The Beginnings of the National Weather Museum & Science Center
The National Weather Museum & Science Center (NWMSC) was established to capture the rich history of Meteorology and related sciences. Originally, the museum was meant to look back at the roots of weather tools and forecasting. However, through discussions, the decision was made to also focus on current weather developments and future plans to better understand our atmosphere. These include better preparation and mitigation of the impact of severe weather, enhanced actionable communication about it, and learning from each of these events.
Douglas Forsyth, then [title/position within NOAA?], volunteered to spearhead the effort to bring the NWMSC to reality. Doug gathered a team of people with similar passion and started three parallel efforts: starting a 501 (c) (3), pulling together artifacts and exhibits for the NWMSC, and making plans for a home for it in Norman.
So how did this growing treasure in Norman, OK, come to be?
It was an output of the Norman Chamber of Commerce Weather Committee. The group started in 2004 and is still active today. The first Weather committee co-chairs were Dr. Kelvin Droegemeier and Warren Qualley. The logic behind the formation of the Weather Committee was two-fold: 1) the large and increasing presence of weather-related activities in Norman (e.g. the University of Oklahoma School of Meteorology, the National Weather Service’s Storm Prediction Center, the National Severe Storms Laboratory, as well as the increasing number of commercial weather-related businesses starting up or relocating to Norman), and 2) the fact that Norman is situated in Tornado Alley, basically smack in the middle of a natural severe storm laboratory, making it an awesome site for weather enthusiasts. There were several ideas that the Weather Committee discussed, including the National Weather Festival, arguably the largest and best (maybe the only?) in the country and world.
While this is only a small glimpse into the NWMSC Several future Blogs will explore more of the rich history of the National Weather Museum & Science Center, so stay tuned!
Social media summary: If you’ve never heard of the National Weather Museum and Science Center, now is a great time to learn! Read about how this amazing museum came to be, the idea behind it, and what it aims to do.