Environmental Protection

NWS Center in Maryland Renamed

The Weather Prediction Center is one of nine national centers of the National Weather Service, which is part of NOAA.

The Hydrometeorological Prediction Center in College Park, Md. is being renamed the Weather Prediction Center on March 5. It is one of the nine national centers of the National Weather Service.

The new name is a better reflection of the center's mission and is easier to understand. The center's strategic plan describes its mission as "America's go-to center for high-impact precipitation events and forecast guidance out to 14 days for a Weather-Ready Nation."

"The new name captures the great breadth of products and services delivered each and every day and night of the year as the center works alongside the rest of the National Weather Service team to build a weather-ready nation. Although our mission hasn’t changed at all, it is nice now to have a name everyone can understand, pronounce, and spell," said Jim Hoke, director of the center, which is located in the NOAA Center for Weather and Climate Prediction in College Park.

The process of changing the name began as a grassroots effort by center employees and follows a recommendation made as part of a 2009 external review by the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research, which suggested the center create a new strategic plan and broader name recognition. "As part of that process, it became apparent many partners and customers of HPC products were not familiar with the meaning of the term 'hydrometeorological,' which, among other definitions, relates to the study of the atmospheric and terrestrial phases of the hydrologic cycle, with emphasis on their interrelationship. The abbreviation 'HPC' is also frequently confused with that for High Performance Computing," according to the NOAA news release about the name change.

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