The National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP), an arm of the NOAA's National Weather Service (NWS), is comprised of nine distinct Centers, and the Office of the Director, which provide a wide variety of national and international weather guidance products to National Weather Service field offices, government agencies, emergency managers, private sector meteorologists, and meteorological organizations and societies throughout the world. NCEP is a critical national resource in national and global weather prediction. NCEP is the starting point for nearly all weather forecasts in the United States.
The Office of the Director is responsible for directing and planning the science, technology and operations of the following National Centers:
The Aviation Weather Center provides aviation warnings and forecasts of hazardous flight conditions at all levels within domestic and international air space.
The Climate Prediction Center monitors and forecasts short-term climate fluctuations and provides guidance information on the long-term global effects climate patterns can have on the nation.
The Environmental Modeling Center develops and improves numerical weather, climate, hydrological and oceanic predictions through programs of applied research in data analysis, modeling and product development in partnership with the broader research community.
The Hydrometeorological Prediction Center provides analysis and forecast products, specializing in quantitative precipitation forecasts to five days, weather forecast guidance to seven days, real-time weather model diagnostics discussions and surface pressure and frontal analyses.
The Marine Prediction Center issues weather warnings and forecasts out to five days, in graphic, text and voice formats for the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.
The NCEP Central Operations sustains and executes the operational suite of the numerical analysis and forecast models and prepares NCEP products for dissemination. It also links all nine of the national Centers together via computer and communications-related services.
The Space Environment Center provides space weather alerts and warnings for disturbances that can affect people and equipment working in space and on earth.
The Storm Prediction Center provides tornado and severe weather watches for the contiguous United States along with a suite of hazardous weather forecasts, mesoscale guidance products and a continuous watch on mesoscale atmospheric processes.
The Tropical Prediction Center provides official NWS forecasts of the movement and strength of tropical weather systems and issues the appropriate watches and warnings for the US and surrounding areas. It also issues a suite of marine products covering the tropical Atlantic and eastern Pacific.