Storm Prediction Center

The Storm Prediction Center (SPC), located in Norman, Oklahoma, is tasked with forecasting the risk of severe thunderstorms and tornadoes in the contiguous United States. The agency issues convective outlooks, mesoscale discussions, and watches as a part of this process. Convective outlooks are issued for Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, and Day 4–8, and detail the risk of severe thunderstorms and tornadoes during the given forecast period, although tornado, hail, and wind details are only available for Day 1. Days 2 and 3, as well as 4–8 used a probabilistic scale, determining the probability for a severe weather event in percent. Mesoscale discussions are issued to give information on a region that is becoming a severe weather threat and states whether a watch is likely and details thereof, as well as situations of isolated severe weather when watches are not necessary. Watches are issued when forecasters are confident that severe weather will occur, and usually precede the onset of severe weather by one hour.

The agency is also responsible for forecasting fire weather (conditions favorable for wildfires) in the contiguous US, and issues Day 1, 2, and 3–8 fire weather outlooks. These outlooks detail areas with critical or extremely critical fire conditions.

The Storm Prediction Center is part of the National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP), operating under the control of the National Weather Service (NWS), which in turn is part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) of the United States Department of Commerce (DoC).

The Storm Prediction Center was previously known as the National Severe Storms Forecast Center and was located in Kansas City, Missouri. In October 1995, the National Severe Storms Forecast Center relocated to Norman and was renamed the Storm Prediction Center. From the time of the move until 2006, it was co-located with the National Severe Storms Laboratory at University of Oklahoma Westheimer Airport. In 2006, they moved into the National Weather Center.

Read more about Storm Prediction Center:  History, Overview, Convective Outlooks, Mesoscale Discussions, Weather Watches, Fire Weather Products

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