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The National Weather Service serves as a component of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). NOAA is known to be an Operating Unit of the U.S. Department of Commerce. NWS provides weather forecasting, water, and climate data and warnings for the protection of life and property and thereby enhancement of the national economy. The headquarters of the National Weather Service is located in Silver Spring, Maryland, with regional headquarters located in Kansas City, Missouri; Bohemia, New York; Fort Worth, Texas; Salt Lake City, Utah; Anchorage, Alaska; and Honolulu, Hawaii. There are 4000 - plus employees in 122 weather forecast offices, with 13 river forecast centers, 9 national centers, and other support offices around the country, NWS provides a national infrastructure to gather and process data worldwide. Each year, NWS gathers some 76 billion observations and issues approximately 1.5 million forecasts and 50,000 warnings.
Types of Forecasts provided by National Weather Service are National Forecast Maps, Short Range Forecasts depicting pressure patterns, circulation centers and fronts, and types and extent of precipitation, Medium Range Forecasts depicting pressure patterns and circulation centers and fronts, Precipitation Amounts depicting Quantitative precipitation forecasts, Surface Analysis, Temperature depicting Maximum daytime or minimum overnight temperature in degrees Fahrenheit, Weather Forecasts depicting Expected weather (precipitating or non-precipitating) valid at the indicated hour. The weather element includes type, probability, and intensity information, Wind Speed and Direction Forecasts depicting Sustained wind speed (in knots) and expected wind direction (using 36 points of a compass) forecasts, Chance of Precipitation, Precipitation Amount depicting Total amount of expected liquid precipitation, Sky Cover giving Expected amount of opaque clouds (in percent) covering the sky, Alaska Graphical Forecasts National Digital Forecast Database for Alaska, Hawaii Graphical Forecasts from the National Digital Forecast Database for Hawaii, Puerto Rico Graphical Forecasts from the National Digital Forecast Database for Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands.