A NOAA/University of Oklahoma Partnership

The Cooperative Institute for Mesoscale Meteorological Studies (CIMMS) was established in 1978 as a cooperative program between the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and The University of Oklahoma (OU). CIMMS provides a mechanism to link the scientific and technical resources of OU and NOAA to create a center of research excellence in mesoscale meteorology, regional climate studies, and related subject areas. CIMMS-supported scientists and students conduct research in mesoscale dynamics, radar research, development, and analysis, atmospheric electricity, severe storms, cloud microphysics, and boundary layer studies, with increasing emphasis in recent years on the climatic effects of/controls on mesoscale processes, the socioeconomic impact of such phenomena, and climate change monitoring and detection. CIMMS is one of 16 NOAA Cooperative Institutes in 23 states.

CIMMS research contributes to the NOAA mission through improvement of the observation, analysis, understanding, and prediction of weather elements and systems and climate anomalies ranging in size from cloud nuclei to multi-state areas. Advances in observational and analytical techniques lead to improved understanding of the evolution and structure of these phenomena. Understanding provides the foundation for more accurate prediction of hazardous weather and anomalous regional climate. Better prediction contributes to improved social and economic welfare. Because small-, meso-, and regional-scale phenomena are also important causes and manifestations of climate, CIMMS research is contributing to improved understanding of the global climate system and regional climate variability and change. CIMMS promotes research collaboration between scientists at OU and NOAA by providing a center where government and academic scientists may work together to learn about and apply their knowledge of mesoscale weather and regional-scale climate processes.


CIMMS promotes cooperation and collaboration on problems of mutual interest among OU research scientists and students and the NOAA Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research (OAR) National Severe Storms Laboratory, NOAA Air Resources Laboratory, National Weather Service Radar Operations Center  for the WSR-88D (NEXRAD) Program, NWS National Centers for Environmental Prediction Storm Prediction Center, NWS Warning Decision Training Division, the NWS Forecast Office in Norman, Oklahoma, and the NWS Training Center located in Kansas City, Missouri.

OU CIMMS researchers collaborate on problems of mutual interest to save lives and property.

National Weather Center

CIMMS is part of the National Weather Center, a unique confederation of federal, state, and OU organizations that work together in partnership to improve understanding of the Earth’s atmosphere. Recognized for its collective expertise in severe weather, many of the research and development activities of the Center have served society by improving weather observing and forecasting, and thus have contributed to reductions in loss of life and property. Many entities of the National Weather Center played a key role in the decade-long, $2 billion dollar modernization and restructuring of the National Weather Service. National Weather Center organizations employ 650 individuals and provide more than $45 million annually to the Oklahoma economy. Today, all organizations are collocated in the new National Weather Center facility, which was completed in 2006 at a cost of $69 million.


CIMMS is part of the National Weather Center, a unique confederation of federal, state, and OU organizations working together to improve our understanding of Earth’s atmosphere.


CIMMS concentrates its research and outreach efforts and resources on the following principal themes:

  • Weather Radar Research and Development
  • Stormscale and Mesoscale Modeling Research and Development
  • Forecast Improvements Research and Development
  • Impacts of Climate Change Related to Extreme Weather Events
  • Social and Socioeconomic Impacts of High Impact Weather Systems


CIMMS researchers help create NWS forecaster training materials to prepare meteorologists for challenges in the field.


CIMMS participates each summer with other members of the National Weather Center in hosting a National Science Foundation Research Experience for Undergraduates in Meteorology.