Talk:National Weather Service

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Threatened in Congress[edit]

This is pretty interesting:

Action Alert: Save the National Weather Service

I'm not posting it as advocacy of the cause so much as for the historical mission-redirecting interest. 1of3 00:41, 11 July 2006 (UTC)

Wouldn't it be better to point out in the name of the article that this is the UNITED STATES National Weather Service? Seeing this on the "Did You Know" section, I was wondering which country's weather service is this. Sorry to say, but leaving it this way is a bit Americocentric... -- 14:46, 8 February 2007 (UTC)

  • Saw this comment, said "Hm, good point -- how come nobody's done this?", and did it. Made sense to me too. Haikupoet 03:33, 14 June 2007 (UTC)
  • Being that there is no disambiguation page, I'm assuming that there isn't any confusion with other weather services.

404 Page Not Found[edit]

I detected a 404 Page Not Found error on the Santorum Controversy link. Should that be removed?--Megamanfan3 01:18, 14 June 2007 (UTC)

-Looks like someone fixed that link, and the info provided in that section is accurate. Santorum's buddies at Accu-Weather wanted to deep-six most of the NWS a while back. It's one of the main reasons that NWSEO endorsed his Democratic Senate opponent in 2006, who went on to win in that years' election. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Guy1890 (talkcontribs) 03:57, 25 January 2012 (UTC)

Worth getting more specific?[edit]

In structure. For example, OHD (listed here as Hydrologic Development), includes many different departments (HDSC for example), but I'm a newbie and don't want to go overboard. :( So in a case like this, I wonder how much would be too much? Irisa Dunner (talk) 05:30, 29 April 2009 (UTC)

Controversy Citation[edit]

I just added the citation for the controversy paragraph. If that solves the citation problem on the page can I just remove the tag at the top of the page? --W4otn (talk) 22:39, 22 November 2009 (UTC)

Openness historically[edit]

It seems like the service may have made a historical transition from keeping its data secret to competing with private companies, to providing data openly. Can anyone fill in the blanks? -- Beland (talk) 01:33, 11 July 2010 (UTC)

I don't believe that the NWS has ever kept any significant portion of its data secret from anyone. The only thing that I can think of is back in the mid-1990s when the State Forecast Discussions (now called Area Forecast Discussions) from the forecast offices were last kept for internal NWS coordination only. This has changed since then. There's already a section ("Controversy") in the article covering the "competing with private companies" issue. The amount of money that the NWS has collected per year for some of its data is a tiny, tiny, tiny fraction of what their budget has been historically.

AHPS "Offices"?[edit]

The article mentions this: "122 Advanced Hydrological Prediction Service Offices (AHPS) (Under the jurisdiction of the individual Weather Forecast Offices) [10] [11]"

I worked closely with the NWS hydrology division for about 8 years now and have never heard of an AHPS "Office". Some googling of the phrase only turns up references pointing back to this article. Take a look at the typical Weather Forecast Office staff list (e.g. and you don't see anyone called an AHPS officer. Could someone, say, cite an AHPS planning document/implementation plan as opposed to just provide a link to the AHPS front webpage? (talk) 02:46, 14 January 2011 (UTC) Climatron

I agree. AFAIK there is no such thing as an AHPS office, and the products are just broken down by WFO area of responsibility. I'm going to delete the line; someone can restore it if they find a cite. --skew-t (talk) 22:48, 14 January 2011 (UTC)

Modernization of the National Weather Service[edit]

Recently, the National Research Council released a report that evaluated a recent project to modernize and restructure the National Weather Service. I'd like to add some text describing this:

The 20th century saw exponential growth in the technological capabilities of weather observations and forecasting. The National Weather Service was unable to keep up with the pace of technological advances and as a result was nearly obsolete by the 1980s.[1] It became clear that the Weather Service would need to modernize and restructure to take advantage of new technologies and provide better weather services to the nation. Between 1989 and 2000, a national investment of $4.5 billion was used to implement the Modernization and Associated Restructuring of the National Weather Service.[2][3] New observational and computational systems were planned and deployed, the network of National Weather Service field offices was redefined, and the workforce was restructured.
The 2011 National Research Council report The National Weather Service Modernization and Associated Restructuring: A Retrospective Assessment[4] assessed the modernization effort and identified lessons learned from the process. The report found that modernization efforts succeeded in achieving major improvements for the weather enterprise, lead to a greater integration of science into weather service activities, and improved outreach and coordination with state and local government, emergency management, and communities. However, several lessons were learned from the modernization and restructuring effort, which could help with similar projects in the future. A follow-up report will present Phase II of this study, in which these lessons are applied to develop guidance on how best to plan, deploy, and oversee future improvements to the Weather Service.[5]

Please let me know what you think. Earlgrey101 (talk) 13:24, 20 October 2011 (UTC)

-The info that you have provided above accurate, but I dunno that there will be any money in this current political climate provided to spend on the NWS in the near future.

