A winter storm is affecting parts of the Midwest on Monday, with up to one foot of snow possible across parts of the South Dakota, Minnesota, and northwestern Iowa. Freezing rain is also possible from Kansas to Wisconsin, with up to ¼ inch possible over parts of Iowa. Elsewhere, heavy rain could bring flash flooding to parts of the Southeast and Appalachians.
Please browse our frequently asked questions below to see if your question is answered.
Certified past weather data for legal purposes is available from NOAA's 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 http://www.weather.gov/climate.
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 booklets.
Additional educational resources are also available from the American Meteorological Society.
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 Career Center.
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.
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.
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.
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/
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.
You are most likely listening to a computer synthesized voice.
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.
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?
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 hours.
A Severe Thunderstorm Warning or Tornado Warning is issued when severe thunderstorms or Tornadoes are occurring or imminent in the warning area.
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 watch.
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.
The Ultraviolet Index forecast may be found at http://www.nws.noaa.gov/view/national.php?prodtype=ultraviolet
For more information on UV index, please visit the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
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.
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