P1.95 The Meteorological Assimilation Data Ingest System (MADIS) - Providing Value-Added Observations to the Meteorological Community

Monday, 1 August 2005
Regency Ballroom (Omni Shoreham Hotel Washington D.C.)
Patricia A. Miller, NOAA/FSL, Boulder, CO; and M. Barth, L. Benjamin, D. Helms, M. Campbell, J. Facundo, and J. O'Sullivan

NOAA's Forecast Systems Laboratory (FSL) has established the MADIS (Meteorological Assimilation Data Ingest System) project to make integrated, quality-controlled datasets available to the greater meteorological community. The goals of MADIS are to promote comprehensive data collection and distribution of operational and experimental observation systems, and to decrease the cost and time required to move observation systems from research to operations. Users of the MADIS database have access to a reliable and easy-to-use database containing real-time and saved real-time datasets available via ftp, Local Data Manager (LDM), or through the use of web-based OPen source project for Network Data Access Protocol (OPeNDAP) clients.

Observational datasets currently available via MADIS include radiosonde soundings, automated aircraft reports, NOAA and non-NOAA wind profilers, non-NOAA experimental microwave radiometer observations, operational and experimental GOES winds, and several types of surface datasets. The latter includes water vapor observations from geo-positioning satellite (GPS) and a unique, national collection of over 8,500 mesonet stations from local, state, and federal agencies, and private firms. MADIS also supports NOAA with ingest, quality control (QC), and distribution of surface observations from modernized COOP stations, and has been tasked to contribute to the development of a national transportation mesonet consisting of integrated Road Weather Information System (RWIS) data from state Department of Transportation (DOTs) as an integral part of the NOAA/FHWA surface transportation partnership.

MADIS data files are available in uniform formats with uniform QC structures within the data files. They are compatible with the NWS AWIPS systems, and with data assimilation systems such as the Weather Research and Forecasting 3D-variational (WRF 3DVAR) system. Software support is also provided for the datasets through the use of an Application Program Interface (API) that provides users with easy access to the data and QC information. The API allows each user to specify station and observation types, as well as QC choices, and domain and time boundaries. Many of the implementation details that arise in data ingest programs are automatically performed, greatly simplifying user access to the disparate datasets, and effectively integrating the database by allowing, for example, users to access many different types of surface observations (e.g. ASOS, modernized COOP, maritime, and non-NOAA mesonets) through a single interface.

First made publicly available in July 2001, MADIS datasets have proven to be popular within the meteorological community. FSL now supports hundreds of MADIS users, including the majority of NWS forecast offices, NCDC, NCEP, and many universities and private companies. Additionally, MADIS supplies non-NOAA data providers with QC and station monitoring information which have proven useful in their maintenance activities.

This paper will cover the current status of the MADIS project, including details on how to access the MADIS datasets, API, and documentation, and will also cover future plans, including the cooperative effort between FSL and NWS staff to move MADIS into NOAA operations in support of NOAA's Commerce and Transportation and Weather and Water Mission Goals.

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