Research Tools

There are a number of ways NSSL researchers study severe weather and ways to improve severe weather forecasts and warnings.


Radar is one of the most valuable tools available to a forecaster. From the original WSR-57 research project to Doppler radar, NEXRAD, dual-polarization technology and phased array radar, NSSL's research has truly changed the face of weather forecasting.

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Collaborative testbed projects shorten the transition time from meteorological research to useful operational forecasting tools. NSSL hosts the NOAA Hazardous Weather Testbed and the NOAA National Weather Radar Testbed. NSSL researchers also collaborate with the Developmental Testbed Center, the GOES-R Proving Ground, the NOAA Hydrometeorology Testbed and the Data Assimilation Research Team.

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Science relies on observations to form theories about nature, and ultimately to evaluate and validate these theories. These observations can come from our natural senses, and from instruments that we have developed. The sustained development of advanced instrumentation continues to open new horizons in our understanding about how nature, including the multitude of processes in our atmosphere, really operates.

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NSSL researchers have created a computer model that can simulate a thunderstorm to study how changes in the environment can affect its behavior. They also contribute to the development of the Weather Research and Forecast (WRF) model used in both research and NWS operations.

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Decision Support

NOAA National Weather Service forecasters have a firehose of information directed at them, especially when there is a threat of severe weather. NSSL investigates methods and techniques to diagnose severe weather events more quickly and accurately.

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