Satellites dishes on the roof of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Satellites dishes on the roof of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration - 
Listen To The Story

To find out how your trusted weather app gets its intel, look no further than the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Getting that intel takes a lot of equipment. There's a building in Virginia where NOAA pulls that information down from space, using giant antennas and dishes on its roof.  It's got a massive server room where the data they collect gets stored and sent out.

The interior of the NOAA offices in Virginia.
The interior of the NOAA offices in Virginia. - 

"When you get the data down from the satellite, it's only as good as where you can send it," said Bill Carter, IT systems specialist at NOAA's Satellite Operations Facility.

Some of the machines are older than the people working in the building. "A lot of the equipment is from 1986, '87," said Carter, pointing out the openings for the 3.5" floppy disks, which they still use. "If you do the proper maintenance, you can make things last for a long, long time." 

Carter gave Marketplace Tech a tour of the NOAA facility — click the audio player above to hear the tour. 

Sign up to stay connected to Marketplace and you could be in for a Halloween treat!

Subscribe to our daily newsletter by Oct. 31 and you're automatically entered to win one of 10 Marketplace treat bags. They're filled with some great swag, plus something unique to give you a peek behind the scenes — a program rundown signed by Kai Ryssdal.

Subscribe today for your chance to win – and good luck!

Follow Kimberly Adams at @KA_Marketplace