The National Weather Service in State College and the Pennsylvania State University: Twenty four years of collaboration
Richard Grumm, NOAA/NWS State College PA, State College, PA
Paul Knight, PSU retired
Jon Nese, The Pennsylvania State University

The National Weather Service in State College and the Pennsylvania State University have spent the last 24 years “putting science into service.” The collaborative effort began in 1993 when the National Weather Service Office in State College was collocated with a section of the Pennsylvania State University. This fostered research, training, and teaching opportunities between the two organizations.

An early effort included a joint map discussion held in the NWS office (1993-1998). This evolved into a more formal community map discussion held at the Penn State Meteorology Department about 15 years later (2013). The current student-run weakly weather briefing includes government, private, and university meteorologists. The students organize, schedule and produce a webcast of all the map discussions.

Over 24 years, there have been many COMET projects related to severe weather, ensemble forecasting, flooding, model soundings, and other research-related projects. Many projects were formal and funded and others were more informal. The standardized anomaly and ensemble project, which resulted in long-lived website (, began in 1999 and was never formally funded. A spin-off of this project included a relational database that powered a website cataloguing high-impact weather events. These activities played important roles in developing tools to identify critical high impact weather events.

Undergraduate students were afforded opportunities to learn NWS operations, and/or conduct operationally based research projects for under graduate credit. Several projects evolved into conference papers and talks and a few were published in the literature.

Several PSU meteorology courses included National Weather Service employees as guest lecturers and a high-impact weather course was developed and implemented in 2011 with the National Weather Service. This course developed into a collaborative effort to include NWS lecturers in the basic forecasting class.

This presentation will highlight some of the key activities that brought operations into research and research into operations. The focus will be on the more enduring projects and people.