Resources for the 2017 Science Olympiad challenge in meteorology

National Weather Service
National Weather Service JetStream: An online school for weather
JetStream is a most excellent resource for information on a variety of weather topics, including those related to severe storms and severe weather. If you’re just getting started on learning about severe weather, JetStream is a great place to be. On the JetStream website, you can find organized descriptions and presentations on weather at different space and time scales (for example, global weather, synoptic weather, and smaller scale phenomena like thunderstorms). Information is included about severe weather phenomena and how those phenomena are observed and detected. JetStream includes practice questions and quizzes too.

The day they arrived in Oklahoma to begin filming, most of the "Twister" cast, including star Bill Paxton, went storm-chasing with NOAA researchers participating in the VORTEX field project designed to study tornadoes like this one. Though the cast didn't see any tornadoes that day, VORTEX scientists took measurements of this one that occurred June 2, 1995, south of Dimmitt, Texas.
National Severe Storms Lab
The National Severe Storms Lab (NSSL) is a NOAA research laboratory; its employees study a wide range of severe weather, including tornadoes, lightning, winds, hail, flash floods, and winter weather. NOAA’s National Weather Service is one of the many users of the research results produced by NSSL. New technology developed by NSSL, including research into the topics of weather processes, weather radars, and weather models, benefits National Weather Service forecasters by providing them with new tools. NSSL’s web site has a great Education section ( which you can use to jump into the world of severe weather. The “Severe Weather 101” section ( is well-organized and includes overviews of thunderstorms, tornadoes, lightning, winds, hail, flash floods, and winter weather.
2016 Storm Prediction Center tornado watch outline shapefile (total tornado watches: 113). Initial WOU only. Areas covered y 10 or more watches will be social red. (This is a call-out preview, not a complete image).
Storm Prediction Center
The NOAA/National Weather Service’s Storm Prediction Center’s (SPC’s) web site is a great source of information for current severe weather conditions (outlooks and watches), severe weather climatologies, and general severe weather references. SPC focuses mainly on forecasting severe weather phenomena like thunderstorms and tornadoes, and they also provide fire weather outlooks. On SPC’s website, “mesoscale discussions”, with maps and a summary of mesoscale meteorological features that may trigger or enhance severe weather, provide a detailed look at smaller scale (but still very important!) conditions that may lead to severe weather. For analysis of past events, SPC provides archived versions of their products, along with archived “NWS Local Storm Reports”. The SPC “Frequently Asked Questions” list (found under the “Outreach” heading on SPC’s website) allows you to quickly find introductory information about SPC forecast products and severe weather phenomena. The FAQ contains links to more detailed FAQs focusing on tornadoes and derechos if you are specifically interested in those phenomena.
SKYWARN Storm Spotters.
Weather Spotter’s Field Guide
Intended as part of SKYWARN® Spotter training, this useful guide includes explanations of severe weather phenomena and also tips on how to stay safe in a variety of severe weather. The guide explains thunderstorm characteristics, hail, winds, lightning, and tornadoes, with great photos and illustrations! How Doppler radar can be used to monitor severe weather is also discussed within the guide.
Hurricane tracks, 2005.
National Hurricane Center
The NOAA/National Weather Service’s National Hurricane Center (NHC) issues watches, warnings, forecasts, and analyses of hazardous tropical weather. The NHC web site provides hazardous tropical weather information for the northern Atlantic and the eastern portion of the northern Pacific Oceans. Beyond forecasts and outlooks of current conditions, the NHC web site has an “Educational Resources” section. In this section, you will find information about the hurricane life cycle, NHC forecast processes and forecast products, and tropical cyclone-related hazards like storm surge. The “Educational Resources” section of the NHC web site also includes a glossary and informative FAQ list.
Central Pacific hurricane.
Central Pacific Hurricane Center
The Central Pacific Hurricane Center focuses on hazardous tropical cyclones and the potential for them for the portion of the Pacific Ocean from 140 W to 180 W longitude. Their website includes outlooks, forecast discussions, a glossary, and an FAQ with information about tropical systems in the CPHC area of responsibility.
Joint Typhoon Warning Center
Joint Typhoon Warning Center
The Joint Typhoon Warning Center covers a western portion of the Pacific Ocean and the Indian Ocean, monitoring for hazardous tropical cyclones and conditions that may produce such storms. Their website has an archive of “Annual Tropical Cyclone Reports” with maps of storm tracks and summaries of the storms that occurred in each year.
My NASA Data
Hurricanes at Heat Engines (NASA)
Through this activity, you can learn about heat transfer between the ocean and the atmosphere with the passage of hurricanes. This activity involves using a NASA website to make maps and graphs from data. You can then interpret your maps and graphs and look for hurricane-related patterns in the data.
Weather forecast for November 7, 2016
National Weather Service Weather Prediction Center
The National Weather Service’s Weather Prediction Center (WPC) forecasts weather on a national scale for the United States. WPC has current and archived surface weather maps (, forecasts and discussions for Excessive Rainfall (, and Winter Weather (
Investigate weather science, learn about weather safety, and follow along on the adventures of Owlie Skywarn, the National Weather Service mascot.
National Weather Service Education
This general NWS Education website features Owlie Skywarn and overviews of weather science and safety. The materials are straightforward and easy to read and access!
This website includes many interactive activities on many, many weather topics, including hurricanes and storms, precipitation types, satellites, and more. The website also includes fun games you can use to learn more about the weather, such as a “precipitation simulator” that can help you determine precipitation types (!
COMET MetED training courses.
Structured Training Courses from COMET MetED
The MetEd program is sponsored in part by NOAA’s National Weather Service and provides structured education and training resources related to meteorology and other topics. Training materials are available at a variety of difficulty levels (easiest lessons have skill level = 0). You can easily search for courses and training modules on many topics. Some suggested lessons and modules you may want to start with are: Weather Radar Fundamentals, Remote Sensing Using Satellites, Winter Weather, and Hurricane-relate.