Weather Service Terms & Acronyms

This page lists many of the acronyms used by NOAA's National Weather Service. The terms and acronyms are listed in alphabetical order. You may scroll down the list, or use the lettered links below to jump to a particular section of the list.

The weather service also has standard contractions that it uses in its forecast products. You can find the contractions defined on the NWS Contractions page maintained by the Aviation Weather Center.

Click on one of the shortcut links below to jump to the desired section


AA Assistant Administrator
ABR WFO Aberdeen, South Dakota
AFD Area Forecast Discussion
AFOS Automation of Field Operations and Services
AHPS Advanced Hydrologic Prediction System
APX WFO Gaylord, Michigan
ARX WFO LaCross, Wisconsin
ASOS Automated Surface Observing System
AWC Aviation Weather Center
AWIPS Advanced Weather Interactive Processing System
BDR Build Design Review
BIS WFO Bismark, North Dakota
CBL Computer Based Learning
CBRFC Colorado Basin River Forecast Center (SLC Utah)
CBS Commission for Basic Services
CBT Computer Based Training
CCF Coded Cities Forecast
CD Compact Disc
CDC Climatic Diagnostics Center
CDC Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
CDW Collision Damage Waiver
CEES Committee on Earth and Environmental Services
CEOS Committee on Earth Observations Satellites
CERC Coastal Engineering Research Center
CFC Chlorofluorocarbon
CFC Combined Federal Campaign
CFO Chief Financial Officer
CHI Cloud Height Indicator
CIO Chief Information Officer
CIRA Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere
CITM Cooperative Institute for Tropical Meteorology
CLIN Contract Line Item Number
C-MAN Coastal Marine Automated Network
C-MAWDS Computerized Marine Weather Data System
CMDL Climate Modeling Diagnostics Laboratory
CMM Commission for Marine Meteorology
CNRFC California-Nevada River Forecast Center (Sacramento CA)
COARE Coupled Ocean-Atmosphere Response Experiment
COARS Computer-Assisted Observations and Recording System
COB Close Of Business
COE Corps of Engineers
COES Committee for Operational Environmental Satellites
COMAP COMET Mesoscale Analysis and Prediction
COMET Cooperative Program for Operational Meteorology Education
CONUS Contiguous United States
COPC Committee for Operational Processing Centers
COSPAR Committee on Space Research
COTR Contracting Officer's Technical Representative
COTS Commercial Off-the-Shelf
CPC Climate Prediction Center
CR Central Region (NWS)
CRH Central Region Headquarters
CRS Console Replacement System (NOAA Weather Radio)
CWA County Warning Area
CY Calendar Year
CYS WFO Cheyenne, Wyoming
DBMS Data Base Management System
DDC WFO Dodge City, Kansas
DLH WFO Duluth, Minnesota
DMX WFO Des Moines, Iowa
DOC Department of Commerce
DOD Department of Defense
DTX WFO Detroit, Michigan
DVN WFO Davenport, Iowa
EAS Emergency Alert System
EAX WFO Kansas City, Missouri
EDT Eastern Daylight Time (EDT is UTC minus 4 hours)
EEO Equal Employment Opportunity
EEOC Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
EIS Executive Information System
El Tech Electronics Technician
EMWIN Emergency Manager Weather Information Network
ENSO El Nino/Southern Oscillation
EPA Environmental Protection Agency
ERL Environmental Research Laboratories
EROS Earth Resources Observation Satellite
ESA Electronic Systems Analyst
ESF Hydrologic Outlook
EST Eastern Standard Time (EST is UTC minus 5 hours)
ET Electronics Technician
ETA Estimated Time of Arrival
ETL Environmental Technology Laboratory
FAA Federal Aviation Administration
FAQ Frequently Asked Questions
FAR Federal Acquisition Regulations
FCC Federal Communications Commission
FCWOS FAA Contract Weather Observing System
FDA Food and Drug Administration
FDDI Fiber Distributed Data Interface
FEGLI Federal Employee Group Life Insurance
FEI Federal Executive Institute
FEMA Federal Emergency Management Agency
FFG Flash Flood Guidance
FFS Flood/Flash Flood Statement
FGF WFO Grand Forks, North Dakota
