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The National Weather Service Goes Geospatial – Serving Weather Data on the Web Ken Waters Regional Scientist National Weather Service Pacific Region HQ Honolulu, Hawaii March 5, 2003 Overview of the National Weather Service (NWS) Established 1898 as the Weather Bureau

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the national weather service goes geospatial serving weather data on the web

The National Weather Service Goes Geospatial – Serving Weather Data on the Web

Ken Waters

Regional Scientist

National Weather Service

Pacific Region HQ

Honolulu, Hawaii

March 5, 2003

overview of the national weather service nws
Overview of the National Weather Service (NWS)
  • Established 1898 as the Weather Bureau
  • Now a part of the Department of Commerce and NOAA
  • NWS consists of 122 forecast offices, including one in Guam and Honolulu
nws mission
NWS Mission
  • Provide watches and warnings to save lives and property
  • Operate state-of-the-art numerical weather models
  • Maintain a vast amount of weather and hydrologic data, both real-time and historical
nws warnings
NWS Warnings
  • Short-term warnings
    • Tornado
    • Severe thunderstorm
    • Flash flood
  • Longer-term warnings
    • Hurricane, river flooding, winter storm, wind
  • Very long-term warnings:
    • Climate and El Nino
numerical models
Numerical Models
  • Global models, especially the Global Forecast System (GFS, ex-AVN)
    • 80 km horizontal resolution out to 240 hours
  • Regional Models
    • Eta, Regional Spectral Model
    • Variable resolutions, some down to 8 km
  • Models are stored in GRIB format
observations
Observations
  • Satellite (in conjunction with NOAA/NESDIS)
    • Imagery (visual, infrared, water vapor)
    • Geostationary (GOES)
      • Resolution from 12 km down to 1 km
      • Data refresh from 5 to 15 minutes
    • Polar Orbiting satellites (POES)
      • View always changing; resolution down to 0.5 km
observations7
Observations
  • Doppler Radar
    • 130 radar sites (4 in Hawaii, 1 in Guam)
    • Data refresh every 6 minutes
  • Surface data (automated stations, buoys, tide and river gauges)
  • Upper air data (2x daily balloon launches, ACARS on aircraft, atmospheric profilers, satellite soundings)
  • Climate Data, including cooperative network of weather observers
many disparate data formats
Many Disparate Data Formats
  • GRIB (model data)
  • netCDF (most data as stored at forecast offices)
  • GINI (satellite)
  • Archive II (radar)
  • BUFR (soundings)
  • McIDAS (satellite)
  • Gempak (model and synoptic)
  • METAR (surface weather observations)
  • Text (products such as daily forecasts)
where are we going
Where are we going?
  • Challenges
    • Many data formats
    • None in geospatial-friendly format such as shapefiles
    • Rapidly growing data bases
    • Working more with other federal agencies to share data
    • Determining presence on the Web
    • Making forecasts more user-oriented (pull technology rather than push)
national digital forecast database
National Digital Forecast Database
  • National gridded database (2.5 km) of forecast data
    • Winds, clouds, rain/snow chance and amounts, temperature, humidity
    • Operational end of 2003 for CONUS, 2004 for Alaska/Pacific
    • Three forms:
      • GRIB2 binary format for high-end users
      • Imagery posted on the Web
      • Legacy text products such as city forecasts, sampled from the grids rather than hand-edited
national digital forecast database12
National Digital Forecast Database
  • Example of Max Temperature forecast grid image at 5 km resolution
  • More info: http://www.nws.noaa.gov/NDFD
arcims efforts
ArcIMS Efforts
  • Current team recommending prototype project for this summer’s hurricane season
  • Will run off of a server in NWS HQ (Silver Spring MD)
  • Will combine track forecast of hurricane, near-real-time rainfall grids plus typical shapefiles (roads, counties, cities, etc.)
  • Targeted towards the Emergency Management community with the hopes that it can be used in decision-making regarding landfall of a hurricane
warnings
Warnings
  • Incorporate polygon information from short-term warnings into shapefiles for ArcIMS
future efforts
Future Efforts
  • Deploy the National Digital Forecast Database grids (GRIB2 GRID) in an IMS application
  • Convert most NWS data sets into shapefile/grid format to allow a multitude of IMS applications
questions
Questions?

This presentation can be found at:

http://www.prh.noaa.gov/hq/wx_rug.ppt

Ken.waters@noaa.gov

http://www.prh.noaa.gov

(808) 532-6413

737 Bishop St., Ste 2200

Honolulu HI 96825