About the National Weather Center
The NWC Entrance (2019)
Science On a Sphere
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.
- The NWC sits on a 22-acre site at the NE corner of Jenkins Avenue and Highway 9 in Norman, Oklahoma.
- The NWC was a joint design venture between Beck Associates Architects and LAN/Daly.
- Ground-breaking took place in November of 2002 and was completed in July of 2006.
- The NWC is 244,000 square feet and cost $69 million dollars.
- The building’s server room is 1,400 square feet and holds 1,720 servers; over 2 miles of cable run below the server room floor.
- The NWC has five floors (and a sixth floor Observation Deck), but it’s actually about nine stories high. This is because so much extra space was needed in between floors to house the 3,200 miles of cabling in the building.
- The NWC is also home to the Oklahoma Weather Lab (OWL), which is run entirely by students. OWL provides forecasts to OU Nightly and sponsors guest speakers throughout the year.
- Dorothy and D.O.T., the famous props that were used during the filming of 1996’s Twister, are on permanent display in the NWC Atrium.
- About 500 research scientists, faculty and support staff work in the National Weather Center.
- The NWC is not a storm shelter. The only two areas in the building that are storm safe are only big enough to accommodate NWC employees.