National Weather Center

National Weather Center, Norman: Address, Phone Number, National Weather Center Reviews: 4.5/5

National Weather Center

127 reviews
Very good

Ethan K
Illinois116 contributions
Jun 2020
The National Weather Center is pretty cool. I had a tour there and got to see the doppler on wheels, the SPC, and the observation deck on the top floor. They have a cafe inside though we didn't eat there. On a nice day there are a lot of solid outdoor photo ops. I might be a bit biased because I'm a prospective meteorology student at OU, but this place is really nice. Even if you are just a casual visitor and aren't really into meteorology, I would still recommend checking it out as the tour was completely free and wasn't overly technical or scientific.
Written June 29, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

64 contributions
Feb 2018 • Couples
The National Weather Center is FREE! and open to the public! You just need to call ahead, or book online, a week or two in advance so that they can clear your visit. The tour is 1.5-2 hours long. Ours was 2 hours with Pat, on a cold, wintry day (we didn't go out on the rooftop lab). But the views we got from the observation floor were amazing! We also saw where they generate all severe weather warnings for the Continental US, and movie props from Twister. This tour was very enjoyable and informative! I had no idea that it even existed, but now I highly recommend it to anyone that is interested in weather, or is looking for something fun, free and different to explore in Oklahoma.
Written February 12, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Amarillo, TX80 contributions
Feb 2013 • Couples
Living in "tornado alley", I have always been interested in the weather. Our visit to the National Weather Center in Norman was great! Our guide was well informed, friendly and funny! The tour takes you through both sections of the weather center (one part is owned by NOAA and is a federal facility and the other is owned by the University of Oklahoma). The tour lasted about 90 minutes and was just the right length of time, in my opinion. I especially enjoyed seeing the Storm Prediction Center!

I would recommend this tour for adults and children alike. I think it would inspire a desire to study meteorology in students (I know it made me wish I had studied meteorology!).

Word of advice: you cannot just show up on a day that a tour is taking place. You have to set up a reservation ahead of time based on their schedule. You must also have a photo ID with you to check in.
Written April 19, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Merrillville, IN479 contributions
Mar 2011
My tour at The National Weather Center in Norman, OK, was very educational and interesting. The tour guide was well-informed, having a masters degree in meterology. The tour started on the observation deck and worked its way down. The observation deck has a spectacular view of the area. On a clear day, anyone up there can see several hundread miles. Since most of the storms in the area come from the Texas panhandle, I was standing to the southwest. There were no storms in the area, however, the day I was there. Some topics covered on the tour included types of radar, storm chasing, and how things operate at the National Weather Center. I saw the meterology school area, the rooms where warnings and watches are issued (all watches come out of Norman, OK, for the USA), as well as the garage where the storm chasing vehicles are located. In addition, I saw some props from the movie "Twister" and there was a little commentary on that movie from the tour guide. Tour started on time and runs for 1 1/2 hours.
Pictures are allowed everywhere on the tour, but the flash must be turned off in one area. Restrooms are locted on first floor.

