FSL Technology Well Received at the 2002 AMS Annual Meeting

The Forecast Systems Laboratory (FSL) always looks forward to showcasing new developments at the annual meetings of the American Meteorological Society (AMS). Last month's 82nd AMS Annual Meeting, which featured a special symposium on the Advanced Weather Interactive Processing System (AWIPS), was a perfect venue for FSL to display its latest technological innovations that enhance AWIPS and benefit weather services worldwide. The AWIPS symposium brought together operational meteorologists, forecasters, and the research and technological applications communities. Joint poster sessions also encouraged participation of operational public and private sector meteorologists and forecasters to focus on the real issues that they face day to day.

FSL scientists authored or coauthored 29 papers for the AMS Annual Meeting, with more than half of those presented at the AWIPS symposium. An additional 16 papers were written by National Weather Service (NWS) staff specifically on the uses of the Interactive Forecast Preparation System (IFPS) and the GFESuite within the NWS field offices. It was rewarding for FSL developers to see the creative uses that operational forecasters are finding for the GFESuite (Graphical Forecast Editor), which allows forecasters to view and edit the gridded forecast. For example, the Tucson Forecast Office has created an interactive Website that allows users to select a forecast at any point in the County Warning Area, query the database, and get information for any weather element they choose. Previously, users could get such weather information only at specific locations.

Other FSL advances presented and demonstrated at well-attended conferences include workstation and observing systems, high-performance computing, and visualization. Two papers were presented on FX-Net, a new technology that offers access to the basic display capability of the AWIPS workstation via the Internet. The demonstrations of FX-Net, selected for venue forecasting at the 2002 Winter Olympics, were presented to current and potential users and interested representatives from government agencies, universities, and military organizations. Another FSL technology that garnered strong interest was the WorldWide Weather Workstation (W4) application, which supports improved information for synoptic and mesoscale forecasts and early warnings of severe weather to international customers. About 10 companies discussed possible agreements related to transferring W4 technology to the private sector. Also, NWS management and operational forecasters alike were interested in the benefits of D2D/D3D-Linux interactive displays, which offer a rapid method to assimilate model output and analysis data. Of special interest to forecasters was the FX-Collaborate technology, an advanced system architecture that supports user collaboration and distributed processing and databases. As usual, the Profiler and GPS demonstrations were popular, with special interest in the growing number of Boundary Layer Profiler sites and the FSL interface to retrieve these data. NWS Science and Operations Officers, forecasters, and educators were interested in the FX-Net display of the 13-km Local Analysis and Prediction System (LAPS) water-in-all-phases analysis containing the GPS Integrated Precipitable Water Vapor (GPS-IPWV) data.

The NWS provided the daily weather briefings using the AWIPS/Linux system and real-time data acquired by the AWIPS contractor, PRC. FSL provided network and system assistance for the weather briefings.

Finally, FSL's exhibit booth, located near other NOAA exhibits, was a focal point for viewing frequent workstation demonstrations and initiating prospective collaborative relationships with businesses and government agencies. FSL Director Dr. A.E. MacDonald signed an agreement with the Korean Meteorological Administration (KMA) for continued development of an AWIPS-like workstation, the Forecaster's Analysis System, at the KMA.

Overall, FSL's participation in this AMS Annual Meeting was the most rewarding to date. The positive responses to technology under development is consistent with FSL's reputation as a leader in transferring science and technology to operational weather services.

Contact information
Name: Herb Grote
Tel: 303-497-6110