21 June 2007

MTPE Day 7

Day 7 is in the books. We visited the National Weather Center in Norman, OK this morning. It was, possibly, the most interesting thing we have done all week. Can you say Masters in Meteorology? Oh man, that would be awesome!

The National Weather Service Building here is an extension of the OU School of Meteorology. They are housed in a Federal Building sharing joint custody of it. We started our tour at the top of the building and worked our way down. It was interesting to see the pecking order in the building with the seniors and graduate students on the top, juniors on the next floor down, and so on. I was amazed at the sheer amount of technology crammed into that building. They have a false floor between each floor simply for networking. We got to see the Federal part of the building where they issued every type of warning and watch for the contiguous United States. All from one room! We also saw the room where the Oklahoma WS conducts their operations as well. We saw new technology that is barely even in the field, as far as instrumentation is concerned. We sa
w some new sonar they are testing that is simply upward looking sonar to help with weather forecasting. The most amazing thing about the school is that the students get to go out into the field to conduct research. Not just graduate students either, I mean every student! I must say, there are so many disciplines here at OU in which one could be interested. Which one to choose? I mean I only have one life, there are a limited amount of degrees I can learn!

On the pictures below, notice how much glass is in the building. The entire southwest side of the building is glass. Guess which way the predominant severe weather patterns are in Oklahoma? This place is state of the art, as you can see from the pictures, they moved into the building in September of 2006. Everything, and I mean everything in this place is nice!

National Weather Service, Norman Oklahoma.

"Total Understanding of the Sky", the apparent motto of the NWS.

Upward looking sonar to map the atmosphere. This is actually in a classroom...of course that is an instrumentation classroom and it's outside!

The National Weather Service forecast room

A Mobile command post, where the fun really happens!

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