National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce


NWS Products and Services
Reference Guidebook

NWS Reference Guide CoverThe National Weather Service (NWS) provides many products and services which can be used by other governmental agencies, Tribal Nations, the private sector, the public and the global community. The data and services provided by the NWS are designed to fulfill users needs and provide valuable information in the areas of weather, hydrology and climate. In addition, the NWS has numerous partnerships with private and other government entities. These partnerships help facilitate the mission of the NWS, which is to protect life and property and enhance the national economy. This document is intended to serve as a reference guide and information manual of the products and services provided by the NWS on a national basis.

Download the entire guidebook: 19 mb

Section 1: What is the National Weather Service?
Mission Statement
Organizational Structure
County Warning Areas
Weather Forecast Office Staff
River Forecast Center Staff
NWS Directive System

Section 2: Non-Routine Products (watch/warning/advisory descriptions)
Convective Weather
Tropical Weather
Winter Weather
Coastal Flood
Marine Weather
Fire Weather
Other Non-Routine Products
Extreme Weather Wording
Verification and Performance Goals
Impact-Based Decision Support Services
Requesting a Spot Fire Weather Forecast
Hazardous Materials Emergency Support
Interactive Warning Team
Damage Surveys
Storm Data
Information Requests

Section 3: Routine Products and Services
Public Forecasts
How We Forecast
XML Data
Radar Services
Hydrologic Services
Marine Services
Fire Weather Services
Aviation Services
Climate Services

Section 4: Specialty Centers and Offices
Storm Prediction Center
National Hurricane Center
River Forecast Center
National Climatic Data Center
Climate Prediction Center
Hydrometeorological Prediction Center
Space Weather Prediction Center
Aviation Weather Center
Tsunami Warning Center
National Operational Hydrologic Remote Sensing Center

Section 5: Communication Channels
NWS Website
NOAA Weather Radio
Emergency Alert System
NOAA Weather Wire Services
Family of Services
National Warning System
Emergency Managers Weather Information Network
Interactive Weather Information Network
Social Networking

Section 6: Website Navigation
Using the NWS Website
Hazardous Display Organization

Section 7: Outreach and Education
Safety Campaigns
Safety Rules
Severe Weather Spotter Training
Education and Training Courses
Meteorology and Hydrology Career and Job Resources

Section 8: Equipment
COOP Observing Equipment
Doppler Weather Radar
Hydrologic Observing System
Marine and Tsunami Buoys
NOAA Weather Radio
Radiosondes and Upper Air Soundings
Wind Profilers

Section 9: Tables and Definitions

Information and Acknowledgements