87th AMS Annual Meeting

Tuesday, 16 January 2007: 9:15 AM
216AB (Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center)
Steven R. Olson, NOAA/NWS, Silver Spring, MD; and M. R. Peroutka, J. E. Calkins, D. Young, A. P. Noel, A. Thomas, E. Danaher, and J. Huddleston
Poster PDF (116.7 kB)
For several decades, the NWS's National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) has issued two widely-distributed text products, the Selected Cities Summary (SCS) and the Travelers Forecast (TAV). The SCS provides basic observations for the previous day and rudimentary forecasts for 162 cities in the United States, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, while the TAV provides forecasts for several dozen US cities and Puerto Rico. Each of these products is created by gathering the Coded Cities Fore-casts (CCF) issued by NWS Weather Forecast Offices (WFOs) and adding previously observed weather data. These products produce challenges to the forecasters who pro-duce them, and the tabular nature of the products limits their flexibility in this digital era.

The National Digital Forecast Database (NDFD) contains a seamless mosaic of digital forecasts prepared by NWS WFOs and NCEP. These forecasts consist of various sensible (e.g., temperature and sky cover) and derived (e.g., apparent temperature and relative humidity) weather and are used by NWS customers and partners to create text, graphical, gridded, and image products. The NWS currently provides XML-encoded NDFD forecasts to its customers and partners via the World Wide Web (WWW) using a web service based on the Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP). These XML forecasts are encoded in Digital Weather Markup Language (DWML), a dialect of XML. This fea-ture is enjoying considerable success. The NDFD provides the NWS with an unprece-dented opportunity to automate and improve tabular products like SCS/TAV/CCF using features of both the NDFD and XML.

This paper will focus on steps to modernize and improve upon the current tabular product suite (SCS/TVL/CCF) by introducing three new XML products (Forecast in XML- FoX, Observations in XML - ObX, and Temperature Extremes in XML - TEX). If these new products prove to be successful, the NWS will explore the possibility of re-placing one or more of the legacy text products. XML products have a decided advan-tage over their tabular counterparts. In general, XML allows NWS customers and part-ners the flexibility to capture some or all of the data being delivered in the product while formatting the data as they choose. Additional cities, new weather elements, or new time projections all can be added in the future with minimal software development and mini-mal impact to our customers and partners.

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