Storm Prediction Center, National Centers for Environmental Prediction, National Weather Service, NOAA, U.S. Department of Commerce
Data Center Description
The Storm Prediction Center (SPC) is part of the National Weather Service (NWS) and the National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP). Our mission is to provide timely and accurate forecasts and watches for severe thunderstorms and tornadoes over the contiguous United States. The SPC also monitors heavy rain, heavy snow, and fire weather events across the U.S. and issues specific products for those hazards. We use the most advanced technology and scientific methods available to achieve this goal. If you are interested in the history of the SPC we have a set of pages that document much of the history of the SPC.
The SPC uses its suite of products to relay forecasts of organized severe weather as much as three days ahead of time, and continually refines the forecast up until the event has concluded. All products issued by the Storm Prediction Center are available on the World Wide Web. Our products are commonly used by local National Weather Service offices, emergency managers, TV and radio meteorologists, private weather forecasting companies, the aviation industry, storm spotters, agriculture, educational institutions and many other groups. A detailed description of all of the SPC products is available here.
Our very specialized mission requires meteorologists with a high level of expertise in convective storm forecasting, as well as excessive precipitation, winter weather, and conditions leading to high fire dangers. The SPC staff also is active in scientific research into severe and dangerous weather. All SPC forecasters have at least a Bachelor of Science degree in atmospheric science, and several have done graduate-level studies or hold a Master of Science degree. Most of the forecasters at the center have at least 5 years of specialized experience, with our more veteran forecasters having over 20 years of severe storm forecasting wisdom. We have participated in several major scientific experiments and field programs in recent years, including the V.O.R.T.EX. project. The SPC is located in Norman, Oklahoma, home of the National Severe Storms Laboratory, University of Oklahoma School of Meteorology and other weather centers. Our co-location with these groups should yield even greater scientific opportunities in the future. Several SPC meteorologists make severe storms their hobby as well -- being heavily involved with storm spotting and storm chasing on their own time.