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National Weather Service facts for kids

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National Weather Service
Agency overview
Formed February 9, 1870
Jurisdiction Federal government of the United States
Headquarters Silver Spring, Maryland
Agency executive
  • Dr. John "Jack" L. Hayes, Director
Parent agency NOAA

The National Weather Service (also known as NWS) is one of the six scientific agencies that make up the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) of the United States government. Its job is to provide "weather, hydrologic, and climate forecasts and warnings for the United States, its territories, adjacent waters and ocean areas, for the protection of life and property and the enhancement of the national economy." This is done through a collection of national and regional centers, and more than 122 local weather forecast offices (WFOs). Since the NWS is a government agency, most of its products are in the public domain.


Typical forecast office (WFO)
Galveston County Office of Emergency Management & Houston-Galveston National Weather Service Building
Specially designed hurricane-proof building constructed to house joint offices of the Houston-Galveston National Weather Service Forecast Office and the Galveston County Emergency Management Office.
  • National Weather Service (NWS)
    • Chief Information Officer
    • National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP)
      • Aviation Weather Center (AWC)
      • Climate Prediction Center (CPC)
      • Environmental Modeling Center (EMC)
      • Weather Prediction Center (WPC)
      • Ocean Prediction Center (OPC)
      • NCEP Central Operations
      • Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC)
      • Storm Prediction Center (SPC)
      • National Hurricane Center (NHC)
        • Hurricane Specialist Unit (HSU)
        • Tropical Analysis and Forecast Branch (TAFB)
        • Technical Support Branch (TSB)
    • Chief Financial Officer
    • Operational Systems
    • Hydrologic Development
    • Science and Technology
      • Programs and Plans
      • Meteorological Development Laboratory (MDL)
    • Climate, Water and Weather Services
    • 6 Regions (Eastern, Central, Southern, Western, Alaska & Pacific)
      • 122 Weather Forecast Offices (WFOs)
      • 21 Center Weather Service Units (CWSU)
      • 13 River Forecast Centers (RFC)
      • Pacific Tsunami Warning Center (PTWC)
      • National Tsunami Warning Center (NTWC)
    • Spaceflight Meteorology Group (SMG)

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