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 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
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
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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