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NWS State College, PA Contacts

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Phone: (814) 954-6440

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For past weather by Zip Code, search the database or call  828-271-4800.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Please browse our frequently asked questions below to see if your question is answered.

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 Career Center.

  • How do I get a volunteer position with the National Weather Service ?

    • We offer college students the opportunity to volunteer their time during the year. There is usually quite a bit of competition for any student volunteer positions at NWS State College.  There are deadlines for application to positions for upcoming semesters/seasons. Due to staffing constraints we limit the number of volunteers and the amount of hours they work.  We are an operational office and must maintain a work environment, often with limited staffing. See this page for the most-current information. 

  • How do I become a paid intern (Pathways) with the National Weather Service ??

    • There are opportunities for student intern positions with Weather Forecast Offices (WFOs). The Pathways program is an excellent opportunity for students to gain valuable experience in a National Weather Service office and help build a Weather-Ready Nation.
    • Most forecast and management positions (anything higher than an entry-level internship) require both a Bachelor's Degree in Meteorology and experience equal to the next lower grade of Federal Service. There are also electronics and computer analyst positions available in the Weather Service, which have varying requirements. I suggest checking the web sites below for further/more detailed information.
    • Here are some other government job web sites. By reading the description of the position and how to apply sections, you may get a better idea of the qualifications and expectations of different positions. (NWS Careers Page) (All Federal Government Jobs)

  • Where can I find past weather conditions for (name of town) on (date in question) ?

    • The hourly observations are not fully quality-controlled on our site, but are available by clicking on the map on our front page near where you are concerned about.  This will bring up a page with current observations and the forecast for the location you clicked.  You can check the "3 Day History" of the observations using the link to the right of the current observation.
    • First, Check our Climatology Page, which is full of fantastic information for our two first-order climatological stations (Harrisburg and Williamsport), and our Co-Operative Observing sites (45 across Central PA). Check those pages, especially the NOWData Tab.
      Second, (if you are looking for information about Pennsylvania) Check with the PA State Climatologist, Mr. Kyle Imhoff. Kyle and his staff can usually find answers to most PA-specific questions.
      phone: (814)865-8732 fax:(814)865-3663
      If you cannot find the answer there, the next step is to contact the National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) in Asheville, NC. NCEI stores ALL weather information recorded across the US and it's territories since the 1800's. They (NCEI) quality control the data and publish it in various forms (a monthly summary is the most common form). They also certify the data for use in court, as well - the preliminary information available from our website is NOT permissable in court.  NCEI's phone #: (828) 271-4800.
  • How do I become a Skywarn Spotter?

    • We ask our SkyWarn Spotters to receive weather spotter training and safety information during informational sessions, normally conducted by the local NWS Warning Coordination Meteorologist (WCM), and Forecasters. These training sessions are usually conducted in the Spring and Summer months, in anticipation of the climatological Severe Weather Season.
  • Your forecasts/products seem old. Why???

    • Always check the time and date of 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 information on our website is for casual use and informational purposes. Please read the NWS Internet Disclaimer.
  • When are Winter Weather Advisories and Warnings Issued?

    • We have a detailed webpage that spells out the criteria that we expect to be met when we issue a Winter Storm Warning or Advisory.
  • What is the National Digital Forecast Database (NDFD)?


If I have a national level question, who can I contact?

Please call the NWS Customer Service Line at 301-427-9855, or email

Where can I find current and historical weather data?

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

I am a teacher - what weather related educational materials are available?

A number of educational resources for educators and students are available at

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.

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 Career Center.

Is there any way to find out which Weather Forecasting Office serves my area?
  1. 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 at the top-left of this page.
  2. On the local forecast, the name and a link to the serving office is located above the forecast icons.
Can I visit your office?

Visiting your local NWS Forecasting Office is something that is not only allowed, but encouraged. To arrange a visit, please contact our Administrative Assistant, April Sager.

  • If anyone in your group has special needs, please contact us ahead of time so that we may better accommodate them.
  • There may be times when it is not possible to visit; especially during severe weather events.
  • Tours may be cancelled on short notice by the National Weather Service due to severe weather. If this happens, we'll try to 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 again
When I'm viewing one your forecasts, I get an old forecast. What's going on?


Do you have any mobile apps for my Smart Phone?

The National Weather Service does not currently offer a dedicated mobile app. For mobile weather and alerts, please visit 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:

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

Is the voice I hear on NOAA Weather Radio a computerized voice or a real person?

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.

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 hours.

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 watch.

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).

How can I submit comments?

If you are interested, you can complete our web site customer satisfaction survey.