A Brief Introduction to AWIPS II

What is AWIPS II?

AWIPS II, or Advanced Weather Interactive Processing System, is a method for processing, communicating, and displaying weather data. Some of the data processed include meteorological, hydrological, satellite, and radar data. Meteorological data are ingested and processed in AWIPS II at National Weather Service Warning Forecast Offices and River Forecast Centers. Some of these locations are shown on the map below.

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Image from NWS Louisville

Another great feature that comes with AWIPS II is that user applications can easily be added to make the software more powerful and useful as new technology becomes available.

What can AWIPS II do?

As mentioned above AWIPS II is a very powerful tool that continues to grow with each version. At the time of this publishing, the key features are:

  • The ability for it to scale for a wide arrange of platforms (from laptops to servers).
  • The ability to ingest data from multiple sources.
  • The support for high-resolution data from each sensor.
  • The many data types it processes in real-time.
  • It provides rapid updates.
  • The National Weather Service can generate and disseminate warnings within AWIPS II itself.
  • It is built on open source codes and libraries.

AWIPS II powers most of the National Weather Service operations and without it, operational meteorology would not be as advanced as it is today. However, the advancement isn’t confined to the public, many private sector companies benefit from it as well since it is an open source product, including WDSS. AWIPS, along with our own iMap products, helps complete our Hydromet Decision Support System in Buenos Aires, Argentina. For more detail on this project click here.

Why use AWIPS II in Buenos Aires?

AWIPS II is being used for the Buenos Aires project as it is a widely adhered to standard meaning forecasters who are familiar with the use of other operational meteorological workstations will be able to learn AWIPS II. While some details will vary from the Buenos Aires implementation, the basic setup will be the same between the US and Buenos Aires systems.

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