ESRL Global Systems Division

AWIPS HazCollect Program Development Begins at FSL

The National Weather Service (NWS) and the Forecast Systems Laboratory (FSL) recently signed an agreement for FSL to develop the AWIPS portion of an automated message handling system that will collect and disseminate nonweather hazardous event information to the public. This follows an agreement between NOAA and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) signed in June giving DHS direct access to NOAA's All-Hazards Network capabilities.

Under the AWIPS HazCollect program, the new system will offer 17 different types of HazCollect messages, ranging from Earthquake and Avalanche Warnings, to Hazardous Materials and Radiological Hazard Warnings, to Amber Alert messages. Emergency managers will generate HazCollect event messages that automatically will be routed to the NWS Network Control Facility. The messages will be formatted and sent via the Satellite Broadcast Network to the appropriate NWS Forecast Offices, where they will be collected and stored in the AWIPS text database, then automatically sent to the NOAA Weather Wire and Console Replacement System (CRS) for broadcast through the local media and NOAA Weather Radio. This seems like a long procedure, but the whole process will be designed to run in just seconds, with little or no human intervention once a message is composed. This processing will be done in much the same way as severe weather watches and warnings are handled today.

The FSL work on the HazCollect program will be accomplished in three phases, with scheduled deployment of an Initial Operational Capability in AWIPS Operational Build 6 (OB6) in late 2005.

Contact information
Name: Woody Roberts
Tel: 303-497-6104