Distance travelled[edit]

The article says radiosondes released from sites in the US and the Caribbean can ascend above 35 km (115,000 ft) and drift more than 200 km (120 mi) from the release point. In January 1989 while undertaking archaeological recording during an oil exploration project in eastern Jordan, I came across a US High Altitude Weather Station, find spot 1:50,000 map sheet 3455.2 Wadi el Jathum, grid ref 539045; latitude 32°33'52.18"N longitude 37°26'38.33"E. The message to the finder was all but worn away, but the message said if found in the US, to hand it in at a local post office. I handed it in to ACOR (American Center of Oriental Research) in Amman, Jordan as the next best thing when I was next back in civilisation, some time between February and April 1989.

Given I found it some 5,400 miles from the US, was it likely a high altitude National Weather Service radiosonde, or something else? Is there any way of finding out if it was ever handed in to the National Weather Service or other relevant agency in the US, and what was recorded on it? (talk) 15:50, 30 January 2012 (UTC)

There are your normal launched twice a day radiosondes, which go up rapidly, with a ballon burst about 100 minutes into the flight, then fall out of the sky, and then there are constant pressure weather balloons (which also likely have radiosondes attached). It's much more likely you're talking about a constant pressure weather balloon, which was meant to stay at a certain altitude for long periods of time, on the order of weeks. It is said that Palestine, Texas launched such balloons in the 1990s. They do seem to have been used more in the 1960s than any other time frame. Thegreatdr (talk) 15:55, 30 January 2012 (UTC)
Ah, right, so likely a constant pressure weather balloon. My memory isn't the best and my diary not that forthcoming, but I seem to recall that the weather station was pretty small - shoebox size or less (certainly it can't have been too big, else we wouldn't have had room in the Land Rover to carry it back). Seeing where I found it, it'd be a nice twist if it was launched from Palestine, Texas ... Is there any way I can find out what happened to it, do you think? (talk) 16:16, 30 January 2012 (UTC)
Sounds like the older type radiosonde, used until quite recently by the NWS. According to the website, less than 20% of radiosondes are ever returned. Try the e-mail at the bottom of this web site, The right radiosonde on that web page is likely of the type you found. Thegreatdr (talk) 17:04, 30 January 2012 (UTC)
Great! I have sent them an email, so fingers crossed. It was 23 years ago (almost to the day - I found it on 30 January 1989) so I can't remember it that well, but the one on the right does look familiar ... Thanks for all your help. (talk) 14:11, 31 January 2012 (UTC)

Dual Polarization[edit]

Shouldn't we have some more Radar info like Dual Polarization?

Henry Luker (talk) 02:43, 5 February 2012 (UTC)

Here's a link to some training info on that topic: — Preceding unsigned comment added by Guy1890 (talkcontribs) 14:28, 6 February 2012 (UTC)

I think this stuff belongs to NEXRAD. HkCaGu (talk) 07:39, 8 February 2012 (UTC)


How much does it cost? (talk) 17:17, 1 September 2012 (UTC)

This is a rough guess, but, from what I can remember when I worked for the NWS, the amount of the NWS' budget was somewhere around $800 Million/year - or about the cost of a McDonald's Happy Meal per year for every taxpayer (citizen?) in the USA. The NWS makes up the lion's share of NOAA's & the DOC's budget & personnel. Guy1890 (talk) 03:10, 2 September 2012 (UTC)

Are these two the same?[edit]

Is also the The National Weather Service? (talk) 21:59, 4 October 2012 (UTC)

No. Famartin (talk) 00:10, 5 October 2012 (UTC)

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  1. ^ (National Bureau of Standards, 1988. Review of the Procurement for the Advanced Weather Interactive Processing System for the 1990s (AWIPS-90), Gaithersburg, MD.)
  2. ^ (Government Accountability Office, 1997. High-Risk Series: Information Management and Technology. GAO/HR-97-9.Washington, D.C.
  3. ^ Government Accountability Office 1998. National Weather Service: Budget Events and Continuing Risks of Systems Modernization. GAO/T-AIMD-98-97. Washington, D.C
  4. ^
  5. ^