Understanding weather and climate is a great intellectual adventure: predicting how intense a hurricane will become, or why some super-cell thunderstorms produce tornadoes and others don't, involves some of the most complicated phenomena in all of Nature. It takes Earth's most powerful computers, and the minds and imaginations of some of our planet's boldest thinkers and still we don't, by any means, have all the answers.
Sometimes studying storms is a physical adventure as well. NOAA researchers fly planes through hurricanes to gather the detailed information it takes to find out where this particular storm is headed. Out on the Great Plains, scientists try to position Doppler radar units as close to twisters as they can, to probe for the unique signature of a tornado being born.
This section of the website is the place to find out more about these adventurous researchers, and the dedicated science support teams of engineers, pilots, computer scientists and technicians of many diverse talents and backgrounds who build and operate the instruments we need to unravel Nature's secrets. Here you'll meet undergraduates as well as senior scientists like NASA's Joanne Simpson, who had to fight very hard to become, in 1949, the first female Ph.D. in the meteorological sciences.
BIOgraphies introduces you to the researchers and their support teams in their own words, describing how they got into weather and climate research, and what they most like about their challenging careers.
FIELD JOURNALS takes you behind the scenes with first-person accounts of some of the adventures of the mind and body these researchers have experienced.
SITE TOURS invites you to explore the places where they live and work, interactively and at your own pace, from a the interior of a P-3 plane in flight, to a research ship deploying buoys on the Pacific, to NOAA labs across the nation and around the world. And there are links to the best sites on the WWW if you want to know more. You'll see HOW today's scientists study weather and climate and more about the tools they use.
WEATHER and CLIMATE TIMELINE puts today's science into historical context, providing information about some of the discoveries and inventions our species has made across the centuries. You'll find contributions from just about every continent and culture--but there's no doubt more people know more about weather and climate today than ever before. Don' be concerned: there's still plenty for curious young minds to find out in the coming years. May one of them be yours!
WHO studies weather and HOW will grow in the coming months. We encourage you to check back early and often to meet more of the NOAA and NASA scientists who are helping us understand our world.