Office History

NOAA's National Weather Service
Omaha/Valley, Nebraska


The Omaha Weather Forecast Office (WFO) has a rich history. Observations in the Omaha area were first taken during the Lewis and Clark expedition in the early 1800s. Upper air observations started with kites in the late 1800s. Rawinsonde upper air observations are currently take in western Douglas county at the current NWS office.

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Current location

The Omaha/Valley, NE Weather Forecast Office (WFO) is located about 1 mile northwest of Valley, Nebraska. This is approximately 23 miles west northwest of downtown Omaha or about 32 miles northwest of Offutt Air Force Base. The office is located on a 10 acre parcel of land, at the southeast corner of the intersection of North 288th Street and Ida Street (Nebraska Highway 64).

Valley

The present forecast office, upper air site and WSR-88D radar has been at Valley since 1994.

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Previous site.

North Omaha

The upper air, radar, and forecast offices were co-located at the 72nd and McKinley site from 1974 to 1994.

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Dual Operations 1954 to 1974

Eppley

The second floor at Eppley Airport was the forecast office site from 1941 to 1974.


Eppley

The upper air and radar (WSR-1) site was located at North Omaha Airport from 1954 to 1974.


 

History of the Weather Service in the Omaha Area


1804 - late July - Lewis and Clark expedition records weather observations near Omaha and Council Bluffs.

1820-1826 - First continuous temperature observations taken in Omaha area by U.S. Army Surgeons (Ft. Atkinson near Ft. Calhoun).

1870 - First U.S. Signal Corps Office in Omaha in Old Market Area.

1871 - First river gage installed to monitor the Missouri River at Omaha.

1891 - Weather Bureau established under Department of Agriculture.

1897-1898 - First kite flight with temperature recording equipment.

1898 - First national convention of U.S. Weather Bureau held in Omaha.

1909 - Exploratory free balloon flights at Fort Omaha.

1913 - Omaha Easter Sunday tornado on March 23. 156 people killed, 1700 homes destroyed or damaged.

1919 - Weather Bureau takes over pilot ballon program from the Signal Corps.

1931-1938 - Airplane flights used to obtain upper air data.

1938 - First radiosonde flight replaces airplane soundings.

1941 - City office and airport offices consolidated at Eppley Airfield.

1952 April 18 - All time record flood on Missouri flood at Omaha.

1954 September 16 - Upper air site established at North Omaha Airport.

1955 - The WSR-1 weather radar installed at North Omaha Airport.

1972 - Weather Service forecast office for Nebraska established at Eppley Airfield in Omaha.

1974 - North Omaha airport and Eppley Airfield offices consolidated at 72nd and McKinley (North Omaha).

1975 January 10-11 - Blizzard. Eleven to nineteen inches of snow with 60 mph winds.

1975 May 6 - Omaha Tornado. Three deaths, hundreds injured and $150 million in damage.

1977 - WSR-74C weather radar installed at North Omaha.

1993 Large Derecho races eastward producing high winds and damage across a large part of southeast Nebraska.

1994 - Weather Forecast Office moved to location northwest of Valley, Nebraska. WSR-88D doppler radar installed.

1996 June 12 - Wind gust of 92 mph is recorded at the Weather Service office.

2004 May 22 - Large and powerful tornado (F4) cuts a 54 mile long path across southeast Nebraska, destroying Hallam.


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