FIMA Financial Information Management and Accounting
FIPS Federal Information Processing Standard
FLS Flood Statement
FLSA Fair Labor Standards Act
FM Frequency Modulation
FMH Federal Meteorological Handbook
FMI Finnish Meteorological Institute
FOB Federal Office Building
FOIA Freedom of Information Act
FORTRAN Formula Translation Language
FOS Family of Services
FPMR Federal Property Management Regulations
FPO Flood Potential Outlook
FPS Fujita-Pearson Scale
FRA Functional Requirements Analysis
FRU Field Replaceable Unit
FSD WFO Souix Falls, South Dakota
FSL Forecast Systems Laboratory
FSS Flight Service Station
FTP File Transfer Protocol
FTS Federal Telephone System
FW Fire Weather
FWRA Federal Workforce Restructuring Act
FY Fiscal Year
GAO General Accounting Office
GARP Global Atmospheric Research Program
GARP Gempak Analysis and Rendering Program
GCOS Global Climate Observing System
GDAS Global Data Assimilation System
GDDS GOES Data Distribution System
GDSS Gauge Data Support System
GEWEX Global Energy and Water Cycle Experiment
GF Guidance Forecast
GFE Graphical Forecast Editor
GID WFO Hastings, Nebraska
GIF Graphics Interface Format
GIS Geographic Information System
GISS Goddard Institute for Space Studies
GLD WFO Goodland, Kansas
GLERL Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory
GLF Great Lakes Forecast
GMT Greenwich Mean Time (also known as UTC)
GOES Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite
GOES-NEXT Next Generation Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite
GOES-TAP GOES Telecommunications Access Program
GOOS Global Ocean Observing System
GPO Government Printing Office
GPS Global Positioning System
GRB WFO Green Bay, Wisconsin
GRIB Gridded Binary
GRR WFO Grand Rapids, Michigan
GS General Schedule
GSA General Services Administration
GSCP GOES satellite cloud product
GSFC Goddard Space Flight Center
GSM Global Spectral Model
GTA Government Travel Account
GTR Government Transportation Request
GTS Global Telecommunication System
GUI Graphical User Interface
HA Hydrometeorological Applications
HAPS Hydrologic Auxiliary Processing System
HAZMAT Hazardous Material
HDD Heating Degree Days
HDSB Hydrologic Data Systems Branch
HF high frequency
HIC Hydrologist In Charge
HIT Hydrologist Intern
HM Hydrometeorological
HMI Human/Machine Interface
HMT Hydrometeorological Technician
HP Hewlett Packard
HPC Hydrometeorological Prediction Center
HRC Hurricane Research Center
HRL Hydrologic Research Laboratory
HSA Hydrologic Service Area
HSEB Hydrologic Software Engineering Branch
HSMB Hydrologic Science and Modeling Branch
HTML HyperText Markup Language
HTTP Hyper Text Transfer Protocol
HWG Headwater Guidance
HWR Hourly Weather Roundup
HWO Hazardous Weather Outlook
Hz Hertz
ICT WFO Wichita, Kansas
IDP Individual Development Plan
IEEE Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers
IFPS Interactive Forecast Preparation System
IFR Instrument Flight Rule
IG Inspector General
IGY International Geophysical Year
IHC Interdepartmental Hurricane Conference
ILX WFO Lincoln, Illinois
IOC Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission
IOSC Integrated Operations and Service Committee
IP Internet Protocol
IPA Intergovernmental Personnel Act
IPCC Intergovernmental Panel on Climatic Change
IPT Integrated Product Teams
IR Infrared
IRC Information Resource Center
IRIS Interactive Radar Information System
IRR Integration Readiness Review
IRT Independent Review Team
IS Information systems
ISABP International South Atlantic Buoy Program
ISB Implementation Support Branch
ISC Intersite Coordination
ISCCP International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project
ISCS International Satellite Communications Systems
ISDN Integrated Services Digital Network
ISIS Integrated Surface Irradiance Study
ISL Integrated Systems Laboratory
ISO International Standards Organization
ISPAN Information Stream Processor for AWIPS/NOAAPORT
ISWS Illinois State Water Survey
IT Information Technology
