Service field office locations:
|Eastern Region Headquarters Internet Web Site
STATION LOCATION: The office is located in Sterling, Virginia on the grounds of the NWS Test and Evaluation Facility, next to the Dulles International Airport. Our unlisted telephone number is FTS (700) 920-0200, and our commercial telephone number is (703) 260-0107. To reach us by automobile from Interstate 495, go to the Dulles Toll Road (West) exit. Travel down the toll road to exit #9, Sully Road (Route 28 N) continue 1 mile. At the second traffic light, turn left onto 606 W. Travel about 3.5 miles until a large white and blue NOAA sign appears on your left at a gate opening. You turn left through the gate and go to straight until you reach a stop sign. At the stop sign, turn right and then turn left into our parking lot.
STATION ACTIVITY: The Washington NWSFO serves the Nation's Capital, the District of Columbia, as well as the states of Maryland, Virginia except the far southwest, and the eastern West Virginia panhandle. The office prepares aviation terminal forecasts for 6 airports within our management area. The marine forecast program areas of responsibility are the Chesapeake Bay, the Tidal Potomac, the Fenwick Island and the coastal waters from DE, to Virginia Beach, VA; and the west central north Atlantic between 32N and 40N out to 65W. Hydrologic service area encompasses the Potomac River and Rappahannock watershed areas. The staff provides river and precipitation data collection, critical flood support, river stage forecasts, and flood warnings within those areas, in collaboration with the Mid Atlantic River Forecast Center at State College, PA. The fire weather program provides spot forecasts as needed for forested areas where fire is occurring or where conditions are favorable for fires.
The NWSFO enjoys considerable assistance in warning and forecast preparation from both human observers and remote sensors. The WSR-88D radar's invaluable in detecting severe weather and other significant events. Thunderstorms are monitored with: the WSR-88D; lightning detection data; extensive IFLOWS and other remote river-stage and precipitation gauges, as well as human observers; and a SKYWARN network of hundreds of trained severe weather spotters, including amateur radio networks, covering our severe weather warning area. Other computer-based warning and forecast tools include: SLOSH; the Sharp Workstation; quasi-geostrophic diagnostics; river stage and crest forecasts; MicroSWIS; and a number of experimental instrument sensors in association with the collocated NWS Operations Test Facility. The NWSFO is in close proximity to National Weather Service Headquarters in Silver Spring, MD, the NWS Communications Complex in Suitland, MD, and the World Weather Building in Camp Springs, MD which houses the National Center for Environmental Prediction and the National Environmental Satellite Data and Information Service.
The NWSFO serves a unique constituency to the National Weather Service. Among our product users are the White House, the Pentagon, the Secretary of Commerce, the Congress, the Administrator of NOAA and the NWS Headquarters. Included in our White House coordination is support services for outdoor ceremonies including inauguration and visiting heads of state.
TRANSIENT AND PERMANENT LIVING ACCOMMODATIONS: There are numerous hotels in the nearby area. Daily rates range from $52.00 to $97.00, either single or double with the government rate. Apartments, condominiums, houses, and townhouses for permanent living are available in the nearby areas of Sterling, Leesburg, Reston, Chantilly, and Herndon. Also, several employees live in nearby communities in West Virginia. Most of these communities are pleasant. Temporary quarters that are available run from roughly $1,800 to $2,000 a month with government rate. New houses, condominiums, and apartments are available as well as older types of housing. The prices of houses and apartments, new or old, vary greatly depending on location. Housing prices are relatively high compared with the national average, and range from $110,000 to a median of $270,000. Apartment rental charges range from $550 to $1,100 a month.
EATING FACILITIES: There are no cafeteria facilities in the WSFO. There is a part kitchen with a refrigerator, sink, and microwave for "brought from home" style lunches. There are plenty of restaurants that will deliver in the close by area, or you could go out to one of the restaurants.
LOCAL TRANSPORTATION: Public transportation is very limited around the WSFO area. There are no buses or trains going to the WSFO. The only means of transportation to and from the WSFO is your personal automobile. Free parking is available on both sides of the building. After the hours of 8:00AM to 5:00PM Monday thru Friday, you must have a gate entry card to enter the facility.
COMMUNITY DESCRIPTION: As might be expected, the area offers excellent cultural, entertainment and educational facilities, plus the historical tradition and up-to-the-minute excitement inherent in the home of the national government. Recreation and vacation opportunities beckon from ski resorts in nearby Pennsylvania, sailing and fishing on Chesapeake Bay, the beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Shenandoah Valley, ocean resorts such as Virginia Beach and Ocean City...plus four professional sports teams: the Redskins, Bullets, and Capitals...plus the Baltimore Orioles in that nearby city. A modern and expanding subway system serves major portions of the metropolitan area. Cable TV is present in many suburban areas. Washington is served by Amtrak plus three major airports: National, Dulles and BWI.
TAX INFORMATION: Real estate taxes are different in every county of the area. In Loudoun, the tax is $.84 per $1,000; in Fairfax, the tax is $1.11 per $1,000; and in Herndon, the tax is $1.43 per $1,000. The sales tax is 4.5%, the tax on an automobile is 3%, and the income tax on gross salary is 5.5%. City sales tax are applied only in certain areas.
CHILD CARE FACILITIES: A child are facility is not available on-site. There are facilities and "all day nannies" available in the local area.
CLIMATE: The Washington, DC area experiences a moderate climate. Temperatures in the District normally range from a high of 42 to a low of 28 in January to a high of 89 and a low of 70 in July. However, the Western and Northern suburbs are usually several degrees cooler at night, especially during the winter. The area in the vicinity of the Washington Forecast Office is generally the coolest part of the Washington Metro area, with a nighttime readings often 10 degrees or more lower than the official observing site at Washington National Airport. Summers are humid and occasionally marked by episodes of severe weather. Precipitation averages about 40 inches a year, with the warm months slightly wetter than the cold ones. Snowfall averages 18 inches, but can vary considerably from year to year, and the northern and western suburbs mat receive several inches more Washington Dulles averaging 23 inches a year.