National Centers for Environmental Prediction 101


>>The National Weather Service National Centers
for Environmental Prediction – also known as NCEP – plays a key role in helping the
National Weather Service protect our nation’s property, lives and economic well-being. The products and services provided by NCEP
are at the core of our weather, water and climate forecasting and warning operations.>>The NCEP vision is to be the trusted source
of environmental predictions from the sun to the sea especially when it matters>>NCEP is made up of nine centers working
together to deliver a precise, detailed picture of our environment from national and global
perspectives. Weather products range from current conditions
to a ten day forecast. Seasonal climate predictions extend out to
a year. These guidance products are used by local
National Weather Service meteorologists to fine-tune forecasts for your area. All of this information helps communities
prepare for – and respond appropriately – when severe weather strikes. This is the ultimate goal of the National
Weather Service… to become a weather-ready nation.>>Each of the nine centers within NCEP play
a role in the mission to protect life and property. Forecasters at the Space Weather Prediction
Center monitor activity at the sun. Significant solar eruptions can cause electromagnetic
disturbances back here on Earth. Technologies like the electric power grid,
radio communications, and GPS can be affected. Forecasters issue alerts, watches and warnings
so their customers can take action before space weather hits home. The Environmental Modeling Center is the origin
point for the earth prediction models used everyday by the National Weather Service. Forecasters use these models – along with
observations and their expertise – to forecast and issue warnings. The EMC not only maintains and improves current
operational models… They also develop new models as technology
and science advances. The Climate Prediction Center monitors the
big picture changes happening around the globe. By analyzing shifts in the atmosphere, the
center provides valuable predictions that give forecasters a heads-up about what to
expect down the road. This includes seasonal forecasts as well as
monthly temperature and rainfall averages. The Weather Prediction Center delivers a large
scale perspective of weather systems across the country. These forecasts provide a consistent message
to the public, and act as a starting point for local Weather Forecast Offices to hone
in on the details. This can include the timing and impacts – as
well as how much rain or snow is expected. Testbeds for winter weather and flash flooding
experiments help bridge the transition of new research into operations. The Storm Prediction Center is responsible
for forecasting the risk of severe weather from today out to eight days in the future. Their main focus is on severe thunderstorms,
specifically those producing tornadoes, large hail, and strong winds. These severe weather specialists also predict
hazardous winter and fire weather conditions. Each spring, the SPC helps evaluate new weather
models in the NOAA Hazardous Weather Testbed. The National Hurricane Center specializes
in hazardous tropical weather. Meteorologists issue daily forecasts for areas
along the United States coastline. When a hurricane threatens, the NHC provides
information about large-scale impacts and issues coastal watches and warnings. These products are designed to help emergency
managers and the general public understand their risk. The Ocean Prediction Center protects lives
at sea and property aboard ships. For this vulnerable community, meteorologists
provide forecasts of dangerous seas and wave conditions up to 5 days out. Users of the forecasts range from the Coast
Guard to shipping vessels to fishermen. The Aviation Weather Center provides weather
forecasts used by pilots to ensure safe and efficient flight. Meteorologists here monitor the airspace over
the United States as well as across the globe. Forecasts and advisories give aviators the
information they need to reroute flights and minimize delay – all while keeping passengers
safe. Last but not least is NCEP Central Operations. This group keeps the data flowing so the public
receives immediate information. Cutting-edge supercomputers process the high
resolution models forecasters rely on. Every weather, climate, ocean and space weather
product is created and distributed through the infrastructure managed by these computer
specialists..>>One of the things that makes NCEP a special
place is the people – the workforce. They are highly motivated. They are skilled. They are dedicated to the mission. And they love the work that they do.>>In every part of NCEP, the people – and
the products and services they create – help the National Weather Service protect lives
and property. With cutting-edge models, new technologies,
and accurate monitoring of the environment, NCEP plays a major role in helping communities
become weather-ready.

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