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“Excellent Tour But Book Early!”

National Weather Center
Ranked #4 of 25 things to do in Norman
Attraction details
Reviewed 24 June 2018

I’ve always been interested in freak weather and I’ve wanted to visit the National Weather Centre for years! I was even more delighted to learn that they did tours, except the one thing I didn’t realise was that non US citizens need to book at least 2 weeks in advance for the tours as the weather centre is a federal building and therefore security clearance is required. I was devastated when I found out, but the guy I spoke to on the phone told me I could still visit the first floor exhibit so I decided to still do that. When I arrived at the centre, I checked in with security and told them I was just visiting the exhibit since I couldn’t get on the tour. The security staff at the front desk were lovely! The lady explained that the tour starts on the first floor (where clearance isn’t needed) and that she couldn’t see an issue with me tagging along! The exhibit is small but it’s got some hi-tech equipment which plays videos, includes information about the centre and also includes interactive activities which link with Google Earth! The only downside is that there’s no sound or subtitles for the videos. There’s also some large screens which show weather systems and forecasts throughout America. I must admit though, the highlight was Dorothy, DOT and TOTO which were featured in the movie Twister. I also visited the Flying Cow café which is really reasonably priced and you’ve just got to love the name!

When I returned to the exhibit, the lady on security asked tour guide, Pat, if I could join the first floor part of the tour and I was overjoyed that he said yes! The first part of the tour is 40 minutes out of about 75 minutes so I did get to hear about a lot of things including the history and science of what I’ve mentioned above. Pat even told me about the upstairs areas since I couldn’t go up. He also told us a little bit about the background of the centre and the work they do here. Even though I couldn’t experience the full thing, I thoroughly enjoyed my visit here!

2  Thank VikkiBee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"observation deck"
in 11 reviews
"our tour guide"
in 12 reviews
"great tour"
in 11 reviews
"first floor"
in 11 reviews
"call ahead"
in 4 reviews
"amazing facility"
in 3 reviews
"weeks in advance"
in 3 reviews
"tour starts"
in 3 reviews
"federal building"
in 2 reviews
"tour lasted about minutes"
in 2 reviews
"open to the public"
in 2 reviews
"make reservations"
in 2 reviews
"cool place"
in 3 reviews
"two hours"
in 3 reviews
"united states"
in 2 reviews
"great place to visit"
in 2 reviews
in 28 reviews

11 - 15 of 116 reviews

Reviewed 21 May 2018

If you have never been to the National Weather Center on the OU campus, you HAVE to go!! It is very interesting. You can wander on your own, but a tour with one of the people who work there is very interesting and worth your time.

2  Thank Cyndi N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 April 2018

We were able to view the lobby. But i did see the DOROTHY machine for the movie. Also was given a history fact lesson.

Thank Mimitimes4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 March 2018

The weather center might not sound like it would be an interesting tour but it is. If your kids are interested in weather or science this will be an interesting time. Students host the tour and they can be very funny to talk with.

Thank TravisCM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 12 February 2018 via mobile

The National Weather Center is FREE! and open to the public! You just need to call ahead, or book online, a week or two in advance so that they can clear your visit. The tour is 1.5-2 hours long. Ours was 2 hours with Pat, on a cold, wintry day (we didn't go out on the rooftop lab). But the views we got from the observation floor were amazing! We also saw where they generate all severe weather warnings for the Continental US, and movie props from Twister. This tour was very enjoyable and informative! I had no idea that it even existed, but now I highly recommend it to anyone that is interested in weather, or is looking for something fun, free and different to explore in Oklahoma.

2  Thank Marshall Megan B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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