As deadly tornadoes raged across the country's midsection earlier this month, residents, local government agencies and TV forecasters turned to the National Weather Service for predictions and warnings.

NWS scientists rely on the National Severe Storms Laboratory in Norman, Okla., to provide results from sophisticated software algorithms so that they can in turn generate storm probability estimates.

The lab's Warning R&D Office is developing several storm prediction systems, including the Warning Decision Support System. WDDS processes data from radars, cloud-to-ground lightning sensors, surface observations, precipitation measurements and satellites'all using advanced algorithms running on supercomputers. WDDS displays map overlays, tables and trends via a graphical interface. For more on the National Severe Storms Laboratory, visit

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