Tour the Fairbanks office of the National Weather Service

Two computer screens on a desk showing Alaska weather maps, with a ski hut visible outside the window
Photo by Ryan Metzger, National Weather Service
In the Akasofu Building at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, a National Weather Service meteorological workstation features a view of the campus ski hut.

By Ryan Metzger, National Weather Service

Have you ever wanted to see what the inside of the local National Weather Service looks like?

On Thursday, May 16, you will have your chance. The National Weather Service office in Fairbanks has a long history of serving northern Alaska. The U.S. Weather Bureau (the predecessor to the NWS) first set up an office in Fairbanks in July 1929. It’s one of 122 forecast offices the agency has around the country and one of three in Alaska.

In fall 1998, the office moved to its current location on the University of Alaska Fairbanks campus, thanks in large part to the efforts of former Meteorologist in Charge Ted Fathauer.

The NWS office in Fairbanks is responsible for issuing forecasts, watches, warnings and advisories for all of the land area north of the Alaska Range and portions of the Bering, Beaufort and Chukchi seas. The Fairbanks office is responsible for the largest land area of any NWS office in the country.

With such a large forecast area, there is never a dull moment at our office. 

Someone is in our office 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year, keeping watch over the weather in northern Alaska.

Our office has a strong partnership with UAF, and we are the beneficiaries of the great research that is being done here on campus. 

Visit the UAF Troth Yeddha’ Campus from 4-7 p.m. on Thursday, May 16, to learn more about citizen science and research conducted by scientists at the University of Alaska Fairbanks during its annual Arctic Research Open House. During the open house you will have an opportunity to tour the NWS office. Stop by and talk with a weather expert.