National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

Advances in science and technology are essential to meeting the National Weather Service mission to protect lives and property and enhance the national economy. Each day, the NWS is working towards integrating critical science advancements, research, technology, and innovation across the agency to help protect lives and property in your local community.  

The NWS engages in various types of collaborative and applied research and development activities within the agency, as well as in coordination with NOAA line offices and the research community with the goal of incorporating innovation and research into operations. This enables the agency to improve on operational atmospheric, ocean, land, sea ice, hydrologic, and other components of environmental prediction models, operational guidance and decision support tools, improved radar and satellite products, and social science integration. It also identifies new techniques in response to and in support of evolving demands of hazardous weather affecting our nation.

Science and technology innovations are being done at all levels within the NWS. Field-driven innovation and research-to-operations also integrates new or improved science and technology into field operations in areas such as aviation weather, lightning, fire weather, and climate. Some examples of advances as a result of improved science and technology include improving guidance for hurricane track, intensity, and storm surge forecasts; developing an end-to-end air quality forecast capability; advancing research to extend forecast skill beyond 8-10 days; and implementing a weather-scale, fully-coupled numerical weather prediction system. These advances end up directly in the hands of the forecasters providing day-to-day life saving forecast and warning information directly to the public.

With the implementation of new and enhanced operational capacities that improve upon NWS warning and forecast processes, collaborative decision making, risk communication, and impact-based decision support services, the NWS capitalizes on the advancements in science and technology to move closer to building a Weather-Ready Nation. Follow the links below to learn about some of the science and technology that are being used in your community.