The Tallahassee office of the National Weather Service (NWS) is co-located within the department. The faculty, students, and NWS staff collaborate on a wide range of studies. In addition, the department houses the NOAA Cooperative Institute for Tropical Meteorology (CITM). This cooperative research has an emphasis on hurricane studies, flash floods, tropical convection, and local weather. Student participation is a large component of the program. Click here to link to the NWS page for a virtual tour.
A major benefit of this partnership is that EOAS receives a full suite of products through the NWS that includes Doppler weather radar products (national and local) and GOES satellite images. Many of these products can be viewed in real-time at various locations in the Love Building including within the “map room”. NWS staff is encouraged to pursue research topics of local interest during periods of inactive weather. This includes participating in student research within meteorology. NWS staff have been members of graduate student thesis committees and undergraduate Honors thesis committees. Meteorology faculty together with a NWS Co-PI have been awarded NOAA CSTAR, COMET, and JHT grants to formally pursue research of a local or national nature.
The NWS office is an invaluable resource to EOAS since its collocation allows direct interaction between forecasters and students, allowing students to get practically applied experience to accompany the academic program of their courses. The NWS also provides 1-2 volunteer internships each semester for students to work directly with forecasters. The NWS’s instrumentation and work space is not routinely available to students or the general public, However, with advance notice office tours are available and students can see balloon launches as well as the forecast process. Further, the local NWS Science and Operations Officer (SOO) each spring volunteers their time to teach an Operational Meteorology course to undergraduates to orient them to the NWS environment and forecast tools. Finally, once a week during the academic year, the NWS hosts a weather forecast discussion where students can listen in and participate in the thought process underlying the forecasters’ current weather situation.