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Why Is The Center Of U.S. Meteorology Smack In The Middle Of Oklahoma?

KPIX 5 Morning Weather Anchor Roberta Gonzales answers the questions you never get to ask on-air.

Q: Roberta; I read your latest blog detailing your trip to Oklahoma. Were you there to visit the National Weather Center? - Ron Gee, San Mateo

A: Great question! While my main purpose was to visit my son at the University of Oklahoma, I did indeed visit the National Weather Center which is located on the university's campus.

The National Weather Center in Norman, Oklahoma is the headquarters for all NWS Offices across America. Many people ask, 'why are they located in Norman?' well, think about it: The offices are located in Tornado Alley in the middle of heartland USA! The 244,000 square foot building is on the actual university campus!

The home of the National Weather Center is one of the largest facilities of its kind in the world! It houses 12 University of Oklahoma, state and federal organizations. In addition it employs more than 650 employees, faculty, students and researchers.

The Center accommodates OU's academic and research programs in Meteorology as well as the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Norman based "research and operation programs."

And it is a stunning building adorned with captivating artwork and the latest in hi-tech weather equipment available.

While I was visiting the National Weather Center, a Tornado Watch was issued for a number of counties in Oklahoma. There was electricity in the air from the excitement! Later that night, I marveled at the heavy rain, endless stream of thunder and powerful lightning.

And, even though I was a little more than 1,600 miles from San Francisco, visiting the National Weather Center on the OU Campus felt like "home sweet home."

I would love to hear from you! Please send weather questions, observations and photos to me, and I look forward to hearing from you!

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