The Forecast Systems Laboratory and the National Weather Service are supporting an exploratory development effort trying to infuse new technologies into the AWIPS forecast office. One of three major components of this development is defining a distributed data infrastructure that can be used in the operational forecasting environment. Current investigations point us toward the use of the NOAA Operationsl Model Archive and Distribution System (NOMADS) concept of web-based gridded data sets. NOMADS uses the OPen source project for Network Data Access Protocol (OPeNDAP) as well as the GrADS Data Server (GDS) to post data and enable visualization packages of gridded data sets. Servers exist at NCEP and the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) providing retrospective as well as real-time data.
This paper will report on the status of testing the NOMADS technology in a "forecast office" type configuration. An overview of the software development, the challenges encountered, and future exploratory work will be presented.