Saving Lives & Property…

NOAA’s National Severe Storms Laboratory serves the nation by working to improve the leadtime and accuracy of severe weather warnings and forecasts in order to save lives and reduce property damage. NSSL scientists are committed to their mission to understand the causes of severe weather and explore new ways to use weather information to assist National Weather Service forecasters and federal, university and private sector partners.

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At NSSL, our basic and applied research focuses on understanding severe weather processes, developing weather observation technology, and improving forecast tools, with emphasis on:


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Tornado Intercept: The Union City Twister and the Birth of Doppler Radar

May 22, 2023

Fifty years ago, on May 24, 1973, a violent F-4 tornado tore through the central Oklahoma town of Union City, killing two people and injuring at least four more. While the human impact of the storm was devastating, the Union City tornado was also historic as it marked the first time researchers were able to use radar to observe the entire lifecycle of a tornado.

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OUTFLOW Project uses weather drones to measure atmosphere ahead of summer storms in Oklahoma, Texas

May 18, 2023

Scientists from the National Severe Storms Laboratory and Cooperative Institute for Severe and High-Impact Weather Research and Operations (CIWRO) at the University of Oklahoma will embark on a new field study this summer to collect lower atmospheric observations prior to severe thunderstorms.

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Severe storm research campaign kicks off second year of data gathering

February 9, 2023

Researchers prepare to launch an experimental weather balloon on April 5, 2022, near a storm in Greenville, Alabama. (NOAA) This winter has brought multiple rounds of devastating severe weather to the southeastern U.S., with more…

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DaNa Carlis named director of NOAA’s National Severe Storms Laboratory

January 11, 2023

DaNa L. Carlis, Ph.D., a research meteorologist and experienced scientific leader, has been named the director of NOAA’s National Severe Storms Laboratory (NSSL) in Norman, Oklahoma. He will join the world’s preeminent research institution for…

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New Bite-Sized Science Video: How Research Continued in a Virtual World

August 16, 2022

When COVID hit in March 2020, the future of the NOAA Hazardous Weather Testbed became unclear. In-person collaboration was off the table. With everyone working from home, could the Spring Experiment survive?

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NOAA researchers seek to learn more about tornado experiences to improve safety

June 15, 2022

Has a tornado hit your house or your community? Have you received a tornado alert? NOAA scientists want to hear your story. The new Tornado Tales citizen science tool is an online survey that provides…

NSSL Video

Threats in Motion

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In nature, hazardous weather is almost always in motion. New research and technology are making it possible to provide more continuous information about the storm and its movement. Threats in Motion (TiM) is the next step in the evolution of how weather information is provided to the public. Learn more →

Advanced Technology Demonstrator

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Radar research at the NOAA National Severe Storms Laboratory has taken another step forward. The Advanced Technology Demonstrator is the first full-scale, S-band, dual-polarization phased array radar built from the ground up and designed specifically for use as a weather radar. Learn more →