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NOAA Open House

Saturday, May 4, 2019 10:00am - 3:30pm

NOAA Center for Weather and Climate Prediction


5830 University Research Court, College Park, MD 20740


Come join the fun at our free public open house at the NOAA Center for Weather and Climate Prediction on Saturday, May 4th from 10:00am to 3:30pm.


Visitors will have the opportunity to learn how meteorologists forecast and track storms, watch a weather balloon launch, tour our oceanography and air laboratories, hear stories from a hurricane hunter pilot and more. There will also be hands-on interactive science activities for kids.

Security:

A government issued photo I.D. is required for adults. All bags are subject to security screening upon entry.

Food:

There will be food trucks parked outside the facility for the visitor’s convenience.

About the Center:

The NOAA Center for Weather & Climate Prediction (NCWCP) is located inside the University of Maryland Research Park and houses more than 800 dedicated NOAA employees who provide the United States with expert weather, water, and climate forecasts that touch everyone’s lives. Opened in August 2012, the center provides a seamless suite of environmental analysis, diagnostics and forecasts from the surface of the sun to the depths of the ocean floor. This integrated facility advances NOAA’s effort to build a Weather-Ready Nation through improved precision forecasts, effective and timely communications and strong partnerships. This fact sheet provides additional details about the NCWCP and its tenant organizations.


More information about each of the centers: Air Resource Laboratory, Aviation Weather Center, Climate Prediction Center, Environmental Modeling Center, NCEP Central Operations, National Hurricane Center, Ocean Prediction Center, Satellite Products and Services Division, Center for Satellite Applications and Research, Space Weather Prediction Center, Weather Prediction Center.

Want to volunteer for this event?

We’d love your help! Please complete this form and we'll be in touch.

Directions to the NOAA Center for Weather & Climate Prediction: 5830 University Research Court, College Park, MD 20740

  • From Maryland
  • Take I-495 East to exit 23A (Kenilworth Ave/MD-201 S). Stay on 201 S and make a right onto River Rd. Take the first exit right from the roundabout onto University Research Court. The NCWCP building is at the end of the cul-de-sac on the left-hand side.

  • From Virginia
  • Merge onto I-495 OUTERLOOP/Capital Beltway/ toward Alexandria. Take the I-295 N/National Harbor exit, EXIT 2A-B, toward Washington. Keep right to take DC-295 N toward US-50 E (crossing into Maryland stay in Middle lane) to 201 North Kenilworth Ave). Turn left onto River Rd. Take the first exit right from the roundabout onto University Research Court The NCWCP building is at the end of the cul-de-sac on the left-hand side.

  • From Washington DC
  • Take I-295 North (Middle lane) to 201 North Kenilworth Ave. (Cross East-West Hwy/MD-410) left onto River Rd. Take the first exit right from the roundabout onto University Research Court. The NCWCP building is at the end of the cul-de-sac on the left-hand side.

  • Via Metrorail
  • The building is accessible via the College Park Metro Station. Our building is a half-mile from the Metro (a 15-20 minute walk).

    Visitor Parking & Facility Access

    Free parking is available in the parking garage on the property. A government issued photo I.D. is required for adults. All bags are subject to security screening upon entry.

     

    SCHEDULE

    *Tour slots are limited and fill up fast! Sign up for all tours are on a first come first served basis. Note that sign-up for afternoon tours will begin at noon. Please plan accordingly.

     

    WEATHER FORECAST OPERATIONS AREA TOURS (sign up at Atrium table 3)
    10:15am; 10:45am; 11:15am; 11:45am; 12:15pm; 12:45pm; 1:15pm; 1:45pm; 2:15pm; 2:45pm; 3:15pm

    Get first hand information on Hurricane Florence, Hurricane Isaac and Hurricane Helene! See in-person how your weather forecasts are made. You’ll be able to see where forecasters work around the clock to develop weather forecasts for the United States. You’ll learn about forecast models and other tools forecasters use. Learn about the critical work of monitoring and forecasting flash flooding, blizzards, hurricanes, and other hazards. Tours will last 20 minutes.