Tip: Either call them up (405-325-1147) or schedule your tour ahead of time online to reserve your spot.
Written April 2, 2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Bill R
Tecumseh, OK54 contributions
Jun 2018 • Family
My wife and I have lived in Oklahoma since 2007 and have driven past the National Weather Center many, many times over the past 11 years and have always vowed to visit it one day. Well, we finally did it this summer and enjoyed our visit very much! Our guide was a gentleman who is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma School of Meteorology and was very knowledgeable about what goes on in the building. The highlight of the tour for me was seeing the actual Storm Prediction Center in action. This is where all the severe weather and tornado watches and warnings for the entire United States are issued as the need arises. Having just had 3 straight days of severe thunderstorms here in the central part of Oklahoma over the past 72 hours, it was fascinating to know that those predictions and warnings originated just 25 miles down Highway 9 from us! On our tour, we had 30 people from all over the US including Tennessee, Georgia, Virginia, Alabama, and other. It is a good tour for adults and most teenagers, although I don't think younger children would enjoy it that much.
Written June 25, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Pleasantville, NY240 contributions
Mar 2017 • Couples
This is the best thing to do in the Oklahoma City vicinity. They only have three tours a week and only for 12 people at a time. You must reserve weeks in advance. It is worth it. A fabulous inside tour by a meteorologist of America's only National Weather Center -- where all extreme weather warnings come from. Don't miss this.
Written March 6, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Fort Lauderdale, FL458 contributions
Aug 2016 • Solo
The free tour was very interesting and I learned a lot . Our tour guide, Pat, is a meteorologist who graduated from OU and was very passionate and knowledgeable about the center and weather. Our tour included all ages and everyone seemed engaged. I was expecting interactive components. This tour would be great for scout groups and anyone interested in going into meteorology. There is free parking at the center for tour visitors. My visit to the campus included a stop at the bookstore and some time at Campus Corner. Campus was quiet during my visit in early August.
Written August 8, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Texoma Family
Sherman, TX430 contributions
Jul 2019 • Family
This place has such a cool factor!! Booked a tour for me and my 3 kiddos (ages 8-13) two weeks in advance. I spent those two weeks more excited than a kid waiting for Santa!! You see, for more than a decade, I’ve relied on the Storm Prediction Center for storm damage updates. -I previously needed the info to gauge if we’d have to open shelters when I was a disaster services volunteer.

I’m fascinated by weather and the people responsible for guessing at it, but I never knew that I could get a tour of this place AND see the real people behind the scenes who update everything. I totally enjoyed the whole tour, and especially the Storm Prediction Center. Oh my goodness it was fascinating. The kids enjoyed the tour, although it was a tad bit long for the two youngest towards the end. They did learn about some of the things that I read in their curriculum for this school year, but it wasn’t an in-depth weather lesson. The tour focused more on the behind the scenes operations instead of actual weather details for the most part. However they did get to see different types of radars, which they wouldn’t have been able to see and learn about in person otherwise, and that IS in the curriculum. Plus all the different types of weather maps.

The kids enjoyed waiting for the tour to start the most because they got to entertain an audience with entering in addresses for the google earth huge monitor. Plus the vending machine, which substitutes as a gift shop, was actually pretty cool. It returns dollar coins, so we kept putting money in to get the coins in return...not weather related, but pretty cool for kids who collect coins! And it’s a form of mindless entertainment where you get 100% ROI. Can’t beat that type of fun at any other “gift shop”!!

The food options were limited in the cafe, but the chicken sandwich I ate was surprisingly good. The globe wasn’t functioning because they were doing floors on the day we were there, so that was a let down.

BUT the best part of the whole day was at the end of the tour when my 8 year old told the tour guide she wanted to “file a complaint” about the weather. I almost cried laughing so much...everyone in the U.S.A. wants to complain about the weather, so I found it hilarious that as soon as this 8 year old little girl figured out who was reasonable, she actually had the nerve to “file a complaint.” I mean seriously, there is no better place to complain about the weather than the National Weather Center!! She said to tell you “You’re welcome, America”

I cannot wait to go back. It was simply amazing!! And FREE!! That’s pretty amazing too!
Written September 17, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Glenwood, AR227 contributions
Feb 2019 • Couples
Learned that we have a lot to thank our meteorologists and government for. Our tour guide was a meteorologist with a phd. He graduated from the OU school here and knew the place very well. I understood him to say that the US was only country in world that had a place like this. They watch over the entire country 7/24/365 with 3, 8 hr. shifts. They support the DOD (Department of Defense) by providing weather information for military activities worldwide . My friends from OSU may be interested to know that OSU has a presence here too. They lease space but are forbidden in their contract to post anything orange in their windows.
Written February 13, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Psrman Y
Kernersville, NC53 contributions
Sep 2013 • Couples
The hour to hour and a half tour provides excellent insight to the amazing cooperation of governmental, academic and private enterprise companies that have come together at one location to provide the US with as advanced weather prediction as possible. They explain not only their mission but also how being in close proximity with all of the different elements provides as close a working and learning relationship as could ever be hoped for. As mentioned by others, you must reserve space in advance.
Written September 7, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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