NWS Lincoln taking part in "Mixed Case Experiment"

Starting at 1:00 pm CDT (1800 UTC) on Wednesday July 31st, the National Weather Service Office in Lincoln, IL will begin issuing a small set of products using mixed case characters.

What does that mean?

This means that in the body of the message, for a few of our public products and many of our river/climate products, both upper and lower case letters - as well as numerous special keyboard characters - will be used instead of all capital letters and only a few punctuation marks.

Why do most NWS products use all capital letters (ALL CAPS)?

For decades, the NWS was limited to using only capital letters and a small set of punctuation marks because of the teletype machines and wire services that were used to disseminate and receive our text products, such as forecasts, warnings, etc...

Some computer systems that receive our messages are still programmed to receive our information in ALL CAPS. This experiment will allow our users and partners to update, identify and correct any problems in their systems with the reception of messages containing an expanded character set (upper case, lower case and special symbols).

What products will be part of this experiment?

Three public products and 11 hydrologic/climate products will be part of this experiment. The public products include:

AFD - Area Forecast Discussion
PNS - Public Information Statement
RWS - Regional Weather Summary

The 11 hydrologic/climate products include: 

ESF - Hydrologic Outlook
FFA - Flood Watch for Forecast Points
FLW - Flood Warning for Forecast Points
FLS - Follow-up to Flood Warning for FP
FLS - Flood Advisory for Forecast Points
RVS - Hydrologic Statement
RVA - Hydrologic Summary
RVD - River and Lake Forecast Product
HYx - Hydrometeorological Data Summary
RTP - Regional Temp and Precipitation
AGO - Agricultural Observations

What set of characters will be used in these products?

The following set of characters will be used in the products listed above:

"space" ! " # $ % & ' ( ) * + , - . /

0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 : ; < = > ?

@ A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O

P Q R S T U V W X Y Z [ ] ^ _

` a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o

p q r s t u v w x y z { | } ~

Where can I get more information?

 For more information, including a list of participating NWS offices and a link to provide comments, go to:


For additional information about the hydrologic/climate products in this experiment, go to:



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