Collage depicting fish, ships, satellites, ocean, maps, buoys, sun, hurricanes -- with the NOAA and Commerce Department Logos
Mon October 20 2014
NOAA today's weather banner.
Your Local Forecast by City, State or ZIP Code
  


 
NOAA Backgrounders banner.
To view the backgrounders in Portable Document Format (PDF) you'll need to download Adobe Acrobat Reader.

red arrow A Word About NOAA — The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) conducts research and gathers data about the global oceans, atmosphere, space and sun, and applies this knowledge to science and service that touch the lives of all Americans.

red arrow NOAA History — In a July 1970 statement to Congress, President Nixon proposed creating NOAA to serve a national need "...for better protection of life and property from natural hazards...for a better understanding of the total environment...[and] for exploration and development leading to the intelligent use of our marine resources..." On October 3, NOAA was established under the Department of Commerce.

red arrow National Weather Service — The National Weather Service is the primary source of weather data, forecasts and warnings for the United States. Television weathercasters and private meteorology companies prepare their forecasts using this information. The NWS is the sole United States official voice for issuing warnings during life-threatening weather situations. (PDF)

red arrow National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service — NOAA Satellites and Information Service manages the U.S. civil operational remote-sensing satellite systems, as well as global data bases for meteorology, oceanography, solid-earth geophysics, and solar-terrestrial sciences. (PDF)

red arrow NOAA Fisheries — NOAA Fisheries is the federal agency responsible for the stewardship of the nation's living marine resources and their habitat. (PDF)

red arrow National Ocean Service — The coastal environment is one of the nation's most valuable assets. It provides food for people and essential habitat for thousands of species of marine animals and plants. A healthy coast is vital to the U.S. economy. Industries such as marine transportation, fishing, tourism and recreation, and homebuilding all depend on a vibrant coastal environment. (PDF)

red arrow NOAA Research — NOAA's research, conducted through the Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research, is the driving force behind NOAA environmental products and services that protect life and property and promote sustainable economic growth. (PDF)

red arrow NOAA Marine and Aviation Operations — Since NOAA's beginning, much of its oceanographic, atmospheric, hydrographic, fisheries and coastal data have been collected on NOAA ships and aircraft. These flexible, multipurpose platforms support a wide range of activities related to weather forecasting and prediction, public safety, navigation and trade, natural resource management and environmental protection. (PDF)

Weather

red arrow NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards: On Alert For All Emergencies — Saving lives is the focus of NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards by providing immediate broadcasts of severe weather warnings and civil emergency messages and giving those in harm’s way critical lead time to respond and remain safe. (PDF)

red arrow NOAA Provides Critical Support to Wildfire Management — NOAA experts play a vital role in efforts to combat wildfires that rage across the United States each year. NOAA National Weather Service meteorologists provide site-specific forecasting for wildfires of all sizes — from half an acre to many thousand acres. NOAA satellite experts provide a lifesaving bird's eye view of the devastating blazes. (PDF)

red arrow Avoiding the Risks of Deadly Lightning Strikes — Lightning is one of the most underrated severe weather hazards, yet ranks as the second-leading weather killer in the United States. More deadly than hurricanes or tornadoes, lightning strikes in America each year kill an average of 73 people and injure 300 others, according to the NOAA National Weather Service. (PDF)

red arrow NOAA Aviation Weather Forecasting Critical To Air Flight Safety — To fly or not to fly? That is the question pilots and air traffic controllers answer thousands of times each month. In recent years, a record number of commercial flights crisscrossed the American skies, and the travel industry expects the numbers to increase. The latest weather forecast is crucial in making the right decisions about whether to fly, or land. (PDF)

red arrow EMWIN: High-Tech Readiness for Stormy Weather — The NOAA National Weather Service and America's emergency managers continue to strengthen their partnership to help protect lives and property faced by the threat of severe weather. One shining example of this alliance is The Emergency Managers Weather Information Network (EMWIN), a system that transmits live weather information to computers across the U.S., the Caribbean, Central America and over most of the Pacific Ocean. (PDF)

red arrow Forecasting Tornadoes — Through a tremendous investment in research, observing systems such as the WSR88D Doppler radar, and forecasting technology, the NOAA National Weather Service issues more than 15,000 severe storm and tornado watches and warnings each year. The average lead time for warnings has increased from six to 12 minutes from 1994 to 2001. (PDF)

red arrow When Seconds Count, StormReady Communities Are Prepared — To help Americans guard against the ravages of severe weather, the NOAA National Weather Service has designed StormReady, a program aimed at preparing cities, counties and towns across the nation with the communication and safety tools necessary to save lives and property. (PDF)

Hurricanes

red arrow Hurricane Myth vs. Fact

red arrow Hurricane Tracking Models: Helping to Forecast Severe Storms — The NOAA National Hurricane Center's mission is to track tropical cyclones and predict their future position and intensity over the north Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea, Gulf of Mexico and eastern North Pacific Ocean. (PDF)

red arrow The Retirement of Hurricane Names — Hurricanes that have a severe impact on lives or the economy are remembered generations after the devastation they caused, and some go into weather history. The NOAA National Hurricane Center near Miami, Florida, monitors tropical disturbances in the Atlantic and eastern Pacific Oceans, which could become a hurricane. (PDF)

