Put on your galoshes and join us for a trip to the National Weather Service! This 20-minute KET video for grades 5-12 takes students inside the Louisville office of the weather service, one of three regional offices serving Kentucky, for a behind-the-scenes look at the science of forecasting the weather.
The National Weather Service is part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), a branch of the U.S. Department of Commerce. The agency’s main mission is protecting lives, commerce, and property. Like other Weather Service stations across the country, the Louisville office operates around the clock, with at least three people always on duty.
During our tour, we learn about
- the mission of the National Weather Service.
- the professionals who work there, including meteorologists, hydrologists, electronic and computer technicians, and program managers.
- different types of weather forecasting.
- equipment and technology used to predict and track weather systems, including automated data collection, Doppler radar, and satellites.
- how forecast information gets to other government and business entities and to the public through an automated weather radio service and commercial radio and television.
- how to stay safe during a weather emergency.
- the role of volunteers in helping the National Weather Service monitor weather across the state.
The field trip supports Kentucky Academic Expectations in science, math, technology use, and practical living (see Academic Connections for a specific list) by demonstrating real-world applications of scientific knowledge and technology.
Radar photo: NOAA Photo Library, NOAA Central Library; OAR/ERL/National Severe Storms Laboratory (NSSL)