     

    OCEANOGRAPHY LAB TOURS (sign up at Atrium table 4)
    10:25am - 10:55am; 11:05am - 11:35am; 11:45am - 12:15pm; 12:25pm - 12:55pm; 1:05pm - 1:35pm; 1:45pm - 2:15pm; 2:25pm - 2:55pm; 3:05pm - 3:35pm

    Tour our oceanography laboratory, which studies everything from harmful algal blooms to sediment runoff in the Chesapeake Bay. Watch our in-person demonstration of the equipment our scientists use in the lab and at sea. Try some science of your own and look through our microscopes at live microorganisms from the Chesapeake Bay.

     

    SCIENCE ON A SPHERE PRESENTATION (sign up at Atrium table 5)
    10:25am - 10:55am; 11:05am - 11:35am; 11:45am - 12:15pm; 12:25pm - 12:55pm; 1:05pm - 1:35pm; 1:45pm - 2:15pm; 2:25pm - 2:55pm; 3:05pm - 3:35pm

    Watch global weather and climate systems come to life on NOAA’s newest Science On a Sphere® (SOS) installation, a 3-D educational tool. Presenters will use the sphere to explore the Earth and highlight global environmental data. Attendees will see real video of swirling hurricanes, atmospheric rivers, ocean currents and learn about global climate patterns. Presentations will last 20 minutes.

     

    AIR RESOURCES LAB TOURS (sign up at Atrium table 6)
    11:35am - 11:05am; 11:15am - 11:45am; 11:55am - 12:25pm; 12:35pm - 1:05pm; 1:15pm - 1:45pm; 1:55pm - 2:25pm; 2:35pm - 3:05pm; 3:15pm - 3:45pm

    Tour the Air Resources Laboratory atmospheric chemistry lab and see the tools our scientists use to measure and model pollutants in the atmosphere such as mercury and ozone, an indicator of air quality. Walk through the room where we measure and display real-time ozone concentrations.

     

    DATA CENTER TOURS (sign up at Atrium table 7)
    10:15am - 10:45am; 10:55am - 11:25am; 11:35am - 12:05am; 12:15pm - 12:45pm; 12:55pm - 1:25pm; 1:35pm - 2:05pm; 2:15pm - 2:45pm; 2:55pm - 3:25pm

    Meet the head of the National Weather Service central operations, Ben Kyger. Take a tour of the data center and see the computer systems that NOAA uses to disseminate forecasts, watches and warnings. Tours will last 20 minutes.

     

    CLIMATE PREDICTION CENTER TOURS (sign up at Atrium table 8)
    10:35am - 11:05am; 11:15am - 11:45am; 11:55am - 12:25pm; 12:35pm - 1:05pm; 1:15pm - 1:45pm; 1:55pm - 2:25pm; 2:35pm - 3:05pm

    Learn about El Niño and La Niña and how it could impact the upcoming winter. Understand what CPC’s forecasts actually mean so that you’ll know what to expect next week or next season. Learn what a probability actually means. Think you know already! Find out if you’re right. Talks will last 20 minutes.

     

    WEATHER MERIT BADGE CLASS (RM. 1450)
    10:00am - 12:00pm; 1:00pm - 3:00pm

     

    MEET A HURRICANE HUNTER PILOT CDR JASON MANSOUR (Auditorium)
    10:30am; 12:30pm

    Most pilots try to avoid flying an airplane into severe weather, but not the NOAA Hurricane Hunters. Their job is to fly specially equipped aircraft directly into the eye of the storm to collect crucial data about the storm. Presentation will be 20 mins followed by questions from the audience.

