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About the National Weather Center

The National Weather Center houses a unique confederation of The University of Oklahoma, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and state organizations that work together in partnership to improve understanding of events occurring in Earth’s atmosphere over a wide range of time and space scales.

national weather center interior with sphere

Science on a Sphere - SOS®

Science On a Sphere (SOS)® is a global display system that uses computers and video projectors to display planetary data onto a six foot diameter sphere, analogous to a giant animated globe. Researchers at NOAA developed Science On a Sphere® as an educational tool to help illustrate Earth System science to people of all ages. Animated images of atmospheric storms, climate change, and ocean temperature can be shown on the sphere, which is used to explain what are sometimes complex environmental processes, in a way that is simultaneously intuitive and captivating.

Learn more about Science On a Sphere

NWC Facts

  • The National Weather Center sits on a 22-acre site on the NE corner of Jenkins and Highway 9 in Norman, Oklahoma.
  • The building was designed by Beck – LAN/Daly, a joint venture between Beck Associates Architects and LAN/Daly. Oscar J. Boldt Company was the general contractor. Burns & MacDonnell Architects assisted in the development of NOAA program and facility requirements and construction oversight.
  • Ground breaking was held in November 2002 and bids were taken in early Spring 2003. Construction began August 2003. The building opened in summer 2006, with a dedication on September 29, 2006.
  • OU and NOAA, partner agencies of the NWC, have expended a total of $69 million to construct and occupy the building.
  • The building is 250,000 square feet with five stories plus a rooftop outdoor classroom and enclosed weather observation deck.
  • The exterior is made up of face brick, architectural cast stone, metal-faced composite panels, and glass curtain walls.
  • The NWC houses about 550 people. This includes research scientists, operational meteorologists and climatologists, engineers, technicians, support staff, and graduate and undergraduate students.