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IFPS : A Look at the Future. Michael Buchanan WFO Corpus Christi. Current Status. Local implementation began May 15, 2002 with the CWF. SRH is mandating all regularly issued products be done on IFPS by 9/30/02.

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IFPS : A Look at the Future

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Ifps a look at the future

IFPS : A Look at the Future

Michael Buchanan

WFO Corpus Christi

Current status

Current Status

  • Local implementation began May 15, 2002 with the CWF.

  • SRH is mandating all regularly issued products be done on IFPS by 9/30/02.

  • NWSH is mandating all CONUS sites be fully operational on IFPS by 9/30/03 (Initial Operating Capability).

What about the zfp fwf rdf and ccf

What about the ZFP, FWF, RDF and CCF?

  • Our office will slowly phase in these other products into our IFPS operations through the upcoming summer.

  • Specific dates are yet to be determined.

  • Additional training will be necessary to address software changes, updated forecast methodology, new smart tools, etc.

Software changes

Software Changes

  • There will be more frequent IFPS updates beginning in June 2002.

  • Rapid Alpha Process (RAP) was developed to achieve the NWS target of 2003 IFPS implementation.

  • RAP software will be upgraded every 6-8 weeks.

  • IFPS10 will be the first build.

Lx1 lx2 linux1 crp

LX1 & LX2 are the two IBM workstations located next to AWIPS WS1 & WS2.

LX1 & LX2 will have the RAP software.

They will have the full IFPS ported to Linux.

Linux1-crp is the Dell machine located next AWIPS WS1.

Linux1-crp has the Rapid Prototype software (RPP).

RPP version may be slightly different than RAP.

Only GFESuite; not full IFPS.

LX1, LX2 & Linux1-crp

Future hardware software

Future Hardware/Software

  • Additional Linux boxes in the future (PP1, PP2).

  • Pen mouse graphics tablet.

  • Post-build 5.x AWIPS software (OB1).

  • Full Linux replacement by FY06.

Primary reason for ifps

Primary reason for IFPS

  • Produce a displayable, detailed digital database (National Digital Forecast Database) that can be shared easily among both public and private entities.

  • The forecast data should always be “current” and be easily pulled by any customer who wants it (pull vs. push).

Ifps a look at the future


  • Official NWS digital database.

  • Pulled once an hour from each WFO and uploaded to a central server.

  • Transmitted through the AWIPS WAN.

  • Can now view the NDFD experimental clusters at (WAN only).

  • Available to all public and private users (i.e, The Weather Channel?).

New way of doing business

“New way of doing business”

  • GRIDS are the key, NOT words!!!!!

  • View the forecast “product” as information and not only as text.

  • Paradigm shift.

  • Working/interacting with models rather than simply looking at them.

  • Forecast collaboration vs. coordination.

New way of doing business1

“New way of doing business”

  • Provide the customer with an easy way to access our forecasts.

  • Assigned shift duties may need to be changed based upon a temporal division of forecast responsibility (i.e, short-term and long-term desks) or the “problem of the day”.

  • Overlapping shifts may need to be considered.

  • Event-driven updates and keeping the grids “current” will be a necessity with NDFD.

  • Outreach to customers on IFPS should be strongly considered.

Time to issue the zones

Time to Issue the Zones?

  • We all need to change the way we approach the forecast.

  • New forecast paradigm (grids…digital data…graphics…etc.).

  • NWS has adopted this paradigm.

  • Some forecasters will resist because “this is the way I’ve always done it”.

When do we issue an update in the ifps era

When do we issue an update in the IFPS era?

  • Event-driven updates.

    • Weather does not match forecast.

    • New model data arrives (i.e., when the new MRF arrives, you may want to populate Day 7).

  • Constant monitoring of the grids will likely be a routine duty.

    • WFO Pleasant Hill has their short-term forecaster monitor grids 24 hours a day.

Internet is a big player with ifps

Internet is a big player with IFPS

  • WFO Atlanta has a nice and easy interface for IFPS graphics.

  • WFO Pleasant Hill has a powerful interface to access grids and produce text, meteograms and hourly digital data (hourly RDF). This is a good example of pull technology.

Our website

Our Website

  • Still need to decide on the template(s) for accessing our gridded forecasts from our website.

  • How will the Marine Page fit in with IFPS?

  • What about the public and marine matrices that serve as input to the pre-existing graphics? Can we ditch these in a few months?

  • Input…suggestions…ideas should go to the webmaster.

Why is collaboration needed

Why is collaboration needed?

Collaboration tools

Collaboration Tools

  • Intersite Coordination (ISC).

  • FX-Connect software.

  • Chat room to discuss the forecast situation with neighboring offices.

Ifps a look at the future


  • The main motivation is to make your forecast meteorologically consistent with your neighbor’s forecast.

  • Jack Kelly wants a “seamless stream of data”.

  • Will help NDFD look more realistic with less in the way of artificial geographical boundaries and individual forecaster bias.

Ifps a look at the future


  • It is currently disabled on linux1-crp box.

  • The next software build (RPP 16.2 and IFPS10) will contain ISC functionality.

  • Marine ISC still needs to be addressed.

  • Training on this new feature of GFE will occur after it is configured.

Fx connect


  • Chat capability.

  • Extensive drawing capabilities (i.e., you can draw fronts and other meteorological symbols).

  • D2D functionality (Models, WSR-88D, Satellite, etc.).

  • NWSH may provide this software to each office in a future software build.

Daily forecast critique

Daily Forecast Critique

  • Allows the forecaster to compare his/her forecast with observations and/or model data.

  • Provides real-time “verification”.

  • Initially, point verification will be used but eventually grid verification is envisioned.

  • Available with the same build as ISC.

Daily forecast critique1

Daily Forecast Critique

Ifps a look at the future


  • Summary statistics are planned (BIAS, MAE, etc.).

  • New interface and graphics package are also planned.

  • Automated alerts based upon certain thresholds.

Other upcoming ifps features

Other upcoming IFPS features

  • Fire Weather functionality in IFPS10.

  • Marine WWA capability in IFPS10 (MWS can now be produced in WWA).

  • AVN and MRF MOS (MAV and MEX) in IFPS10.

  • Service Backup functionality in IFPS11 (July/Aug 2002).

Other issues

Other issues

  • TPC will likely NOT be on board with IFPS for the upcoming hurricane season.

    • This will pose a big problem with trying to get your grids to match the official TPC forecast.

    • A Smart Tool to decode the TCM data may be a temporary fix.

  • Other NCEP sites (SPC, HPC, MPC) are still a ? in terms of IFPS implementation.



  • IFPS Implementation will continue through the summer and be completed by 9/30/02.

  • Think grids, graphics, web and NOT just text (Paradigm shift).

  • Collaboration will become very important with NDFD.

  • Many new and exciting software enhancements.

  • Shift responsibilities may change (short-term and long-term desks).



  • Ultimately, the success of IFPS will depend upon the customers who use our gridded data.

  • The NWS is betting alot on this link between information and the customer!!!

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