     

    MEET NOAA CORP’S OFFICERS LTJG Diane Perry (Auditorium)
    11:30am; 1:30pm

    NOAA Corps officers lead some of NOAA’s most important initiatives. They operate NOAA ships, fly NOAA aircraft, manage research projects, conduct diving operations and serve in staff positions throughout agency. The NOAA Corps is one of seven federal uniformed services of the United States.

     

    WEATHER BALLOON LAUNCHES (Front Entrance)
    11:00am; 12:00pm; 1:00pm; 2:00pm; 3:00pm

    Watch VIP’s launch one of the thousands of weather balloons that take off twice a day from nearly 900 locations worldwide. Weather balloons carry instruments that measure conditions like humidity, temperature and the wind speed in our atmosphere (up to 20 miles high) before they burst and parachute back down to earth. The data they record help forecasters everyday. All launches will be held near the main entrance to the building.

     

    JOINT CENTER FOR SATELLITE DATA ASSIMILATION ACTIVITY (Atrium table 9)
    10:00am - 3:30pmm

    Learn how NOAA and NASA are working together to enhance satellite observations and make satellite data more accessible.

     

    ARCHITECTURAL OVERVIEW BY RENOWNED HOK ARCHITECT (Atrium table 10)
    11:00am; 12:00pm

    Listen to how HOK's architects incorporated NOAA’s mission into the design of the building achieving a beautifully modern architectural expression.

     

    SWEPT AWAY - THE POWER OF WATER! (Atrium table 11)
    10:00am - 3:30pm

    See how powerful water can be at the interactive flood table! Flooding is a coast to coast threat in the United States and its territories killing more people each year than tornadoes, hurricanes and lightning combined. Sometimes forecasters can anticipate where a flood will happen days before it occurs. However. flash floods can occur within minutes and sometimes without any sign of rain. Find out why driving or walking into flowing water is never safe. Turn Around Don't Drown!

     

    CLOUD IN A BOTTLE (Atrium table 12)
    10:00am - 3:30pm

    See how you can make a cloud inside a bottle and learn how clouds form outside in the sky.

     

    FACE PAINTING (Atrium table 13)
    10:00am - 3:00pm

    Will it be hot or cold, wet or dry, calm or stormy, clear or cloudy? Learn weather symbols with our face painter.

     

    NESDIS SEARCH AND RESCUE (Conference Center C)
    10:00am - 3:30pm

    Learn about how NOAA detects detect and locates mariners, aviators, and other recreational users in distress almost anywhere in the world at anytime and in almost any condition through the Search And Rescue Satellite Aided Tracking (SARSAT) System.

     

    SAND BOX (Conference Center B)
    10:00am - 3:30pm

    See topography and maps come alive with the Sandbox. The Sandbox uses an overhead projector to turn a box full of sand into an interactive topographic map. When people manipulate the sand, their hills and valleys are translated into contour lines and colored elevations.

     

    LAYOUT THE FORECAST (Conference Center A)
    10:00am - 3:30pm

    Create a professional weather forecast. Learn how to gather weather information, create custom graphics and package into a weather forecast ready for distribution.

     

    MEET OWLIE THE NWS MASCOT
    10:00am - 3:00pm

    Meet Owlie Skywarn; the National Weather Service's go-to-owl for weather safety information.

     

    NOAA ENVIRONMENTAL FILM-FEST (Auditorium)
    2:00pm - 3:30pm

    Featured videos: We are the National Weather Service; NOAA's Weather-Ready Nation: Be a Force of Nature; Turn Around Don't Drown; NOAA Satellites; What is GOES-R; Making a Weather Forecast with GOES-R

     

    SPECIAL THANKS

    Special thanks to General Dynamics for the generous contribution of our volunteer tee shirts.

     

    General Dynamics

    Dr. Bill Lapenta

    Cheryl Oliver

    Jeannine Montgomery

    Mary Fairbanks

    Lorraine Robidoux

    Genene Fisher

    Kimberly Montgomery

    Lauren Gaches

    Adena Fritz

    Bruce O'Brien