National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

Welcome to the Weather Information Applications Division

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About the Weather Information Applications Division

The Weather Information Applications Division (WIAD) explores, develops, and implements techniques that generate services that enhance the value of NWS forecast products, like the National Digital Forecast Database (NDFD), techniques for data modeling and web services that support NOAA's dissemination needs, and techniques for automating the process for creating complete metadata records for aviation interests.  WIAD staff are involved in a variety of prototyping efforts using these promising techniques in order to identify and make recommendations on those best suited for implementation into operations. All such techniques are implemented in software on NWS operational platforms and maintained as those systems evolve. 

Current Projects


WISPS is both a software package and set of standards for describing Statistical Post-Processing (StatPP) data and methods. StatPP techniques are playing a pivotal role in the generation of probabilistic forecasts that support Impact-based Decision Support Services (IDSS) and the Weather-Ready Nation (WRN). The NWP post-processing infrastructure used by MDL and EMC must be modernized and enhanced as a community code. The Weather Information Statistical Post-processing System (WISPS) embodies the software and standards that will facilitate collaborative efforts both within NOAA and between NOAA and the broader weather enterprise.

Model Analysis and Guidance (MAG) Prototyping

The current operational MAG is a resource hog for WCOSS on the generation of pre-generated gif images for MAG offerings. It makes use of gempak and gif functionality. The goal for this prototyping effort is to replace the use of gempak utilities that are used to pre-generate gif images for all models, with Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC)-based web services and a set of plugins that extend core functionality.

NOAA Operational Model Archive and Distribution System (NOMADS) Prototyping

The current operational NOMADs application is a resource hog for WCOSS on the dissemination of model data. It makes use of wgrib2 functionality to output grib data. NOMADs currently provides three methods to disseminate weather data (grib filter, https, and openDAP). The initial goal for this prototyping effort is to replace the grib filter functionality of NOMADs with Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) based web services (OWS), while at the same time keeping the same “look and feel” as the operational NOMADS application.

Web Services (Past, Present, and Future Planned Work)

The WIAD branch of MDL has been supporting Web Services since 2004, with the Digital Weather Markup Language (DWML) Web Service, a web service that receives more than 50 million hits per day. WIAD staff are currently transitioning the NDFD Web Service into an OGC-compliant web service. The WIAD also worked with NCAR and FAA in prototype design/testing of a Web Coverage /Feature/Map Services and Reg/Rep metadata services. Our prototype work also included recommendations on securing the application layer used by web services. Today, WIAD staff serve as subject matter experts on the team building operational Web Services for IDP. Finally, WIAD staff are collaborating with UK Met Office on the MetOcean Application Profile, an 4D/5D extension of the WCS 2.1 core.

Data Modeling

In response to the growing need for a modern, up-to-date technology for exchanging meteorological data, the WIAD is tasked with developing logical data models for products that serve the nation's weather enterprise. These models, which describe the content and relationships of meteorological data, can be expressed in any number of physical data models, and in this effort, it is XML (eXtensible Markup Language), a widely recognized standard for data interchange over the Internet.

The WIAD role is to create logical data models and corresponding OGC/ISO compliant XML schemas of meteorological products that serve the nation's needs for weather data.

NextGen Metadata Record Creation

MDL continues to lead the development of weather products in formats that are compatible with NextGen Web Services. MDL has been tasked to create, verify, validate, and deliver product metadata records and XML schema for the products identified in the NextGen IT Web Services Product Table for some 200+ gridded and non-gridded NWS Aviation-focused products. Our work includes attempts to automate the process for the creation of these metadata records.

Standards and Committees

The totality of MDL's work in data standards (e.g. GRIB, BUFR, netCDF, HDF, IWXXM, IWXXM-US, USWX, AVWX) and web services (e.g. metadata, WCS, WFS, WMS, WPS) would not be possible without the establishment and strict adherence to international standards. There are World Meteorological Organization (WMO) standards, International Organization for Standardization (ISO) standards, Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) standards and W3C standards that provide guidance on the methods, procedures, techniques and best practices for both web services and data standards. The purpose of adhering to International Standards is to increase interoperability.

NWS Code Registry

NWS Codes Registry pages support the exchange of US products encoded in XML and other encoding schemes. The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) maintains a WMO Codes Registry where many other useful codes are documented. The NWS code list pages will document local use information that is not available in the WMO registry.




David Ruth

Acting Division Chief



Welcome to the division that works on products and services to support the National Weather Service.

What's New

Welcome! to our newest member of our division Dr. Emily Schile. Emily has taken the leadership role in developing the Weather Information Statistical Post-processing System (WISPS).

Questions or Comments?


Operational Products


On December 9th, 2008, the 4 XML products (FOX3, FOX7, ObX and TEX) became operational NWS products. In addition, on January 13th, 2009, operational responsibility for the SCS NWS product was moved from HPC to NDFD. Click on the TPEX link for more information about these products.