The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration created the National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) to take advantage of improving technology and better serve the public and modernized National Weather Service. The NCEP’s goal is to protect life and property, as well as mitigate economic loss, by providing accurate forecasts and forecast guidance products to weather service field offices.

The NCEP prepares and makes available national forecasts and outlooks of weather and climate. Meteorologists currently generate weather forecasts for three to five days, soon to extend to seven days. Climate predictions are made for two weeks out to a year.

Nine national centers comprise the NCEP: (click here for links)

  • Aviation Weather Center
  • Climate Prediction Center
  • Environmental Modeling Center
  • Marine Prediction Center
  • NCEP Central Operations
  • Space Environmental Center
  • Storm Prediction Center
  • Tropical Prediction Center
  • Weather Prediction Center

The NCEP was established in 1958 as the National Meteorological Center. Since the center’s beginning, operational weather forecasting has transformed from an infant discipline into a mature science.