National Weather Service Gaylord, Michigan
Office Information

Office Description:

The Gaylord National Weather Service office is located 9 miles southwest of town.  With our WSR88D Doppler Radar, perched on a hill top in the North-Central Lower Peninsula...we have Forecast, Watch, Warning and Advisory responsibility over a 25 County Warning Area (CWA), which includes 2 counties in the Eastern Upper Peninsula.  In addition to standard public products:

  • We compose aviation forecasts (TAF’s) for four sites: Manistee ,Alpena, Pellston and Traverse City.
  • We have a unique hydrology program with several dams, and several forecast points.
  • A comprehensive and challenging Marine Program consisting of over 750 miles of shoreline.
  • There are six automated surface observing systems (ASOS): Traverse City, Gaylord, Pellston, Sault Ste. Marie, Alpena and Houghton Lake, the latter 3 are LCD Climate sites.
  • The 3 ASOS sites at the TAF locations are backed up by either CWO’s or SAWRS observers. There are 4 additional SAWRS locations supporting state AWOS’s at regional airfields.
  • The Cline Award Winning upper air program at WFO APX, is utilizing the Radiosonde Replacement System (RRS).
  • We have the finest cooperative observer program in the region with over 60 cooperative sites, including 9 FP/FPU’s.
  • The office is also host to Climate Reference Network (CRN) site.
  • The office operates six NOAA radio transmitters for Traverse City, Gaylord, Alpena, West Branch, Sault Ste. Marie and Petoskey.
  • We have a comprehensive training philosophy, with personalized training plans for each operational employee.
  • Our Fire Weather Program is a very critical part of operations. We work closely with major land management agencies (DNR, USFS, NPS) to coordinate weather and fire behavior in Michigan’s Northern Lower Peninsula.
  • We have a very active outreach program, performing Severe Weather Spotter training in every county at least once per year.
    -  As of this writing, our spotter database held roughly 1,300 trained spotters, with a net growth of around 150 per year.
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    Ongoing training and interaction with emergency managers, including exercises and Co-Hosting outreach events.
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    We’re very active in area school systems, providing science, safety and career days talks to students.
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    We man booths and displays at several annual festivals around the area.

The office culture is a wonderful blend of scientific professionalism, combined with a warm and casual work setting. The Gaylord staff pride themselves on their innovative use of cross-utilization. Team-work is not just a concept here, but a work ethic woven into every stitch of operations.

 

 Community Description:

The Forecast Office is 9 miles southwest of Gaylord, Michigan.  Located on a unique location near the 45th parallel, the Alpine Village of Gaylord is truly “The Heart” of Northern Michigan.  Visitors to the area can take advantage of a variety of local attractions, picturesque scenery, and the charming downtown shopping district.  Shoppers will enjoy browsing through the unique stores clustered along Main Street, while appreciating the small-town atmosphere.  In addition to these quaint businesses, Gaylord is also home to several regional and national “big box” stores.
Economy:

The Otsego Chamber of Commerce is one of the region’s most active and aggressive in attracting industry to the area.  Located at the junction of I75 and M32 (the main North/South and East/West arteries that feed the region), several industries and manufacturers have made Gaylord their central hub.  The economy experienced a boom through the 1990’s…and for a period time, Otsego County was the second fastest growing in the state.  The housing market in Otsego County, is in a position to offer fantastic opportunities for those looking to buy.  Between the: scenic beauty, world class golf, endless miles of snowmobile trails, pristine streams, and lakes that range from “All-Sports” to the perfect secluded fishing hole…Northern Michigan is a major tourist destination and Gaylord is, unabashedly, a tourism based economy.  As such, it is home to some of the most business-friendly folks on the planet, as well as host to services and activities not available in communities more than twice its size.

