The Wildest Weather on Earth

lightning.

High resolution (Credit: NOAA)

The world’s wildest and most varied weather is here in the United States. Hurricanes, blizzards, ice storms, thunderstorms, tornadoes, floods and drought batter our country each year. In fact, no other nation endures the wide range of weather we see here.

The weather affects people in many different ways, and we all can benefit from knowing how to cope with it. A coach will pull his youth soccer team from the field when there is a lightning threat. A mom who hears the announcement of a tornado watch will be listening for further alerts and warnings and be prepared to move her family to safety if a tornado threatens. A school bus driver will know to turn the bus around when he encounters water covering the road. From farmers, pilots and construction workers, to kids getting ready for school, NOAA helps the nation prepare for the changing weather.

snow.

High resolution (Credit: NOAA)

NOAA has many teams working to help protect lives and property through observations, predictions, and science.

Sentinels of the skies

From the outer reaches of our atmosphere to the surface of the Earth, the NOAA National Weather Service is watching over our nation and your neighborhood. The NWS gathers weather data, makes weather predictions, and alerts us to weather emergencies.  And most of this information is available free to everyone in the world.

NOAA's National and Environmental Satellite, Data and Information Service maintains our satellites and is in charge of a database of weather information used in weather forecasting as well as historical climate records and research we use to improve forecasting ability.

Predicting the unpredictable

tornado.

High resolution (Credit: NOAA)

Technology and knowledge expands our horizons. NOAA Research, or the Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research, provides the foundation for understanding the complex systems that affect our planet. NOAA Research works to provide better forecasts, earlier warnings for natural disasters and a greater understanding of the Earth — to learn how to predict the unpredictable. NOAA research matters!

The National Severe Storms Laboratory is a leader in studying all aspects of severe weather. Located in Norman, Okla., the heart of tornado alley, NSSL partners with the NWS and other groups to improve severe weather forecasts and warnings in order to save lives and reduce property damage.

The Earth System Research Laboratory, NOAA's largest research lab, observes and analyzes climate, air quality, and weather. It monitors the global atmosphere, helps improve the nation's weather forecasts, and develops new technology for Earth science.

The Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory studies hurricanes, ocean current and temperature structures, ocean/atmosphere chemical exchanges, and the coastal ocean.

flood.

High resolution (Credit: NOAA)

The Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory conducts research on weather and hurricane forecasts, El Niño prediction, stratospheric ozone depletion, and global warming.

The Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory is working to improve our understanding of the physical and geochemical processes operating in the world oceans.

In the arena of the world’s wildest weather, NOAA scientists and forecasters are doing their best to observe and predict the unpredictable, and protect lives and property.  NOAA logo.