National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

NOTICE: PLEASE EXCUSE OUR DUST! This web page is currently still under construction.


Starting January 1, 2017 as we migrate web pages, some products and services linked from these pages may become temporarily unavailable. Products should continue to be accessible via FTP. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

Advantages of XML (vs. tabular)

There are several advantages to the new XML products over their legacy tabular counterparts.

  1. Data Format - There will be a logical format to the data. The Forecast and observations products will be separate products. Customers and partners will now have access to as much or little data as they need.
  2. Reliability - The four new XML production process and product creation will be automated. One of the main problems with the production of the current product suite is the fact that its labor intensive and frequently requires manually intervention. Automation means that customers and partners will have access to more reliable issuance of products.
  3. Flexibility - The four new XML products will offer greater flexibility. XML is easier for customers and partners to choose the output and data they want. The NWS can add additional cities, weather elements, times with no adverse affect to customers and partners software.
  4. Frequency - The XML products will be issued more frequently. The FOX3, FOX7, and ObX products will be issued hourly, and the TEX will be issued four times a day (00,06,12,18 UTC). One of the main benefits in moving to hourly observations will be that the West Coast observation timing problem can be fixed. Currently, the SCS/TAV products are issued twice a day for each day. For many western cities, overnight low and daytime high temperatures reported in the legacy text SCS are not credible since the issuance times are frequently before the temperature has reached its maximum/minimum value. Hourly issuance of the ObX product and the addition of the high/low so far today weather elements will solve this problem.
  5. Access to more data - The XML products means customers and partners will have access to more data. Additional information currently not available in the SCS/TAV text products include, Character of Day (CoD) for nighttime, and High/Low Temperatures "so far" today/tonight respectively.
  6. Replacements for text products - The four new XML products could eventually replace the legacy text products. Tools like eXtensible Stylesheet Language Transformation (XSLT) stylesheets can translate an XML document into text. This would make it possible for customers and partners to create as many products as they want, tailoring them to their needs.