 

Education:

The public primary and secondary schools in Otsego County are excellent and both rank above the state average on standardized tests.  Our district encompasses approximately 265 square miles, including portions of Otsego, Antrim, and Crawford counties.  Currently, Gaylord Community Schools is classified as a "Class A" school district consisting of one high school (9-12), one middle school (7-8), one intermediate school (4-5-6), two elementary schools (K-3), one alternate education building (9-12), and one community education facility.  There are also several private and parochial school choices in the community.
Otsego County is also home to a unique secondary and technical education program through the partnership of the University Center at Gaylord and the Kirtland M-TEC Center.  This 47,000 square foot state-of-the art facility offers technical training, one year, two year, four year, and masters level degree programs through two community colleges and seven universities.
Recreation:
The county is home to over 20 diverse golf courses and has become known as the "Golf Mecca of the Midwest".  Many of these courses boast world-class golf resort facilities.  Between the breathtaking vistas, lush fairways and blue waters…it is no wonder that Golf Digest selected Michigan as the twelfth best golf destination in the world.
Those who want to experience more extensive outdoor exploring will also find plenty to do, since the Gaylord area is home to 90 small lakes, 6 major rivers and the Pigeon River State Forest.  The Pigeon River Forest´s expansive 105,000 acres with the Midwest´s only free ranging elk herd offers a unique wilderness experience with some of the best hiking in Michigan.  Some of the trails are also available to mountain bikes and combined with the track at Gaylord´s Aspen Park, offers some of the best biking in Michigan.  Plus: 3 downhill ski resorts, 18 cross country ski trails, over 400 miles of snowmobile trails that lead to thousands more, Mackinaw State Forest, Otsego Lake State Park, The Otsego County Sportsplex with regulation ice rink and indoor pool, and the Otsego County fairgrounds which is a destination for annual ASRA Snow-Cross Races.  Last, but certainly not least, the Northern Lower’s only Curling Club is located just 30 minutes east of Gaylord, in the quaint village town of Lewiston.

Not only can Gaylord meet any vacationer´s recreational needs, but guests will also find the perfect up north retreat in our unique range of accommodations from rustic cabins to full service resorts.  We invite you to come and sample our breathtaking summer sunsets, stunning fall colors and the spectacular snow scenes only Northern Michigan can offer.

Eating Facilities:
There are a numerous restaurants in Gaylord, including local fare that ranges from family diners to a large Micro-brewery and Steakhouse.  National Chains ranging from all your common fast food providers to Casual Dining bar and grills are also available.  While most of these are in Gaylord proper, there are a few establishments within five miles of the office.  The nearby cities of Traverse City and Petoskey offer an even wider variety eating establishments.

Population:  Here is a link to 2010 Census Data- quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/26/26137.html  Elevation: 1349 feet.  County: Otsego Land area: 3.9 square miles Zip codes: 49734 & 49735.

Transient and Permanent Living Accommodations:

There are a number of good motels in the Gaylord area.  Reservations are a must, as there are a large number of tourist and business travelers in the area.  Permanent housing is plentiful with prices generally ranging from the $80´s. Newer subdivision houses range from $100k to $250k.  Most homes in the area have basements.  Apartments are available but scarce in Gaylord…and there are a number of duplex units.
Local Transportation:
There is municipal transportation available, and a cab company that operates in the Gaylord area.  Flights are generally from either: Traverse City, Pellston or Saginaw.  Access to any of the three airports is approximately one hour from the office.  However, the local airport in Gaylord is expanding and flights to larger hubs are expected in the future.
Taxes:
There is a state income tax, but not a city or county income tax.  The property tax in Otsego County was approximately $1000 on a $100,000 home.  If you reside within the city limits, you may be subject to a city property tax, making your total property tax liability approximately $1900 on a $100,000 home.  With this increased amount, additional services are provided.  There is no personal property tax.  Michigan has a sales tax of 6.00% which is levied against all purchases, but food.
Child Care Facilities:
There are numerous day care and after school care facilities.
Climate:

To see climate information, go to our Climate section of our webpage.

Lighthouse Mackinac Bridge

National Weather Service Gaylord, Michigan


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