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Weather Watch

From Weather Stations: National Weather Service

Live Data
+ National Weather Service (real-time)
+ NWS Basic Data by State
The National Weather Service, or NWS, of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA, provides excellent ground weather station data with a very simple format. The NWS also provides weather data from satellites. A tutorial for that information is found in the From Satellites section of Weather Watch.

The National Weather Service Web site presents a number of options for weather information. In this tutorial, however, the focus is on basic weather data such as temperature, relative humidity, atmospheric pressure, wind speed and direction, and cloud cover.

A screen shot of the National Weather Center Web site highlighting the area used to select local forecast by city and state
Weather Data for Your Area:
Local weather forecasts are available by city and state. Go to the NWS Web site and find the selection box for the local forecast near the top of the page in the left navigation column. (See the sample image to the left.) In the box, type your city name and two-letter state abbreviation. Click the "Go" button and local weather data will be displayed.

Image left: When "Lake Placid, NY" is typed into the selection box, the current weather and forecast for that location is displayed. Credit: NOAA

Hint: Bookmark the local page to avoid having to re-enter the city and state each time the NWS Web site is visited.

Weather Data From Other Areas:
Basic weather data from other areas of the country may be helpful to forecast weather locally. For example, a snowstorm developing several states away may eventually affect your weather.

Choose the NWS Basic Data by State link provided in the Live Data box at the top of the NWS weather data Web page. Each state has several regions.

Choose a region, and a map of the region will be displayed.

Click the area of interest within the map. The most current basic weather information will be shown. Make a note of the site of the weather station and the time of the last observation.

Record the basic weather data on the Weather Watch Field Data sheet (PDF) or print it out. Be certain to record the location of the observation site at the top of the sheet.

A small radar image and a small satellite image of the area near Lake Placid, N.Y.
The next step is to examine the radar image for this location. Use the NWS Radar Images tutorial to become familiar with this data.

Image right: Radar and satellite images may be found in the bottom right corner of the NWS Web page. For an enlarged image of the most current data, click on one of the images found on the NWS Web page. Credit: NASA

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Editor: John Entwistle
NASA Official: Rob LaSalvia
Last Updated: January 15, 2008
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