Storm watchers at the national hurricane service

National Hurricane Service - Millions of Americans have reason to thank their lucky stars that we have a National Hurricane Service to tell us when to baton down the hatches to save our property – and our lives.

Perhaps the most important National Hurricane Service at our disposal is the Tropical Prediction Center. The TPC National Hurricane Service is a component of the National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) located at Florida International University in Miami. The TPC mission is to save lives, mitigate property loss, and improve economic efficiency by issuing the best watches, warnings, forecasts and analyses of hazardous tropical weather, and by increasing understanding of these hazards. The TPC vision is to be America’s calm, clear and trusted voice in the eye of the storm and, with its partners, enable communities to be safe from tropical weather threats.

Through international agreement, the TPC National Hurricane Service has responsibility within the World Meteorological Organization to generate and coordinate tropical cyclone analysis and forecast products for twenty-four countries in the Americas, Caribbean, and for the waters of the North Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea, Gulf of Mexico, and the eastern North Pacific Ocean. TPC products are distributed through a close working relationship with the media and emergency management communities.

To meet its National Hurricane Service mission the TPC is composed of three branches. The National Hurricane Center (NHC) maintains a continuous watch on tropical cyclones in the eastern Pacific. The Center prepares and issues National Hurricane Service forecasts, watches and warnings within text advisories and graphical products.

Although many countries issue their own warnings, they generally base them on direct discussions with, and guidance from, the NHC. During the "off-season", the NHC conducts an extensive outreach and education program, training U.S. emergency managers and representatives from many other countries affected by tropical cyclones.

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