News & Politics

Behind the Scenes: Inside the National Weather Service’s Forecasting Hub

Ever wondered where your storm and other weather alerts come from?

This sanctum in Sterling—the operations room—is the heart and soul of a 24-7 forecasting system that covers 27,000 square miles from the Chesapeake to the West Virginia panhandle.

The operations room is staffed by at least two people around the clock—up to ten for a major event like 2010’s “snowmageddon” or last summer’s derecho. On duty here: on the far left by the window, emergency-response-specialist meteorologist Ken Widelski; seated in the foreground, Strong and meteorologist Bryan Jackson; behind them, senior forecaster Brian La Sorsa, observations-program leader Calvin Meadows, and science-and-operations officer Steve Zubrick.

Hover over a number for details.


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Photograph by Sam Kittner.

This article appears in the August 2013 issue of The Washingtonian.

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