The Melbourne office was occupied in July 1989 and was the first field facility completed under the Modernization and Restructuring (MAR) of the National Weather Service. It has the second operational WSR-88D in the country (10/91). The office was formally commissioned on March 30, 1994.
Twenty-four hour operation for public, marine, aviation, hydrologic, fire weather and other special services, including the following:
Weather forecasts and severe storm warning responsibility for 10 East-Central Florida counties and the adjacent Atlantic coastal waters out to 60 nautical miles.
WSR-88D radar operations.
NOAA Weather Radio
Four radios including Melbourne, Ft. Pierce, Orlando and Daytona Beach.
Data acquisition program includes oversight of various automated and manual observation programs from a dozen airports across the county warning area, and a cooperative program of about 25 stations.
Collaborative studies and research with NASA and the U.S. Air Force.
Electronic Maintenance Responsibility for Melbourne and backup responsibility for Orlando, Daytona Beach and Vero Beach.
Total staffing is 24 employees.
TRANSIENT AND PERMANENT LIVING ACCOMMODATIONS:
Beachfront hotel and motel accommodations are available for $80 to $150 per day. Inland motels run $40 to $90 per day. The lower priced motels/hotels are located on US 1 (Harbor City Boulevard), SR 192 (New Haven Avenue), and Evans Road, and in Palm Bay. Rates for all areas may be 15% higher in the winter season. Vacancies can be difficult to find in the winter due to the influx of winter visitors. The nearest motels/hotels are the Airport Hilton, which charges about $120 a day, and the Suburban Lodge-Airport which charges about $90 a day. Apartment rentals vary from about $500 to $1,400 a month. Virtually all housing is located between the beaches and Interstate 95. The median house price for the county is $150,000. Communities within a short commuting distance of the office include Eau Gallie, West Melbourne, Palm Bay, Indian Harbor Beach, Indialantic, Melbourne Beach, Palm Shores, Satellite Beach, Suntree, and Viera. A slightly longer commute could be made from Rockledge, Cocoa and Merritt Island from the north and Grant and Sebastian from the south.
A privately owned vehicle is a necessity, unless one lives in one of the neighborhoods near the office. There is a city bus line, but it serves a limited area and would not be of help in commuting to the office.
Several restaurants are within a 5 minute drive of the office, however there are none within walking distance. The office is equipped with a kitchen/break room which has a stove/convection oven, microwave oven, disposal and a refrigerator/freezer.
Florida has no state income tax. The local sales tax is 6% -- this excludes medicine and groceries. Florida has a $50,000 homestead exemption for permanent residents. Brevard County charges a 4% bed tax on hotel/motel stays. There are also impact fees on new construction. Property taxes vary throughout the county. Property owners are taxed once a year. The tax bill includes non-ad valorem special assessments to support the general fund, waste disposal collection, emergency medical services, storm water maintenance, mosquito control, library fund, etc. In the city of Melbourne, the total millage rate is $5.92 per $1,000 of assessed value.
Melbourne is the second largest city in Brevard County with a population of 76,068 (2010 census data). The largest city, Palm Bay with a population of 103,190 (2010), adjoins Melbourne to the south. Melbourne is a principal city of the Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville Metropolitan Statistical Area. Brevard county had a population of 543,376 according to 2010 census data. Only one in four people were born here. The median yearly income (from 2003 statistics) is $28,669. Retirees make up a large part of the population. Ethnically, Brevard County is 83% European-American, 10% African-American, and 7% Hispanic and Asian-American. Employment throughout the county is diverse. Two of the largest employers in Melbourne are Harris Corporation and Northrop Grumman Aerospace. NASA and the aerospace industry once employed a quarter of the work force, now it's down to about 6%. Other large employers in Brevard County include the public schools, United Space Alliance, and Health First. Brevard County, originally known as Mosquito County, is Florida's longest county being 72 miles long, The county is best known for the Kennedy Space Center and the Canaveral National Seashore. Much of inland Brevard County is swampy, with the western county line being the St. Johns River.
Holmes Medical Center is located in the center of Melbourne and has a heart center, cancer center, hospice, and an air ambulance service. Many of the military veterans use the clinic at nearby Patrick Air Force Base as well as a VA outpatient clinic in Viera, just north of Melbourne. Other hospitals in the area include: Wuestoff Hospital in Rockledge and Melbourne, Parrish Medical Center in Titusville, Cape Canaveral Hospital in Cocoa Beach, Palm Bay Hospital in Palm Bay, and Sebastian Hospital in Sebastian.
Because the population is diverse, consisting of large numbers of non-native residents, there is likewise a large diversity of religious denominations. There are over 10 pages of churches listed in the local telephone book.
In Brevard County, there are 56 public elementary schools, 16 middle schools, and 16 high schools. There are also several private schools which include the elementary, middle, and high school levels. For higher education, there are several colleges in the area, including Florida Institute of Technology (FIT), Brevard Community College, the Brevard campus of the University of Central Florida, the Brevard campus of Rollins College, Phillips Junior College of Business, Barry College, and Keiser College.
For those who enjoy the outdoors, Brevard County offers a large number of activities. Fishing, scuba diving, sailing, water skiing, jet skiing, board sailing, and general boating can be enjoyed in the Banana and Indian Rivers, as well as offshore. The St. Johns River and its marshes and estuaries offer freshwater fishing and air boating. Brevard County has several courses -- 16 of which are public. There are several parks in the area for camping, swimming, tennis, and other outdoor activities. The Washington Nationals baseball team has spring training at Space Coast Staduim in Viera. Minor league baseball is played in Melbourne, Daytona Beach, Ft. Pierce, Vero Beach, Kissimmee, and Orlando. There are also numerous clubs for hobbyists and for social activities. Because of its central Florida location, Melbourne is within 4 hours of the north and south ends and the west coast of the state. Orlando, with its numerous tourist attractions (Disney World, Sea World, Universal Studios, Hollywood Studios, etc.), is only an hour away. Another nearby attraction is the Kennedy Space Center. Launches can easily be seen from the local area.
The major newspaper published in Melbourne is "Florida Today." "The Orlando Sentinel" is a regional newspaper that is sold in Melbourne and includes a Brevard County section. There are 13 radio stations in the local Melbourne area; many more can be received from surrounding cities. There are a couple of local television stations in Brevard County; however, Orlando is the major media outlet for east-central Florida, including the major TV networks. Cable/wireless TV is available.
Melbourne in a subtropical (wet/dry) climate regime has mild winters and hot humid summers. In the winter, milder temperatures and less humidity make for a pleasant environment. Cold fronts will occasionally bring cold air to the region, but the nearby Atlantic will usually modify it so that the cold doesn't last too long. The lowest temperature on record is 17 degrees set on January 19, 1977. In the summer, central Florida leads the country in the number of thunderstorm days per year (over 80) and Florida leads the nation in the number of lightning fatalities per year. Tropical cyclones are also a nearly annual threat to Florida. The season peaks in September. Temperatures in the summer often climb into the 90's (63 days annually), but some relief is provided by the afternoon sea breeze or by thunderstorms. The highest temperature on record is 102 degrees set on July 14, 1980.
Click here for a table of normal temperature and rainfall statistics for Melbourne and other cities in the east-central Florida area.