New Analysis and Forecasting System to be Installed Today

On Wednesday, November 20th, the National Weather Service (NWS) Office in Des Moines will install the second generation of the Advanced Weather Interactive Processing System (AWIPS2).  This system is the core tool used by NWS meteorologists and hydrologists to analyze data and create forecasts and warnings.  This major upgrade will bring advanced capabilities and allow us to create new services and tools for forecasting.

Some of the exciting advances this system will bring to our forecasting and warning capabilities include:

  • The ability to add new data types easily:  The current AWIPS requires tedious trial and error testing and configuration to add new data sets.  AWIPS2 requires only giving the system a simple configuration file.  This allows more rapid research to operations transitions of new data sets.
  • Expandability of the system:  The current AWIPS is generally a closed system, meaning it cannot expand to have new tools or functions added.  AWIPS2 provides many ways to add new components and tools, which will have direct access to the data inside it.
  • Increased ability to scientifically analyze data: AWIPS2 will provide an entire programming languauge to create new parameters and visualization.
  • Full GIS capabilities:  All data in AWIPS2 is geographically referenced, meaning we will be able to provide more GIS products for our users in the future.

All critical services will continue during the upgrade:

  • Warnings and forecasts will not be interrupted.
  • The NWS Offices in Davenport, IA and Omaha, NE will take over responsibility for NWS Des Moines during the day time Wednesday, Nov. 20 and into the evening and overnight on the 21th if needed.  They will issue forecasts, watches, warnings, and other products as needed.
  • WSR-88D radar data will be unavailable for a time during mainly the morning hours of Wed. Nov. 20.
  • NOAA Weather Radio will remain on the air during and after the upgrade, although updates to the audio programming may not be quite as timely as normal.
  • NWS web sites will not be affected and will remain up-to-date, except for NWS Des Moines radar data as mentioned above.
  • Some highly specialized services may be interrupted for a few days as we work to migrate our tools; however, we will give restoration of direct partner services the highest priority following the upgrade.

We will provide updates on the progress of this installation via our web site, Facebook, and Twitter as necessary.

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