NSSL Fact Sheets

These fact sheets provide a brief overview of NSSL and some of the laboratory's research activities.

2020 Fact Sheets

NSSL Overview
NSSL serves the nation by working to improve the lead time and accuracy of severe weather warnings and forecasts in order to save lives and reduce property damage. [.pdf, 3 MB]
The Future of Weather Radar
For more than 50 years, NSSL has led the nation with ingenuity and creativity to push radar technology to the edge. [.pdf, 2.2 MB]

Forecast and warning research

Forecast and Warning Improvements
NSSL studies thunderstorms from many different points of view. [.pdf, 431 kB]
A proposed next-generation, severe weather forecasting concept that is modern, flexible, and designed to communicate user-specific, understandable weather threat information. [.pdf, 631 kB]
Forecasting severe weather before the threat is ever detected. [.pdf, 1.4 MB]
MRMS (Multiple Radar/Multiple Sensor)
A new system developed by NSSL and recently activated by NOAA’s National Weather Service, MRMS quickly harnesses the tremendous amount of weather data from multiple sources, intelligently integrates the information, and provides a detailed picture of the current weather. MRMS will improve the ability of forecasters to issue public warnings and advisories for severe weather such as tornadoes, hail and flash floods, and will help improve forecasts for safety of air traffic. [.pdf, 2.9 MB]
NOAA Hazardous Weather Testbed
The NOAA HWT targets developing, testing and evaluating severe weather forecast and warning techniques throughout the U.S. [.pdf, 207 kB]
Field Research Projects
NSSL researchers know the best way to learn about the nature of severe storms and their hazards is to observe them when and where they happen. [.pdf, 177 kB]
Field Research Equipment
NSSL has been a pioneer in designing innovative field research equipment used for taking measurements of hazardous weather. [.pdf, 167 kB]
Plains Elevated Convection At Night (PECAN) is a large, intensive field project to collect data before and during nighttime thunderstorms in the arid western Great Plains from June 1 to July 15, 2015. [.pdf, 1.4 MB]
The Verification of the Origins of Rotation in Tornadoes EXperiment-Southeast, or VORTEX-SE, is a collaborative effort aimed at researching storms and conditions producing tornadoes in the U.S. Southeast, along with how people learn of severe weather threats and how they respond to protect their lives and property. [.pdf, 1.4 MB]
NSSL was a part of the largest and most ambition attempt to explain tornadoes—their origins, structure and evolution. [.pdf, 261 kB]

Weather Radar Research & Improvements

The Future of Weather Radar
For more than 50 years, NSSL has led the nation with ingenuity and creativity to push radar technology to the edge. [.pdf, 2.2 MB]
Radar: Research to Operations
Timeline of NSSL's accomplishments in the field of radar research, and history of putting radar to work, observing and predicting severe weather. [.pdf, 1.5 MB]
Multi-Function Phased Array Radar (MPAR)
Multi-function phased array radar can quickly scan the weather while detecting and tracking aircraft. [.pdf, 1 MB]
Dual-Polarization Technology
A major upgrade to existing radars giving forecasters more precise information to accurately diagnose severe weather. [.pdf, 1.1 MB]
Meteorological Phenomena Identification Near the Ground (mPING) is a project designed to collect weather information from the public through their smart phone or mobile device with GPS location capabilities. [.pdf, 458 kB]


The primary goal of the FLASH project is to improve the accuracy, timing, and specificity of flash flood warnings in the U.S., thus saving lives and protecting infrastructure. [.pdf, 1.6 MB]
The Coastal and Inland FLooding Observation and Warning (CI-FLOW) project is a multi-agency research project to provide total water level forecasts in coastal areas. [.pdf, 1.75 MB]

NSSL Outreach

Outreach and Communications
NSSL conducts, develops, supports, promotes and coordinates formal and informal educational activities at all levels to enhance public awareness and understanding of severe weather and severe weather research. [.pdf, 154 kB]
Twister Science
How NSSL's research provided inspiration for the movie, Twister. [.pdf, 317 kB]

Additional Related Topics

CIMMS Overview
Information about the Cooperative Institute for Mesoscale Meteorological Studies, a NOAA/University of Oklahoma joint research institute. [.pdf, 341 kB]
NOAA Weather Partners
Information about the consortium of five NOAA agencies located in Norman, Oklahoma [.pdf, 250 kB]
National Weather Center Fact Sheet
Home to the National Severe Storms Laboratories, the University of Oklahoma School of Meteorology, and several other federal and state agencies. [.pdf, 254 kB]
NOAA Backgrounders