Clouda against blue sky

At the National Center for Atmospheric Research, we don't forecast the weather. We get inside the weather, climate, and surrounding environment to understand it better.

An Invention to Turn Water Vapor Into Liquid Water

At the Australian Design Awards in 2011, Edward Linnacre describes his invention that turns water vapor in the air into liquid water on the ground and how useful this could be for farmers.

Animation of the Biosphere
This animation shows where and when photosynthesis happens around the world as the seasons come and go.
Antarctic Sea Ice Extent Animation
Animation showing the monthly variation of sea ice extent in the Antarctic from 2016 through 2018.
Arctic Sea Ice Extent Animation
Animation showing the monthly variation of sea ice extent in the Arctic from 2016 through 2018.
Arctic visualization

This video shows the interannual variation of the September sea ice concentration from the start of the satellite record in 1979 to 2008.

Boulder, Colorado Flood: How the City's Resilience Strategy Saved It
The 2013 intense week-long rainstorm could have been devistating for Boulder, Colorado, but thanks to city planning and floodplain management, the city fared relatively well.
Exploring different types of clouds
A short introduction to the different types of clouds, where they form in the atmosphere, and their shapes.
Convection demonstration
This video shows convection happening as a model to partially explain the movement of air around the Earth.
Coral for Studying Past Climate Video
This video describes how climate scientists use "proxy data", such as the information stored in coral, to study climates of the past.
Create Snowstorm interactive - demo video
Short demo video of the "Create a Snowstorm" interactive.
Drip Drop

Chill out with Drop & the Drippettes as they groove on glaciers, hop in the ocean, get soaked in the flood zone, dehydrate in the desert, and party with a polar bear

Dropsonde Animation from NOAA
Short animated video showing instrument packages called dropsondes being released from an airplane.
NASA's Global Hawk Robotic Research Aircraft
Video of NASA's Global Hawk robotic aircraft releasing dropsondes.
Dropsonde video from NSF/NCAR
Video showing dropsondes being released from aircraft and balloons to measure atmospheric properties at various altitudes.
Global Electric Circuit movie

Our electric atmosphere has a lot more to it than lightning and thunderstorms. Learn about Earth's Global Electric Circuit and its connection to Space Weather.

Flash Flood
A 2005 flash flood fills a West Virginia creek in seconds.
Forecast a Hurricane interactive - demo video
Short demo video of the "Forecast a Hurricane" interactive.
From Dog Walking To Weather And Climate
There is much more variation in the path that the dog takes as compared with the man, but they are both headed the same way. Similarly, weather can be highly variable and climate means long term trends.
Greenhouse Effect video - Scott Denning
Professor Scott Denning of Colorado State University explains how greenhouse gases in Earth's atmosphere warm our planet.
Ice Cores for Studying Past Climate video
This video describes how climate scientists use "proxy data", such as the information stored in ice cores, to study climates of the past.
Lake-bottom Sediments for Studying Past Climate Video
This video describes how climate scientists use "proxy data", such as the information stored in layers of sediments from the bottoms of lakes, to study climates of the past.
Atmosphere Model Activity - time lapse - equilibrium with day/night, 3 turns
This is a time-lapse video of a hands-on atmosphere model activity.
Atmosphere Model Activity - time lapse - spinup with day/night, 3 turns
This is a time-lapse video of a hands-on atmosphere model activity.
Atmosphere Model Activity - time lapse - spinup with day/night, 3 turns, faster
This is a time-lapse video of a hands-on atmosphere model activity.
Atmosphere Model Activity - time lapse - spinup with continuous daylight
This is a time-lapse video of a hands-on atmosphere model activity.
Magnetic Field Lines Tangle as Sun Rotates movie
This short (13 seconds) animation shows how the Sun's magnetic field becomes tangled over time as the Sun rotates. This tangled magnetic field gives rise to sunspots and sometimes to solar flares and coronal mass ejections (CMEs).
Density tank demonstration with red and teal liquid suspended in water.
Slow-motion video of cold fluid and warm fluid interacting to demonstrate what happens at a cold front.
Make a Hurricane interactive - demo video
Short demo video of the "Make a Hurricane" interactive.
Make a Thunderstorm interactive - demo video
Short demo video of the "Make a Thunderstorm" interactive.
Model Simulation of Past, Present and Future Climate Change
This animation shows warming of the Earth's surface according to the results of climate model (called the NCAR Community Climate System Model) from 1870-2100.
Modeling Carbon Dioxide with a Bathtub

For more information about the "Climate Bathtub" model, as described by John D. Sterman and Linda Booth Sweeney:

Ocean on the Move: Thermohaline Circulation
A trip through the ocean on the path of thermohaline circulation, also known as the great ocean conveyor
Past Climate Changes and Uncertainty movie
This movie explains how climate scientists use "fuzzy" proxy records to learn about climates of the past.
Past Matching of Global Temperature and CO2 Levels Video
This video explains how climate records from the past show that changes in temperature and changes in atmospheric carbon dioxide go hand-in-hand.
Rising Sea Levels

In the past century, as the climate has warmed, sea level rise has accelerated. Scientists predict it will only increase, and they're studying changes in the ocean and land to better understand how and why the water is rising.

Satellite Signals from Space: Smart Science for Understanding Weather and Climate
This video explains how COSMIC satellites monitor our atmosphere, collecting data that is used to improve weather forecasts, monitor the upper atmosphere, and understand our climate.
Sort Clouds interactive - demo movie
Short demo video of the "Sort Clouds" interactive.
Study Past Climate to Predict Future movie
This movie explains how scientists study past climates to help make better predictions about future climate change.
Warming a mylar balloon demonstration
This Mylar Balloon demonstration illustrates that warmed air molecules move more and are more spread apart as indicated by the expanding and rising balloon, and vice versa for air molecules that have cooled.
Weather balloon launch
In this video from the U.S. National Weather Service, a scientist explains how weather balloons are used to collect data that improves weather predictions.
A sunny day
This video was captured on Eagle Ridge above Lyons, Colorado near the Front Range of the Rockies by David Niels as part of his research for the Colorado Climate Center. This sunny day video was filmed on April 6, 2017.
A cloudy day
This timelapse video was captured July 4, 2017 on Eagle Ridge above Lyons, Colorado near the Front Range of the Rockies by David Niels as part of his research for the Colorado Climate Center.
What Does Storm Surge Look Like?

NCAR researchers visualizing hurricane impacts created this animation to show how quickly nine feet of storm surge can flood a coastal city.

matt kelsch
Meteorologist Matt Kelsch clears up what the terms 100-year, 500-year, and 1000-year flood actually mean.
Still of a news broadcast showing snow covering outdoor furniture
Weather Channel coverage of a winter storm that traveled across much of the U.S. in February 2017.
Photo of the Boulder flatirons in winter

K-12 students and others share what they think of winter weather soon after the first snowstorm of the season in Boulder, Colorado. Watch and consider what you think of winter?