National Weather Service, a.k.a. NWS

NWS or National Weather Service is a United States federal government agency responsible for providing weather forecasts, hazardous weather warnings, and other weather-related products to organizations and the public for protection and safety.

NWS is part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) branch of the Department of Commerce.  Its headquarters is located in Silver Spring, Maryland, which is located outside of Washington, DC.

NWS was called the United States Weather Bureau from 1890 to 1970 when it changed its name to the National Weather Service.  It was originally established through a joint resolution of Congress signed by President Ulysses S. Grant, who resided in St. Louis for a short period of time.  The first launch of radiosonde was in 1937 in Massachusetts.  It quickly prompted a switch from routine aircraft observation to radiosondes within two short years.

Originally, the word “tornado” was prohibited from any form of concern for panic until 1938.  It began disseminating tornado warnings exclusively to emergency management personnel.

It performs its task using national and regional centers and 122 local weather forecast offices, referred to as WFOs.  Considering the NWS is a government agency, most of its products/services are available free of charge.

NWS has approximately 5,000 employees with an annual estimated budget of $1.124 billion and is currently managed by Director Louis Uccellini.

National Weather Service Forecast – St. Louis, MO

Contact information:

US Dept of Commerce
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
National Weather Service
Telecommunication Operations Center
1325 East-West Highway
Silver Spring, MD 20910
Email: nws.isg@noaa.gov