Ocean

red arrow NOAA and Tsunamis — A tsunami is a series of ocean waves generated by any rapid large-scale disturbance of the sea water. Most tsunamis are generated by earthquakes, but they may also be caused by volcanic eruptions, landslides, undersea slumps or meteor impacts. (PDF)

red arrow NOAA Diving Program — As an agency whose mission encompasses ocean and coastal research, one of NOAA's greatest assets is the NOAA Diving Program, headquartered at the NOAA Dive Center in Seattle, Wash. (PDF)

red arrow NOAA Teacher at Sea Program — The mission of the NOAA Teacher at Sea program is to give teachers a clearer insight into our ocean planet, a greater understanding of maritime work and studies, and to increase their level of environmental literacy by fostering an interdisciplinary research experience. (PDF)

red arrow National Sea Grant College Program — The National Sea Grant College Program engages the nation's top universities in conducting scientific research, education and extension projects designed to help us better understand and use our ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes resources. (PDF)

Satellites

red arrow NOAA Environmental Satellites — Operating the country's system of environmental satellites is one of the major responsibilities of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. NOAA's Satellite and Information Service operates the satellites and manages the processing and distribution of the millions of bits of data and images these satellites produce daily. (PDF)

red arrow The National Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System (NPOESS) — Over the last decade, the U.S. government has been merging the nation's military and civil operational meteorological satellite programs into a single, integrated, end-to-end satellite system capable of satisfying both civil and national security requirements for space-based remotely sensed environmental data.

red arrow NOAA and Volcanic Ash — Ash plumes that are ejected from volcanoes into the atmosphere pose costly and potentially deadly dangers to aircraft flying through them. Accidentally flying through an ash cloud is sufficient to severely damage critical aircraft components, including lift surfaces, wind screens and engines.

Ships and Aircraft

red arrow NOAA Hydrographic Survey Ships Aid the Nation During Disaster Recovery Efforts — The downing of TWA Flight 800 into the Atlantic Ocean off Long Island, N.Y., in July 1996 was the first of three national air disasters in recent years that called for the special expertise of NOAA’s hydrographic survey vessels. It was the NOAA ship Rude that scanned the ocean floor and found the primary wreckage fields of the aircraft. (PDF)

red arrow NOAA “Hurricane Hunter” Aircraft — Specially equipped NOAA aircraft play an integral role in hurricane forecasting. Data collected during hurricanes by these high-flying meteorological stations and from a variety of other sources are fed into numerical computer models to help forecasters predict how intense a hurricane will be, and when and where it will make landfall. (PDF)

red arrow The GULFSTREAM- IV: NOAA’S High-Flying Meteorological Platform — NOAA’s Gulfstream-IV jet is the agency’s newest high-flying, high-tech platform in its hurricane forecasting arsenal. The jet flies around developing hurricanes to create a detailed picture of the surrounding upper atmosphere; the data it collects enable forecasters to improve hurricane track and landfall predictions by up to 20 percent. (PDF)

red arrow NOAA "Hurricane Hunter" Aircraft Fly Through Pacific Winter Storms and More — NOAA's "hurricane hunter" aircraft and their crews may be best known for their prowess in flying through and around nature's severest storms over the Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico. However, these flying meteorological stations prove their mettle on the West Coast and over the Pacific Ocean as well—after hurricane season has ended and severe Pacific winter storms have begun. (PDF)

red arrow The Shrike Commander: NOAA's World Class Snow Survey Platform — Each year, significant runoff from snow melt can cause flooding—sometimes severe—of streams and rivers. Knowing snow water equivalents—or the water content of snowpack—in a given region is essential for timely, hydrologic forecasting. (PDF)

red arrow NOAA Ship RONALD H. BROWN: Unique in the U.S. Civilian Fleet — Commissioned into the NOAA fleet on July 19, 1997, the RONALD H. BROWN brings new and unique capabilities to the nation's environmental science community. The ship is designed to conduct multidisciplinary scientific operations throughout the world's oceans. (PDF)

red arrow MD 500D Helicopter: NOAA’s Ship-based Aerial Photography Platform — NOAA’s MD 500D helicopter is the smallest aircraft in the agency’s research fleet. It serves as an outstanding platform for observation and aerial photography for several of NOAA’s diverse environmental science missions. (PDF)

red arrow New Fisheries Scientific Computer System Revolutionizes Data Collection — NOAA software engineers and scientists have developed a breakthrough, automated system for recording biological and oceanographic data during a trawl-based fishery resources survey. The Fisheries Scientific Computer System, or FSCS, is replacing manual data recording and shaving months off the time required to make cruise data available for use. (PDF)

Communications
Media Contacts
News Releases
NOAA Background Info
Office of Communications
External Affairs
Story Ideas for Reporters
About NOAA
NOAA Administrator
NOAA Leadership
About NOAA
AccessNOAA

NOAA Organization Chart
Department of Commerce
Emergency Information for NOAA Employees
Opportunities
Contracting
Careers

Grants
Volunteer
Organizations
NOAA National Weather Service
NOAA Satellites and Information
NOAA Fisheries
NOAA Ocean Service
NOAA Research
NOAA Office of Marine & Aviation Operations

CIO/HPCC
Education Resources
Office of Education
NOAA Corporate Services

International Affairs
General Counsel
Program Planning and Integration
IT Security
Legislative Affairs
NOAA Photo Library
NOAA Library
NOAA in Your State
Science Advisory Board
Employee Worklife Center 
Publication of the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), U.S. Department of Commerce.
Last Updated: July 13, 2007 4:00 PM
Published by the NOAA Office of Communications, Contact: webmaster@noaa.gov
http://www.noaa.gov
Click here for the NOAA home page. Click here for Department of Commerce Home Page.