ITB Integrated Test Bed
ITO Information Technology Officer
ITSO Information Technology Security Officer
IWDS Interactive Weather Display System
IWIN Interactive Weather Information Network
IWX WFO North Webster, Indiana
JAG/AW Joint Action Group/Aviation Weather
JAWF Joint Agricultural Weather Facility
JAWOP Joint Automated Weather Observation Program
JAWS Joint Airport Weather Study
JCET Joint Center for Earth Systems Technology
JIC Joint Ice Center
JISAO Joint Institute for the Study of Atmosphere and Oceans
JKL WFO Jackson, Kentucky
JMA Japan Meteorological Agency
JOI Joint Oceanographic Institution
JOSS Joint Office for Science Support
JPA Joint Project Authority
JPL Jet Propulsion Laboratory
JSC Johnson Space Center
JSPO Joint System Program Office
JTR Joint Travel Regulations
K-12 Kindergarten through Grade 12
kB Kilobyte
kbps Kilobits Per Second
kHz Kilohertz
KNMI Koninklijk Nederlands Meteorologisch Instituut
KSA Knowledge, Skills, Abilities
KSC Kennedy Space Center
LAMP Local AWIPS MOS Product
LAN Local Area Network
LANL Los Alamos National Laboratory
LANSAT Land Satellite
LARC Limited Automated Remote Collector
LAWRS Limited Aviation Weather Reporting Stations
LBF WFO North Platte, Nebraska
LDAD Local Data Acquisition and Dissemination System
LDS Lightning Detection System
LED Light Emitting Diode
LES Lake Effect Snow
LETS Law Enforcement Telecommunications System
LLNL Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
LLWS Low Level Wind Shear
LMK WFO Louisville, Kentucky
LMRFC Lower Mississippi River Forecast Center
LNB Large Navigation Buoy
LOS Line Of Sight
LOT WFO Romeoville, Illinois (Chicago)
LRC Langley Research Center
LRU Lowest Replaceable Unit
LSH Lakeshore Flood Statement
LSX WFO Saint Louis, Missouri
LWOP Leave With Out Pay
MAN Metropolitan Area Network
MAPS Mesoscale Analysis and Prediction System
MAPSO Microcomputer-Aided Paperless Surface Observation
MARFC Middle Atlantic River Forecast Center (State College PA)
MARS Multifunction Acquisition and Reporting System
mb Millibar
MBO Management By Objective
mbps Mega Bits Per Second
MBRFC Missouri Basin River Forecast Center
MCS Mesoscale Convective Systems
MDL Meteorological Development Laboratory
MET Meteorologist
MET TECH Meteorologist Technician
METAR Meteorological Aviation Report
MHz Megahertz
MIC Meteorologist In Charge
MIME Multipurpose Internet Mail Extension
MIS Management Information System
MIT Massachusetts Institute of Technology
MKX WFO Milwaukee, Wisconsin
MOU Memorandum of Understanding
MPEG Movie Picture Expert Group
MPX WFO Minneapolis, Minnesota
MQT WFO Marquette, Michigan
MRI Meteorological Research Institute
MSC Meteorological Service of Canada
MSFC Marshall Space Flight Center
MSL Mean Sea Level
MVFR Marginal Visual Flight Rules
NAS National Academy of Sciences
NASA National Aeronautics and Space Administration
NC National Center
NCAR National Center for Atmospheric Research
NCDC National Climatic Data Center
NCEP National Centers for Environmental Prediction
NCRFC North Central River Forecast Center
NESDIS National Environmental Satellite Data
NEXRAD Next Generation Weather Radar
NGDC National Geophysical Data Center
NGM Nested Grid Model
NHC National Hurricane Center
NIDS NEXRAD Information Dissemination Service
NIST National Institute of Standards and Technology
NLSC National Logistics Support Center
NMFS National Marine Fisheries Service
NOAA National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NOC Network Operations Center
NODC National Oceanographic Data Center
NOS National Ocean Service
NOW short-term forecast
NRC National Reconditioning Center
NRL Naval Research Laboratory
NSF National Science Foundation
NSSL National Severe Storms Laboratory
NTC National Training Center
NTE Not To Exceed
NWA National Weather Association
NWR NOAA Weather Radio
NWRFC Northwest River Forecast Center (Portland OR)
NWR-SAME NOAA Weather Radio-Specific Area Message Encoder
NWS National Weather Service
NWSEO National Weather Service Employees Organization
