ESRL Global Systems Division

OAR/NWS Letter of Agreement Signed

On October 30, 2008 a Letter of Agreement between the National Weather Service (NWS) and the Office of Atmospheric Research (OAR) was signed for the transition of the Meteorological Assimilation Data Ingest System (MADIS) from Research to NOAA operations. The agreement generally covers work to be performed from FY2008 through FY 2016.

This transition will help improve performance for a wide variety of service applications in numerous ways. Not only does MADIS improve density, usability, reliability, timeliness, and accuracy of the integrated surface and upper-air observations used in local weather warning, model predictions, and hazardous situations, it also provides products in more easily accessible and usable formats. Thus MADIS contributes to a reduction in the nation's loss of life, property, and commerce caused by severe storms, drought, local high-impact weather, and toxic atmospheric plumes.

NWS forecasters rely daily on MADIS' crucial data delivery mechanism that helps them refine and improve information they deliver to the public. MADIS will allow NOAA to collect and identify high-quality observations which will form the foundation of the digital analysis and verification process. Operational access to these real-time data will be essential in enhancing forecaster situational awareness while also improving the quantity and quality of observations injected into NWS modeling systems.

MADIS is a data management system developed at ESRL/GSD that ingests, integrates, quality controls, and distributes surface and upper-air datasets to the meteorological community. Among these datasets is an integrated mesonet database containing high-frequency real-time observations from over 45,000 mesonet stations across the country and around the world. The mesonet database includes Road Weather Information System observations from state Departments of Transportation, as well as real-time observations from the Remote Automated Weather Stations network, the Cooperative Mesonets in the Western U.S. network, the WeatherBug network operated by AWS Convergence Technologies, Inc., and many others. Organizations receiving MADIS data feeds include NWS forecast offices, the NWS National Centers for Environmental Prediction, the National Center for Atmospheric Research, and many major universities and commercial weather businesses. Saved observations are available online via the MADIS ftp server; real-time observations are viewable on the Web.

MADIS integrates other-agency and private-network observations with NOAA observations and makes them easily accessible and usable to the greater meteorological community. By doing so, it is serving one of NOAA's main mission goals to "Serve Society's Needs for Weather and Water Information." Additionally, MADIS supplies non-NOAA data providers with quality control and station monitoring information to assist in their maintenance activities and to enhance and promote the mutual benefits of public/private data sharing.

Contact information
Name: Patricia A Miller
Tel: 303-497-6365