NHC Visitor Information
The National Hurricane Center is
co-located with the Miami National Weather
Service Forecast Office on the main campus of
University at 11691 S.W. 17th Street, Miami, Florida. This location is
about 12 miles west of downtown Miami and 8 miles southwest of Miami
Visitor parking is available near the main entrance on the
south side of the Center, which faces S.W. 17th Street. Visitors
attending events in the Media/Seminar Room will find it near the main
entrance in Room 148. The Director's Office, the Administrative Office, and
Public Affairs may all be reached by calling (305) 229-4470.
Tours of the Center
Public tours of the NHC are available January through
mid-May, outside of the hurricane season for the Atlantic and Eastern
Pacific, by prior appointment.
There are several places to eat within a mile of the Center which are
open during the day and evening. While the FIU cafeteria and other
food concessions are available to the staff, they are difficult to
reach in a timely manner. Fast food and small restaurants can be found
in shopping centers around FIU, but are best reached by car. Most
shift workers and many day workers bring their lunch and use the
microwave at the office. Vending machines are also available.
Transient and Permanent Living Accommodations
The closest hotel to the NHC is the new
Comfort Suites located less than two miles from the Center. There are several other
hotels which are adjacent to expressways which lead to an exit nearby the Center:
Wellesley Inn (Kendall),
Fairfield Inn by Marriott, Best Western Kendall Hotel and Suites and
Marriott Residence Inn.
The National Hurricane Center is in
the middle of a large expanse of middle-class suburbs.
Apartments, condominiums, townhouses and homes are all available,
although the quality of the neighborhoods may vary. Local
expressways also provide routes from communities to the north,
east, and south. Commutes from these areas can range from 20
minutes to an hour.
Miami-Dade County has both an extensive county-wide bus system
and a Metrorail system. The Metrorail, unfortunately, does not
service the FIU area, so the only public transportation to the
National Hurricane Center is by bus.
Because of limited hours of bus service, extensive time involved
in travel to or from most sections, and a lack of bus service to
some areas, a personally owned vehicle is a necessity.
Fortunately, the Center is conveniently located near the
intersection of the Florida Turnpike (821) with the Dolphin
Expressway (836), which allow easy access by car (see
map). Transient visitors will find
offices of many major auto rental agencies at the Miami
Florida state sales tax is 6% (7% in Miami-Dade).
There is no state income tax. Property tax rates are assessed on
80% of the market value.
The Greater Miami area, which includes Miami-Dade and Broward
(Fort Lauderdale) counties, has over 3.5 million people of
diverse cultures. The area has all of the benefits and
detractions of a large metropolitan area. Shopping is plentiful,
access to a full range of watersports is available, and there are
a number of local tourist attractions. Visitors will find that
professional football, baseball, hockey, and basketball teams are
all located in the Miami area.
The secondary school system in Florida is not very highly rated,
although there are numerous high-quality private schools at all
levels. Major colleges and universities include:
Florida International University
University of Miami,
St. Thomas University, and
Miami Dade College
(6 campuses). Available employment in the area is mostly service
oriented, although there are exceptions.
Miami has a monsoon-type weather regime with the winters being
dry and cool and the summers wet and warm. In most years, the
occurrence of precipitation from mid-November to mid-May is
infrequent and brief. The exception is during El Nino years
when winter and spring months tend to have much above normal
rainfall and slightly cooler than normal temperatures. Cold
winter days in Miami are those with minimums in the 30s and 40s
and maximums in the 50s and lower 60s. Frosts and freezes are
rare, but do occur. However, because of the winds blowing over
the warm Gulfstream just offshore, within two or three days
after cold frontal passages, warmups are usually rapid with
minimums in the 60s and maximums in the 70s common in the
During the rest of the year, frequent shower and thunderstorm
activity occurs with rather heavy rainfall. Summertime minimums
seldom fall below 70 degrees with afternoon highs near 90.
However, a seabreeze in mid to late afternoon on most days
usually lowers the temperature to the mid-80's. Miami has the
highest frequency of hurricane force winds in the U.S. Detailed
climatological data can be found at the
Miami National Weather Service