National Weather and Climate Prediction Center Opens at the University of Maryland

National Weather and Climate Prediction Center Opens at the University of Maryland

COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- The eye of weather and climate prediction for the nation is now a centerpiece of M Square, the University of Maryland Research Park. This week, the federal government officially opened the long-awaited Center for Weather and Climate Prediction of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

The new center brings together more than 800 NOAA employees from several different outdated buildings and puts them in an innovative, state-of-the-art facility designed by a team of architects led by University of Maryland alum Roger Schwabacher M.A. Arch. '99.

"We at the University of Maryland are thrilled to have [NOAA] as a key partner in our M Square Research Park," said University President Wallace Loh, speaking at the opening ceremonies. "And for the first time we will have right here in this region, I believe, the greatest concentration of earth, climate and weather scientists in the world."

The new NOAA center provides the nation with a broad range of environmental services - from predicting the hurricane season and El Niño/La Niña to forecasting ocean currents and large-scale rain and snow storms. Billions of earth observations from around the world flow through environmental models, developed and managed in the new building, that support the nation's weather forecasts.

The center's new building is deliberately next door UMD's Earth Systems Science Interdisciplinary Center (ESSIC) and Joint Global Change Research Institute (JGCRI) -- leading centers on earth science, climate change and energy use. NOAA and the University of Maryland have established a collaborative agreement designed to maximize the enhanced academic and research opportunities made possible by the new center and its location adjacent to campus.

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October 24, 2012


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UMD's Neutral Buoyancy Research Facility, which simulates the weightlessness of space, is one of only two such facilities in the U.S.