Advanced Weather Processing Information System (AWIPS) II use at Fleet Weather Center Norfolk An NWS-US Navy Partnership
Brandon Smith, NWS/NCEP Aviation Weather Center, Air Traffic Control System Command Center, Warrrenton, VA
Thomas Amis, NWS Center Weather Service Unit Fort Worth, Texas
Ashley Sears, NWS Liaison to FEMA National Incident Assistance Team East-1, Herndon, Virginia

The Advanced Weather Information Processing System (AWIPS) II was recently procured by the US Navy for use at Fleet Weather Center Norfolk (FWC-N). The mission of FWC-N is to “Provide timely, comprehensive, and tactically relevant meteorological and oceanographic (METOC) products and services in direct support of Fleet training and readiness; deploying Carrier and Expeditionary Strike Groups and embarked units/staff, Combatant Commanders, Joint/Coalition forces, and other U.S. Government agencies as directed.” The FWC-N Area of Responsibility is very large, comprising the Eastern half of CONUS, the North and South Atlantic Oceans, and the Mediterranean and Black Seas. FWC-N is responsible for over 30 individual site watch/warnings operations and Aviation Terminal Aerodrome Forecasts (TAFs). The ability of AWIPS II to visualize data and produce forecasts on a wide range of spatial scales will be revolutionary to the FWC-N mission, greatly improving  efficiency and accuracy.

This poster will focus on 4 main ideas.

             A Comparison of the current FWC-N operational procedures with how those operations would be accomplished using AWIPS II

             Estimates and examples of efficiencies gained with AWIPS II

             Unique AWIPS II tools and procedures that are applicable to the FWC-N mission

             How AWIPS promulgates future joint ventures with the NWS and US Navy METOC Program

Initial assessments are that AWIPS II will reduce the time it takes Navy forecasters to issue Watches, Warnings and Advisories by 80%. AWIPS II will also help  decrease typographical errors. The use of Aviation Forecast Preparation System (AvnFPS) will cut TAF preparation time by up to 90%, and will allow much improved and robust TAF monitoring compared to the current (early 2017) system.

The authors are NWS Employees who also serve in the US Navy Reserve. They spent 4 months on Navy orders setting up AWIPS II for use by the Navy and provided extensive in-depth training for the forecast staff.