When Was the National Weather Service Founded?

Formerly recognized as the U.S. Weather Bureau, the National Weather Service is one of the governmental agencies that comprises the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. This agency provides climate, hydrologic and weather forecasts to secure people in the country as well as in the other territories of the U.S. In addition, it is also responsible for the protection of properties within the country and nearby ocean areas that are helpful to improve the national economy. Below are important details that are useful to individuals who want to know the date when the National Weather Service was founded. Other relevant details about the service are also discussed.


When was the National Weather Service founded? This governmental agency was formed on the ninth day of February in 1870. The objective for establishing the agency was to conduct meteorological analysis at military stations based on U.S. states as well as territories. At this time, President Ulysses S. Grant assigned the Secretary of War to take charge of the tasks and activities of the agency. The name of this institution was given by Brigadier General Albert J. Meyer of the Army Signal Corps.

In 1890, the National Weather Service was recognized as a civilian enterprise. During this year, it was considered as one of the agencies managed by the Department of Agriculture. To improve weather forecasts in the country, a radiosonde was introduced in 1937 in Massachusetts. After three years, the control over the institution was transferred to the Department of Commerce. Since 1940, many advance technologies and equipment were introduced to the institute to enhance climate, hydrologic as well as weather forecasts.

Other Relevant Information About the National Weather Service

To improve the methods used by the National Weather Service in forecasting weather, the agency developed the WSR-88D Doppler weather system (also known as NEXRAD) in the 1980s. A total of 158 NEXRAD systems were deployed in the different base stations of the agency since the 1990s. This technology is very efficient and reliable in identifying intra-cloud movements.

The National Weather Service has faced various challenges and controversies in the past years. In the 1990s, many weather service companies argued that the agency competed with the private weather institutions like AccuWeather. To avoid such complaints, Senator Rick Santorum passed the National Weather Service Duties Act of 2005 to prevent the possibility that the agency provides confidential and private data to other weather agencies. However, this bill was opposed by the clients and officials of the institution. Hence, the proposal was not approved by the Congress.

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