The NCEP was established in 1958 as the National Meteorological Center. As a critical part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Weather Service, NCEP is the starting point for nearly all weather forecasts in the United States.
NCEP is comprised of nine centers. Each center has a specific responsibility for a portion of the NCEP products and services suite, yet they all work together toward the common goals of saving lives, protecting property, and creating economic opportunity. Seven of the centers provide direct products to users, while two of the centers provide essential support through developing and running complex computer models of the atmosphere.
Weather Service field offices, other government agencies, and private meteorological services rely on NCEP's products. Many of the forecasts which reach the public via media outlets originate at NCEP. In addition to weather, NCEP meteorologists prepare seasonal forecasts which extend out to a year in advance.