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National Weather Service experiences a ‘significant outage’, impacting communication of weather data

nws outage

A National Weather Service meteorologist in Norman, Oklahoma, tracks a super cell tornado outbreak. (Photo/National Weather Service)

A significant outage in data communications at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) limited access to, or affected the accuracy of, critical weather data to the public and America's Weather Industry for a period of almost three hours this afternoon.

AccuWeather-produced services remained available and reliable during this major government data outage.

Unlike commercial weather organizations that just repackage NWS products, AccuWeather generates its own forecasts and warnings based on both public and proprietary weather data.

Starting at approximately 1:30 p.m. EST on Monday, the National Weather Service (NWS) experienced a complete outage of its satellite broadcast network, which is one of the primary communication methods between the NWS and its field offices for transferring weather data. The same network also transmits weather information to America's Weather Industry.

Several other data communication networks were also affected which provide weather data to the public and America’s Weather Industry, including NOAA’s Weather Wire service, which distributes NWS weather warnings.

As a result of these issues, some radar data, satellite information, weather observation reports and weather warnings were not distributed by the NWS. Information was delayed or not correctly posting to NWS websites and some NWS websites were not accessible. AccuWeather publishes publically available National Weather Service warnings on many products and was not able to distribute that information as a result of this outage, since the information was not sent from the NWS.

Numerous NWS technical staff members reportedly worked on re-establishing communications.

In a statement, the NWS indicated that data services were functioning and data was beginning to flow again.

AccuWeather’s unique technology aggregates and analyzes weather data through complex models and expert weather forecasters - the largest source of weather data and modeling available globally – to provide the most reliable weather information and updates with Superior Accuracy™. AccuWeather uses best-in-class technology that is recognized by leaders around the world to ensure full reliability of weather data storage, accessibility and communications globally.