National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

Office of Central Processing (CP)

 About CP

The Office of CP controls the NWS Central Processing portfolio and budget. The Office is responsible for maintaining an enterprise architecture for processing systems to meet current and future NWS missions requirements, such as the AWIPS software. To meet these goals, CP takes a “systems of systems” approach to establishing a national and regional IT infrastructure from observing system data flow to product generation while minimizing operating costs in collaboration with the other NWS Portfolios.

Advanced Weather Interactive Processing System (AWIPS)

 About AWIPS

AWIPS is the Advanced Weather Interactive Processing System that weather forecasters at NOAA/NWS use on a daily basis to process, display, and communicate meteorological data to make accurate weather predictions and dispense rapid warnings and advisories. It is used at 122 Weather Forecast Offices (WFOs), 13 River Forecast Centers (RFCs) and 7 Regional Headquarters across the country and has ultimately saved lives with its reliable data and continuous innovation. 

Our Mission

AWIPS is the NOAA/NWS cornerstone IT system used to ingest, analyze, forecast, & disseminate operational weather data, including time-sensitive, high-impact warnings to protect life and property ... 24/7/365

The AWIPS Graphic Workstation is located on the right side of the AWIPS Workstation. It includes the three graphic displays, all controlled by a single dedicated keyboard, mouse, and its own CPU (LX).


Common AWIPS Visualization Environment (CAVE)

CAVE is the core visualization software for AWIPS, and it facilitates loading different suites of visualization software displays called perspectives. It is typically launched from the main Applications menu and "AWIPS Menu" submenu in the upper-left part of the Linux desktop on one of the monitors, but it can also be launched from a shell window using /awips2/cave/ with different command line arguments.Two Equal Columns

CAVE Components

Text Workstation (Text WS): alarm you to specific text products and can be viewed using the Text Monitor which can be launched from the CAVE->New->Text Workstation menu.












Alertviz: alerts you to error or info messages of various importance through pop-up banners, colors, and sounds. It is a thin window which floats above CAVE or other display windows. There are two components to AlertViz: (1) AlertViz GUI (top) and (2) AlertViz Banners (bottom)


CAVE Tools

WarnGen: an AWIPS graphics application for creating and issuing warning and is usually focused on recent data.




Product Generation (PGEN): tool that the National Centers use to draw frontal boundaries, isobars, wind vectors, and adding text over data.

D2D Perspective












National Center Sounding and Hodograph Analysis and Research Program (NSHARP): allows you to modify a sounding and/or hodograph to derive various thermodynamic quantities. Play with NSHARP yourself with this interactive tool!

D2D Perspective

CAVE Perspectives

Display in 2 Dimensions (D2D): Display Multi-sensor data and issue short-fused warnings/advisories.

D2D Perspective











Graphical Forecast Editor (GFE): manage forecast grids and issue short-fused warnings/advisories.

GFE Perspective











Hydro: the “map view” of the area rivers, displaying information about river level heights, gauge amounts, and generates hydrographs and tables for individual points.











Localization: a perspective for editing and management of AWIPS site configuration files. This perspective is typically used by NWS Site Admins or AWIPS Focal Points.









































AWIPS System Architecture


AWIPS is a Java application consisting of a data-rendering client (CAVE, which runs on Red Hat/CentOS Linux and Mac OS X) and a backend data server (Environmental Data EXchange (EDEX), which runs only on Linux). 



 EDEX is the main AWIPS application for data ingest, decoding, and storage. At each office, CAVE has been configured to launch for a particular site (e.g. BOX for Boston) connected to an EDEX's Localization Server (to access localization files) and AlertViz.


The AWIPS Satellite Broadcast Network (SBN) system provides a one-way broadcast of NOAA environmental data and information in near-real time to NOAA and external users. Weather data (satellite imagery, radar data, model data, sensor data, etc.) is collected and processed across the Weather Enterprise and then fed to AWIPS NCF which disseminates the products via the AWIPS SBN.



All the AWIPS localization files for CAVE and EDEX are managed through a system of overrides with a specific hierarchy that is typically managed through the localization perspective. Overrides allow forecasters to copy a file the whole site can see and make a local copy to modify (e.g. user can override site, and site can override base). It is good for forecasters to be aware of the concept.

Download AWIPS

If you would like to interact with AWIPS for your personal use, then click this link to download AWIPS on your computer! 

Ongoing Projects To Improve AWIPS

National Center (NC) Transition to AWIPS

Migrate NC operations from legacy systems to AWIPS for ensuring all NC/WFOs/RFCs use same platform for collaboration, while supporting NWS Common Operational Picture (COP).

NWS Spanish Translation

To build a Weather-Ready Nation to a population that may not understand NWS products due to a language barrier. The National Hurricane Center (NHC) has an international responsibility for the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) to serve Spanish speaking countries. Currently there are no nationally supported capabilities to generate translated products within the NWS, thus this will set the groundwork for possible NWS translations to other languages.

Unified Graphics Application

UGA Phase 1 will ensure all non-remote graphics generation application capabilities are available across the NWS with 24/7 operations and maintenance support baselined into AWIPS. Use of the UGA will provide consistency in the look-and-feel of graphical NWS products and enhance the quality of service delivery to NWS partners. 



Long-Term Vision