National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce
Your National Weather Service in Birmingham issues a number of products every day.  These include forecasts, climate information, and forecast discussions.  The pages below offer a brief explanation of each product, and links to a current example of each product.

· Zone Forecast (ZFP)  


A zone is an area where essentially the same weather is expected, so that a single forecast can serve as the local forecast for all communities within the area.  Zone forecasts cover a seven-day period, and have enough detail to give customers a clear statement of expected weather.  Significant weather events, such as warnings, watches, and advisories are headlined in each zone forecast.  The zone forecast is issued around 4am/pm local time, and updated as needed.

· Area and Point Forecast Matrices  (AFM) (PFM)

How to decode the AFM | How to decode the PFM

The "Area and Point Forecast Matrices" is a new product issued by the National Weather Service.  It shows the forecast in a detailed tabular format, rather than the narrative format of the ZFP.  These products will replace the Revised Digital Forecast(RDF) and  is issued around 4am/pm local time, and updated as needed.

· Tabular State Forecast (SFT) 


The "Tabular State Forecast" is an all-new product issued by each National Weather Service office. Even though the name is "state forecast," it actually covers the service area of each individual office. It contains expected daytime weather conditions, highs and lows, and precipitation probabilities for the next seven days. It is issued twice daily, around 4am/pm local time, and updated as needed.

· Hazardous Weather Outlook (HWO)

Graphical Version

The "Hazardous Weather Outlook" is a discussion, primarily for emergency managers and NWS storm spotters, of expected hazardous weather during the next seven days, with special emphasis placed on the first day. The Outlook is issued three times daily, at 6:30am, between 1 and 1:30pm and between 8 and 9pm.

· Climate Report (CLI)
  Anniston / Birmingham / Montgomery / Tuscaloosa



The "Climate Report" presents climatological data in tabular form. Separate products are issued for Birmingham and Montgomery.  The report is issued twice daily -- around 1:30am and 4:45pm.

· Area Forecast Discussion (AFD)


The "Area Forecast Discussion" is a narrative taking users inside the mind of a NWS forecaster, and their thoughts about forecast evolution during the next seven days. In some cases, a 'preliminary forecast' is provided of temperatures and precipitation chances at the bottom of the discussion. The AFD is issued just before each forecast package (generally around 3am and 3pm), and usually with each forecast update as well.

· Terminal Aerodrome Forecast (TAF)
  Anniston / Birmingham / Calera / Montgomery / Talladega / Troy / Tuscaloosa



The "Terminal Aerodrome Forecast" is a forecast for aviation interests. It provides forecasts of sky cover, visibility, wind, and expected weather in a universally-coded format, for the next 24 hours. The TAF is issued every six hours, and updated as needed. The TAF is not a weather briefing. Pilots should go through their normal channels to obtain a weather briefing before flight.

· Regional Temp / Precip Table (RTP)


The "Regional Temperature and Precipitation Table" summarizes high and low temperatures and 24 hour precipitation at all automated reporting locations in the NWS Birmingham service area, and is issued twice a day at 6:30am/pm CST.

· Daily Precipitation and Temp (OSO)


The "Daily Precipitation and Temperatures" product is a collective of daily observations from cooperative observers, and automated stations. It contains the high, low, and 24-hour precipitation, all ending at 6am CST. The product is issued between 9am and 10am daily.

· Monthly Climate Report (CLM)
  Birmingham / Montgomery


The "Monthly Climate Report" is used to report climatological data at the end of each month.  It contains tabular information about the previous month. Separate products are issued for Birmingham and Montgomery.   This product is issued during the morning on the first day of every month.

· Fire Weather Forecast (FWF)


The "Fire Weather Forecast" is a forecast of several parameters considered helpful or crucial to fire weather operations.  These include several indices, as well as temperature, humidity, and precipitation.  The forecast is issued twice daily -- by 7am, and again around 3pm