Each year, the United States averages some 10,000 thunderstorms, 5,000 floods, 1,300 tornadoes and 2 Atlantic hurricanes, as well as widespread droughts and wildfires. Weather, water and climate events, cause an average of approximately 650 deaths and $15 billion in damage per year and are responsible for some 90 percent of all presidentially-declared disasters. About one-third of the U.S. economy – some $3 trillion – is sensitive to weather and climate. National Weather Service (NWS) provides 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.
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With nearly 4,900 employees in 122 weather forecast offices, 13 river forecast centers, 9 national centers, and other support offices around the country, NWS provides a national infrastructure to gather and process data worldwide.
50,000 degrees Fahrenheit
Lightning can heat the air to 50,000 degrees Fahrenheit -- about 5 times hotter than the surface of the sun!
6 inches of water
A mere 6 inches of fast-moving flood water can knock over an adult. It takes just 12 inches of rushing water to carry away a small car, while 2 feet of rushing water can carry away most vehicles. It is NEVER safe to drive or walk into flood waters.
6.3 billion observations per day
Each day, NWS collects about 6.3 billion observations. The weather service annually issues approximately 1.5 million forecasts and 50,000 warnings.
$3 per person
For about $3 — the cost of your favorite specialty coffee drink — NWS provides each person in the U.S. with timely and accurate basic weather, water, and climate forecasts and information, as well as life-saving watches and warnings when severe weather strikes for an entire year.