Site Information


The National Severe Storms Laboratory Web pages may contain links to external (non-government) Web sites because we believe certain sites may provide additional interesting and relevant information that relates directly to our mission. NSSL does not endorse the information, products or services found on another site nor is it responsible in any way for the information found there. Furthermore, NSSL does not guarantee the privacy of any information collected there.

Some NSSL-sponsored research performed by CIWRO (formerly CIMMS) working at NSSL is presented in web pages that reside on the University of Oklahoma's Cooperative Institute for Mesoscale Meteorological Studies web site ( or the Cooperative Institute for Severe and High-Impact Weather Research and Operations web site ( While links to these pages are external, the directly-linked content is consistent with NSSL guidelines and policies and represents a significant part of the research carried out at NSSL.

Additionally, any mention of commercial products within NSSL web pages is for information only and does not imply recommendation or endorsement by NSSL.

External links to data and information must meet the following criteria:

  • links are necessary for and material to the presentation of information
  • reasonable steps are taken to ensure the presentation is accurate, relevant, timely, and complete
  • reasonable steps are taken to assure that links remain active or otherwise continue to provide the level of quality (including objectivity, utility, and integrity) as intended by the agency and expected by users.
  • do not constitute an endorsement as described in the NOAA Disclaimer.

The information on NSSL web pages is in the public domain, unless specifically noted otherwise, and may be used freely by the public. 

Can't Find It Here?

NSSL's research spans weather radar, tornadoes, flash floods, lightning, damaging winds, hail, and winter weather. We're not generally involved with hurricane research and forecasting, earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanoes, space weather, real-time weather forecasting ("Is it going to rain in my neighborhood tonight?") or maintaining historical weather data ("Did it rain in my neighborhood this time last year?"). If you're looking for information on these topics, you may find these links helpful:


Most pages on the NSSL website have been reviewed and revised to be accessible to individuals with disabilities in accordance with Section 508 of the Workforce Investment Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act. If you have difficulty accessing information or using adaptive technology with any of our Web pages, please report it via email to the NSSL Webmaster. We will make every effort to make them accessible to you as quickly as possible.

Full accessibility information may be found on the Accessiblilty Statement page.

Computer Security

This is a Department of Commerce computer system. Access or use of this system by any user, whether authorized or unauthorized, constitutes consent to security monitoring and testing. Information may be intercepted, recorded, read, copied and disclosed by and to authorized personnel for official purposes, including criminal investigations. All server activity is logged with your user name and IP address.


Unless otherwise stated data contained on this site is the property of the Department of Commerce and may not have been processed for quality assurance. 

Privacy Policy

The NSSL website uses Google Analytics web analytics software and the search engine (for searching for information within the NSSL website). When you browse through this website, read pages, or perform searches, these services will gather and store certain information about your visit automatically. This information does not identify you personally. We use this information to help us make our site more useful to visitors—to learn about the number of visitors to our site and the types of technology our visitors use.

We do not collect personally-identifiable information unless you choose to provide it to us. If you provide us with personally identifiable information, for example by sending an email or by filling out a form and submitting it through our website, we use that information only to respond to your message and to help us provide you with the information and services that you request. We may forward your email to the government employee who can best respond to your request.

We encourage public interaction and communication about the content we post on our blogs and social media accounts. However, this does not imply that NSSL agrees with or accepts the content, opinions, or views expressed within any public comment. The person who posts a comment is solely responsible for the content of the comment.

While we do not discriminate against views or opinions posted to our blogs or social networking accounts, we reserve the right to remove any comment. A comment will not be edited or modified to remove unacceptable content; the entire comment will simply be deleted. Some of the reasons we may remove a comment are listed below:

  • Abusive, vulgar, obscene, racist, threatening, or harassing comments
  • Libel, slander, or personal attacks of any kind, including the use of offensive terms that target specific individuals or groups
  • Clearly off topic
  • Spam, including content that promotes products or services or contains gratuitous links (links or references to other NOAA webpages or federal government sites are acceptable)
  • Political campaigning or lobbying

Read the full NSSL Privacy Policy.

Plain Language

NSSL is committed to using plain language in information for the public. Our information is relevant to many groups, and plain language makes the information even more useful. The Plain Writing Act of 2010 requires all federal agencies to write plainly when they communicate with the public, and NSSL is taking steps to use plain language in any document that communicates our work to the general public.

View the Plain Writing Plan

You can see the plain writing plan from the U.S. Department of Commerce. NSSL is a part of DoC, and we are following this plan. DoC releases annual reports that provide an overview of the implementation efforts made by agencies within that department.

Let Us Know How We're Doing

We need your help to comply with this Act!  You can help us meet our plain language goals by letting us know when we fall short. Tell us if you have trouble understanding our documents or the pages on our website by sending an email to NSSL Outreach at .

Supporting Applications

These file types require additional software to view the content through your browser. If it is not already installed, you can download any of the following applications free from their publishers by clicking on the links below. Follow the installation instructions provided for each application.

  • Adobe Acrobat Reader is required to read Portable Document Format (pdf) files.
  • Google Earth  is a free 3-D interface required to view .kmz files that combine satellite imagery, maps and Google Search.


Some photos on this site are used under CC BY_SA 3.0 licensing. These are indicated in the photo caption or watermark.

Many of the photos on this site are the work of NSSL's chief video and still photographer, James Murnan.

Vector "home" icon on the NSSL 50th anniversary pages made by Icomoon from is licensed under CC BY 3.0