties within the watch and when
time allows the Storm Prediction Center is notified. Also, only local NWS offices can cancel a
What is a derecho and where do I learn more about them?
A derecho is an exceptionally long-lived, widespread, severe, convective wind outbreak.
Although a derecho can produce destruction similar to that of a tornado, the damage typically occurs
in one direction along a relatively straight path. As a result, the term "straight-line wind
damage" sometimes is used to describe derecho damage. By definition, if the swath of wind
damage extends for more than 240 miles (about 400 kilometers), includes wind gusts of at least 58
mph (93 km/h) along most of its length, and several, well-separated 75 mph (121 km/h) or greater
gusts, then the event may be classified as a derecho.
Derecho producing storm systems also can contain tornadoes, but they consist mostly of (and are
defined by) damaging non-tornadic wind. Sometimes a derecho results in hundreds of severe wind and
damage reports spread along a swath covering multiple states, with deaths, injuries and many
millions of dollars in losses. See the Storm Prediction Center derecho FAQ for more
information and some historical examples.
Is there a UV Index on the internet?
The Ultraviolet Index forecast may be found at
For more information on UV index, please visit the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Where can I find a marine forecast on the Internet?
Marine forecasts may be retrieved from the Weather.gov in the same way as land based weather
forecasts. To do this, enter the desired latitude and longitude in the Local forecast by City, ST
or ZIP code box on http://www.weather.gov.
Marine forecasts may also be retrieved by selecting a marine area on the national map found on
the Weather.gov front page.
How can I submit comments?
If you are interested, you can complete our web site customer satisfaction