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The last issue of Ask NOAA was posted on December 2010.


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Ask NOAA

Question

A Major Winter Storm is Moving Up the East Coast- How is it Monitored and Forecast?

Answer

Have you ever wondered how the National Weather Service can tell a major winter storm is brewing and will impact your area in the coming days or hours? How can meteorologists tell if a storm is intensifying and where it will bring the most snow? It's a highly sophisticated process. It all starts with observing the current situation. The National Weather Service operates a widespread network of observing systems such as geostationary satellites, Doppler radars, and automated surface observing systems that feed into current state-of-the-art numerical computer models to provide a glimpse of what will happen next - ranging from hours to days. The models are then analyzed by NWS meteorologists who use their experience and expertise to write and disseminate forecasts.

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