The National Weather Service Vision, Values, & Mission

A world class team of professionals who:

  • Produce and deliver quality forecasts you can trust when you need them most
  • Use cutting edge techniques
  • Provide services in a cost effective manner
  • Strive to eliminate weather-related fatalities and improve the economic value of weather information

We at the National Weather Service value:

  • Service above self
  • Our customers and partners
  • Respect and trust of others and the diversity of our agency
  • The open exchange of information and ideas
  • Commitment to integrity, teamwork, self-improvement, high standards, and scientific approach to our mission
  • An innovative and empowered workforce

The National Weather Service mission:

To provide 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. NWS data and products form a national information database and infrastructure which can be used by other governmental agencies, the private sector, the public, and the global community.

The Role of the National Weather Service

The National Weather Service (NWS) has been this nation's leading meteorological information source since its creation in 1890. A federal agency under the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), which is part of the United States Department of Commerce, the NWS offers a wide array of products and services. Not only is the NWS the only entity legally authorized to issue severe weather warnings, it also issues seven-day forecasts for every location in the United States, Puerto Rico, and Guam. The NWS issues aviation forecasts for hundreds of airports, produces daily fire weather forecasts in every state, and marine forecasts for coastal locations.

The NWS also serves as the leading data collection agency in the nation. It uses satellite imagery to assist in forecasting, and Doppler radar imagery in issuing severe weather warnings. Surface and upper air data are gathered routinely. The National Centers for Environmental Prediction, another NOAA agency, use this plethora of data in generating a variety of short- and long-term computer atmospheric models, which serve as the basis of weather forecasting. The NWS shares this data freely with other government agencies, universities, private weather industries, and the general public. The NWS also strives to offer as much of this information as possible on the internet.

The National Weather Service operates NOAA Weather Radio (NWR), with hundreds of transmitters located across the nation. NWR broadcasts routine forecasts and other weather information, but proves most valuable during severe weather, by transmitting crucial, often life-saving warnings. As "the voice of the National Weather Service," NWR is its most "visible" portion. Indeed, the National Weather Service continues to prove itself the world's leader in meteorological technology and operational research.

Being one of only a handful of branches of the federal government designated as a "high-impact agency," the NWS operates more than 130 field offices nationwide, six regional offices, and other various centers, such as the Storm Prediction Center, the National Hurricane Center, and the National Climatic Data Center. Its annual expenditures are around $700 million annually, which is less than $3 per U.S. citizen.


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