Welcome to the National Weather Service Forecast Office of Miami South Florida.
Its area of responsibility covers the South Florida mainland from Palm Beach County to Miami-Dade County, west to the Naples and north to Lake Okeechobee.
There are always two meteorologists on duty every hour. The public forecaster produces the seven day general forecast and the five day marine forecast for the South Florida Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico coastal waters, including Lake Okeechobee. The mesoscale forecaster produces the aviation forecasts four times a day for seven South Florida airports, as well as fire weather forecasts and any short-fused warnings such as tornado, severe thunderstorm and flood warnings.
On one side of the operations area is the Hydro-Meteorological Technician Unit or HMT. The technician collects temperature and rainfall data from all of the weather observation sites in South Florida, and transmits it to the general public along with the daily climate data bulletins.
The HMT also monitors NOAA Weather Radio broadcasts. Whenever a warning is issued, the radio transmits an audible alert that can be picked up by anyone with a NOAA Weather Radio receiver, providing precious minutes to protect life and property.
The HMT releases a weather balloon twice a day. The balloon has a small package attached to it that measures temperature, humidity and wind as the balloon rises through the atmosphere. The data is transmitted to a computer, where the technician quality controls the data before sending it out. The data is part of the worldwide upper-air weather observations network and is used by computer models to help forecast the weather.