Blue skies and sunshine on this Storm Chasing Trip. With no storms, it’s a good time to visit the National Weather Service Storm Prediction Center at Norman, Oklahoma. The National Weather Service Storm Prediction Center is where where all severe weather predictions and updates originate. We’ll go in inside, In Storm Chaser Valhalla-National Weather Service Norman-Podcast 636.
Storm Chaser Valhalla
Storm Chasers use information that originates at Norman. Why? Doppler Radar was developed here. Scientists in Kansas City spent springs here back in the day, to research storms. There was a naval air station here. So, there was plenty of room to locate a brand new radar system.
Doppler Radar has been a game changer since its inception in the 1990’s. NEXRAD changed and continues to change how the world learns about severe weather. In Storm Chaser Valhalla-National Weather Service Norman-Podcast 636.
The radar control center is in a secure building shared by several government agencies. One of those agencies is the department of defense. Needless to say, I could not get into this facility. Persistence pays off and after a few calls, NOAA Public Affairs Specialist Keli Pirtle invited me to come over to the National Weather Service’s Storm Prediction Center. Storm Chaser Valhalla-National Weather Service Norman-Podcast 636.
Weather Geek Out
It’s all about weather geeks. Thanks to Keli Pirtle for inviting me in on short notice and for the history lesson. How did the radar system get built at Norman? Finally, Warning Coordination Meteorologist Patrick Marsh gives us complete rundown of how the National Weather Service Storm Prediction Center works. Plus some stories about what it is like in this center when major weather is breaking.
The idea behind tax payer funded NEXRAD is data products should be available to everyone, and this is one of the reasons we get radar and other NWS products on our smartphones. However, severe weather can be unpredictable. A town, person or chaser can be right under a tornado and not be able to to see it until it’s too late. While the National Weather Service does not have an official position on Storm Chasing Even the National Weather Service is not immune as you will hear. Be Safe.
Sponsored by Brush Studio in The West End, Saint Louis Park, Minnesota
Storm Chaser Valhalla-National Weather Service Norman-Podcast 636