2002 Annual

Tuesday, 15 January 2002: 8:30 AM
Interactive Forecast Preparation—the future has come
David P. Ruth, NOAA/NWS/Office of Science and Technology, Silver Spring, MD
Poster PDF (42.0 kB)
The National Weather Service (NWS) has been preparing to introduce Interactive Forecast Preparation (IFP) into its field operations for almost two decades. Evolving versions of IFP systems have been operationally tested at selected NWS field offices for more than 15 years. With the deployment of the Interactive Computer Worded Forecast system in the NWS Eastern Region in 2000, routine IFP operations became a reality. The Southern and Central regions followed last year by initiating the deployment of the Interactive Forecast Preparation System (IFPS), the successor to ICWF. NWS plans call for implementation of IFPS at all its Weather Forecast Offices by the end of 2003.

IFP represents a substantial change for forecasters. Instead of manually typing a myriad of forecast products tailored for specific user communities (e.g., public, fire weather, marine), forecasters will rely on interactive interpretation and editing techniques to prepare forecasts of weather elements in a common digital database from which forecast products will be automatically composed and formatted. IFP maximizes the human contribution within the forecast process, by enabling the NWS field offices to issue new products with more forecast detail in time and space, as well as the existing product suite.

An important outgrowth of nationwide implementation of IFPS will be the development of the NWS Digital Forecast Database (NDFD). The NDFD will contain a seamless mosaic of NWS digital forecasts, be made available to all users and partners -- public and private, and allow those users and partners to create a wide range of text, graphic, and image products of their own.

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