NWSH National Weather Service Headquarters
NWSTC NWS Training Center
NWWS NOAA Weather Wire Service
OAR Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research
OAX WFO Omaha, Nebraska
OBS Observations
OEM Original Equipment Manufacturer
OH Office of Hydrology
OHD Office of Hydrologic Development
OHRFC Ohio River Forecast Center (Cincinnati OH)
OIC Official In Charge
OJT On-the-Job Training
OM Office of Meteorology
OMB Office of Management and Budget
OML Operations Manual Letter
ONR Office of Naval Research
OPM Office of Personnel Management
ORNL Oak Ridge National Laboratory
ORPG Open Radar Product Generator
OSF WSR-88D Operational Support Facility
OST Office of Science and Technology
PAH WFO Paducah, Kentucky
PCS Permanent Change of Station
PDI Palmer Drought Index
POP Probability Of Precipitation
POV Privately Owned Vehicle
PPM Parts Per Million
PPP Point-to-Point Protocol
PRC Planning Research Corporation
QC Quality Control
QSI Quality Step Increase
R&D Research & Development
RCC Regional Climate Center
RD Regional Director
RDF Revised Digital Forecast
RF Radio Frequency
RFC River Forecast Center
RFI Radio Frequency Interference
RFI Request for Information
RFP Request for Proposal
RIW WFO Riverton, Wyoming
ROML Regional Operations Manual Letter
ROSA Remote Observation System Automation
RPG Radar Product Generator
RRDD Radar Research and Development
RTP Regional Temperature & Precipitation Table
RVA Hydrologic Summary
SAME Specific Area Message Encoder
SBN Satellite Broadcast Network
SCSI Small Computer Systems Interface
SERFC Southeast River Forecast Center (Atlanta GA)
SEC Space Environment Center
SF Standard Form
SFD State Forecast Discussion
SFP State Forecast Product
SGF WFO Springfield, Missouri
SHEF Standard Hydrometeorological Exchange Format
SKYWARN highly trained volunteer storm spotters
SMG Spaceflight Meteorology Group
SMTP Simple Mail Transfer Protocol
SNA System Network Architecture
SNMP Simple Network Management Protocol
SOO Science and Operations Officer
SPC Storm Prediction Center
SQL Structured Query Language
SVS Severe Weather Statement
SWS State Weather Summary
TAF Terminal Aerodrome Forecast
TCP/IP Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol
TDWR Terminal Dopplar Weather Radar
TFTP Trivial File Transfer Protocol
TOP WFO Topeka, Kansas
TPC Tropical Prediction Center
TQM Total Quality Management
TVA Tennessee Valley Authority
TWC Tsunami Warning Center
UA Upper Air
UARS Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite
UCAR University Corporation for Atmospheric Research
UDP User Datagram Protocol
UHF Ultra High Frequency
UNR WFO Rapid City, South Dakota
UPS Uninterruptible Power Supply
URL Uniform Resource Locator
USA U.S. Army
USAF U.S. Air Force
USCG U.S. Coast Guard
USDA U.S. Department of Agriculture
USFS U.S. Forest Service
USGCRP U.S. Global Change Research Program
USGS U.S. Geological Survey
USMC U.S. Marine Corps
USN U.S. Navy
UTC Coordinated Universal Time (also refered to as GMT)
UV Ultraviolet
UVI Ultraviolet Index
UVP Ultraviolet Potential
VESSA Volunteer Emergency Services Support Agency
VFR Visual Flight Rules
VHF Very High Frequency
WAN Wide Area Network
WBT Web Based Training
WCM Warning Coordination Meteorologist
WES Weather Event Simulator
WFO Weather Forecast Office
WGRFC West Gulf River Forecast Center (Fort Worth TX)
WHFS WFO Hydrologic Forecast System
WHOI Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
WIMS Weather Information Management System
WIPO World Intellectual Property Organization
WMO World Meteorological Organization
WSH National Weather Service Headquarters
WSO Weather Service Office
WSOM Weather Service Operations Manual
WSR-88D Doppler Weather Surveillance Radar
WWA Watch, Warning, Advisory
WX Weather
Z-Time Slang Term for UTC (Derived from Zulu Time)
ZFP Zone Forecast Product
Zulu Time Another term for UTC is the U.S. government's official web portal to all federal, state and local government web resources and services.