NOAA refers to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The NOAA National Weather Service website offers users many helpful weather and ocean related resources. Travelers, researchers, and those who love science can learn quite a bit from the items provided. Color coded maps help show weather patterns while observations are available to keep users up to date on snow cover, satellite and radar images, surface weather, and observed precipitation. Users can also check out local, graphical, marine, aviation, severe weather, and hurricane forecasts. RSS feeds and alerts allow users to stay up to date even when they aren’t visiting the NOAA website.
The NOAA website was created for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The NOAA is a scientific agency that operates under the United States Department of Commerce. Members are responsible for monitoring the atmosphere and oceans. The NOAA came to be after President Richard Nixon proposed its creation. It was officially formed on October 3rd, 1970. Considering the age and scientific nature of the NOAA, it is only natural that the organization would provide a detailed website to share information with the general public.
The NOAA website is unique because it is the official weather service website of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The site includes many interesting resources based on the atmosphere and oceans. Users who are interested in scientific topics as well as researchers can gather a lot of data for their own projects or learn more about what’s going on in the world weather-wise. Users can also find a listing of all NOAA offices and centers as well as contact information for each.
The NOAA website includes an appropriate blue and white color scheme highlighted by the NOAA logo. The header, which is reminiscent of a cloud, is fitting considering the information available on the site. The available data is easy to find, with categories listed along the right hand side of the page. Some of the maps are very simple, but they server their purpose well.
The NOAA website does not offer users a registration option. There are no accounts and no features that require signing in to access. That being said, there is an email sign up option that users can choose. A white link that states “Sign-up for Email Alerts” can be found as the top item in the category listing along the left hand side of the page. The following page explains more about the email alerts and encourages users to complete a short survey about the format provided. Users who wish to finish signing up can click the blue “Sign up for NWS alerts and updates by email” link at the center of the page. Yet another link appears and must be clicked before the user arrives at the email entry field. This seems a little excessive considering most website offer an email alert opt in form right on the homepage or within one click beyond that.
The NOAA website is available to anyone for free. Users can sign up for email alerts at no cost. Although the site offers a great deal of National Weather Service information, it does not provide much more than that. Users can turn to the NOAA website as a valuable resource, but it doesn’t really offer a function that would warrant a subscription fee.
Scientists, researchers and anyone who is fascinated by weather can really appreciate the NOAA National Weather Service website. The site contains a wealth of information and resources so users can get up to date information and stay informed on current events in the world of weather, the oceans, and the atmosphere.