© 2014 LyannV

On Tour: National Weather Center Offers Inside Look to Individuals and Groups

The National Weather Center (NWC)  offers public tours for individuals and families as well as for groups of less than 35 people. Tours for the general public are offered on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Friday at 1 p.m. and last approximately 45 minutes. Group tours are scheduled on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and last about an hour and a half.

The NWC tours include visits to the School of Meteorology, the National Weather Center Observation Deck, the (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Storm Prediction Center, the Norman National Weather Service Forecast Office, and the National Severe Storms Laboratory.

Tours require reservations, and foreign visitors are required to provide passport information at least two weeks in advance. To schedule a public or group tour, visit http://nwcnorman.org/tours/ or call 405-325-1147.

The National Weather Center is located on the campus of the University of Oklahoma and houses a confederation of University of Oklahoma, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and state organizations working together to improve understanding of events occurring in Earth’s atmosphere. (Photo 2013 by Lyann Valadez)

The National Weather Center is located on the campus of the University of Oklahoma and houses a confederation of University of Oklahoma, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and state organizations working together to improve understanding of events occurring in Earth’s atmosphere.
(Photo 2013 by Lyann Valadez)

The phrase “Totum Animo Comprendere Caelum” greets visitors to the National Weather Center on the University of Oklahoma research campus. The Latin inscription means “Understand the Whole Sky with the Mind”  (Photo 2013 by Lyann Valadez)

The phrase “Totum Animo Comprendere Caelum” greets visitors to the National Weather Center on the University of Oklahoma research campus. The Latin inscription means “Understand the Whole Sky with the Mind”
(Photo 2013 by Lyann Valadez)

A group tour follows a guide through the hallways of the National Weather Center, visiting the Norman Storm Prediction Center and the Norman National Weather Service.  (Photo 2013 by Lyann Valadez)

A group tour follows a guide through the hallways of the National Weather Center, visiting the Norman Storm Prediction Center and the Norman National Weather Service. Photography and videography are allowed during tours, although flash must be disabled.
(Photo 2013 by Lyann Valadez)

The University of Oklahoma School of Meteorology is housed on the 6th floor of the National Weather Center. (Photo 2013 by Lyann Valadez)

The University of Oklahoma School of Meteorology is housed on the 6th floor of the National Weather Center.
(Photo 2013 by Lyann Valadez)

Between each of the six floors of the National Weather Center is a "half floor" - a sub-floor housing the cables that power the information network of the NWC. There is a total of about 3200 miles of cable running throughout the NWC. (Photo 2013 by Lyann Valadez)

Between each of the six floors of the National Weather Center is a “half floor” – a 6- foot high sub-floor  housing the cables that power the information network of the NWC. There is a total of about 3200 miles of cable running throughout the NWC.
(Photo 2013 by Lyann Valadez)

Only one of the elevators goes all the way to the top floor of the National Weather Center. Visitors to the NWC are limited to the first floor unless participating in a tour, and must be accompanied by a tour guide or NWC staff member in order to ride one of the glass elevators. (Photo 2013 by Lyann Valadez)

Only one of the elevators goes all the way to the top floor of the National Weather Center. Visitors to the NWC are limited to the first floor unless participating in a tour, and must be accompanied by a tour guide or NWC staff member in order to ride one of the glass elevators.
(Photo 2013 by Lyann Valadez)

The National Weather Center Building was designed to be visually appealing as well as functional. Although the NWC is not a designated storm shelter, the building can withstand tornadic winds and has served as a shelter during tornadoes. (Photo 2013 by Lyann Valadez)

The National Weather Center Building was designed to be visually appealing as well as functional. Although the NWC is not a designated storm shelter, the building can withstand tornadic winds and has served as a shelter during tornadoes.
(Photo 2013 by Lyann Valadez)

Tour guide Conner Keith explains the reason for windows on the fifth floor of the NWC facing southwesterly: this is the direction that severe weather typically comes from. This area is the third busiest of the NWC, trailing the School of Meteorology (2nd busiest) and the Rooftop Observatory. (Photo 2013 by Lyann Valadez)

Tour guide Conner Keith explains the reason for windows on the fifth floor of the NWC facing southwesterly: this is the direction that severe weather typically comes from. This area is the third busiest of the NWC, trailing the School of Meteorology (2nd busiest) and the Rooftop Observatory.
(Photo 2013 by Lyann Valadez)

The rooftop c lass room is used for junior-year meteorology students to study how "green" rooftops affect heating and water runoff. (Photo 2013 by Lyann Valadez)

The rooftop classroom is used for junior-year meteorology students to study how “green” rooftops affect heating and water runoff.
(Photo 2013 by Lyann Valadez)

Daphne Thompson, NOAA Meteorologist and NWC Educational Outreach Coordinator, explains meteorology career paths to a tour participant.
(Photo 2013 by Lyann Valadez)

 

 

 

 

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