Information Generation Section

Information Systems Branch
Global Systems Division
Earth System Research Laboratory

Joseph S. Wakefield, Acting Chief


The Information Generation Section (IGS) of the NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory (ESRL) Global Systems Division (GSD) Information Systems Branch (ISB) has been responsible for developing essential parts of the Interactive Forecast Preparation System (IFPS), a graphical forecast support system that is currently in use by National Weather Service forecasters across the country.

The role of the IGS group, also known as the GFESuite team, is design and development of the Graphical Forecast Editor (GFE) Software Suite for the National Weather Service. GFESuite is a grid-based graphical forecast system consisting of the ifpServer (database server), sensible weather derivation algorithms, text formatters (routine and hazard), and the GFE editor which the forecaster uses to make the forecast.

GFESuite has been deployed nationwide since 2001, as part of the NWS' Advanced Weather Interactive Processing System (AWIPS) forecaster workstations.

The usability of GFESuite was constantly advanced during the development and early deployment stages thanks to the feedback and testing using the Rapid Prototyping Process (RPP) and the Rapid Alpha Process (RAP) techniques (1999-2005). The GFE became part of the formal AWIPS development process late in 2005, and operational development and support of the GFE was formally transferred to the AWIPS contractor (Raytheon/Keane) on Oct 1 2006.

In Spring 2006, we began work with Australia's Bureau of Meteorology to implement an Australian version of the GFE. The software was implemented in Victoria state in October 2008, and will be rolled out nation-wide during 2010.

In Summer 2006, we began work with the NWS CONOPS (Concept of Operations) team to develop a GFE that is capable of being used to forecast over multiple WFO domains simulataneously. During Sep and Oct 2006, a laboratory exercise was conducted at GSD with the first modifications of the GFE to support CONOPS. During the Spring of 2007, this project migrated into an improved IFPS service backup solution (targeted for AWIPS OB8.3) using an expanded domain solution for paired sites.


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