AWIPS II Forecasting Software

Unidata AWIPS II

AWIPS II is a weather forecasting and analysis package used by the National Weather Service and NCEP. The Unidata Program Center develops and supports an open source version of AWIPS for our UCAR member institutions and the broader geoscience research and education community.

AWIPS consists of two separate Java applications: 1) the data visualization client CAVE (Red Hat/CentOS, OS X, and now Windows), 2) the backend data server EDEX (64-bit el only).

AWIPS takes a unified approach to data ingest, and most data types follow a standard path through the system, starting with an LDM client requesting data from Unidata’s IDD. These data are decoded into HDF5 and PostgreSQL/PostGIS metadata, and renderable with the CAVE client and the Python Data Access Framework.

Install CAVE Viz Client

Mac OS X awips2-cave-15.1.3.dmg
CentOS x86_64 installCAVE.sh Run from the command line
chmod 755 installCAVE.sh
./installCAVE.sh
Windows 32-bit awips-cave.msi
Windows 64-bit awips-cave.amd64.msi


Install EDEX Data Server

CentOS x86_64 installEDEX.sh Run from the command line
chmod 755 installEDEX.sh && ./installEDEX.sh


Note: Unidata does not support the operational NWS version of AWIPS. It is recommended that only Unidata AWIPS clients connect to Unidata AWIPS servers. Using a NWS client with a Unidata server will result in errors.

AWIPS II News & Announcements
  • Unidata AWIPS 16.1.5 Unidata AWIPS 16.1.5
    June 2, 2016 Updates to 16.1.5 include the ability to localize to any WFO, full support for UNIWISC McIDAS imagery, ESRL/GSD experimental HRRR decoding, colorized precipitation surface observations, image interpolation and colormap updates, as well as general fixes to D2D, NCP, and GFE perspectives. Read more...

More AWIPS II news

AWIPS II Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is AWIPS?

A: The National Weather Service is in the process of developing the next generation of its AWIPS software (AWIPS II) to provide a comprehensive package in support of its forecasting and public service operations. This new software will be developed in Java, allowing it to run on more platforms than the current AWIPS software. Many of the underlying technologies in AWIPS will be based on open source projects and the plan is to make AWIPS software also open source. Currently, the NWS National Centers and NWS field forecast offices use different tools to support their mission, with the National Centers using NAWIPS, and NWS forecast offices use AWIPS, which is fundamentally different and not compatible with NAWIPS. The new AWIPS architecture will allow the NWS to reduce development time, expand data access and provide better integration and collaboration between the NWS field offices, river forecast centers and National Centers.

Q: Who is developing AWIPS?

A: Raytheon is responsible for developing the underlying infrastructure for AWIPS and migrating the existing AWIPS functionality into that infrastructure. NCEP is responsible for migrating the existing GEMPAK/NAWIPS functionality into the AWIPS framework.

Q: How is GEMPAK related to AWIPS?

A: GEMPAK functionality, specifically the underlying analysis and diagnostic routines, will be included with AWIPS, most likely as wrapped code. AWIPS is being developed for a "black box" GEMPAK transition, meaning batch scripts and automated processes which call GEMPAK routines would not require updating after migrating to AWIPS.

Q: What is Unidata's role in all this?

A: The Unidata Program Center distributes and provides support for GEMPAK to our member sites. Membership in Unidata is open to U.S. colleges and universities, and is free of charge. GEMPAK is also available as unsupported software without charge to organizations which do not participate in Unidata through the limitations specified in the Unidata participation policy. The UPC release of GEMPAK/NAWIPS incorporates several additions developed both locally and at other locations to enhance the use of real-time data aquired through the Unidata IDD, and through instructional case studies such as those developed at COMET. It includes GARP (GEMPAK Analysis and Rendering Program) which was developed by COMET.

Q: Why is NCEP moving away from GEMPAK?

A: The National Weather Service announced plans in 2007 to cease development of NAWIPS in August 2008 and proceed with a migration of the functionality of that package to the new AWIPS environment. The decision to migrate NAWIPS to AWIPS was made unilaterally by NWS. Since NCEP's primary goal is to support the National Centers, Unidata had no input on this decision.

Q: What is NCEP's plan for NAWIPS/GEMPAK?

A: NCEP intends to migrate all NAWIPS/GEMPAK functionality to AWIPS and intends to make AWIPS available to the Unidata community.

Q: If/When the UPC stops supporting GEMPAK, can I still use it?

A: The GEMPAK source code is freely available and will still be accessible in some form after the UPC ends official support. It will not stop working on any certain date. Furthermore, the existing support materials (tutorial, help manual and documentation) will still be available on line. The gembud mailing list will be kept active so GEMPAK users can provide community support to each other.

CAVE System Requirements

  • CentOS/RHEL 6, OS X, Windows
  • 8GB memory
  • 1.5GB disk space (you should be prepared for more with caching datasets in ~/caveData)
  • 2GB video ram and OpenGL 2.0
  • Latest NVIDIA driver for your graphics card.

EDEX System Requirements

  • 64-bit CentOS/RHEL 6
  • 8 CPU cores minimum, 16 recommended.
  • 16GB RAM minimum, 32GB+ recommended for large servers processing more of the IDD.
  • 500GB minimum footprint, more if you plan to build a data archive
  • An SSD mounted to /awips2 contain the entire software system and data files.
  • EDEX can scale to any system by reducing the volume of incoming data and/or turning off certain decoders (for example, with 4 cores you will only have 4 parallelized decoders running at any one time, which will not be able to handle CONDUIT and NEXRAD3 feeds).
  • As of AWIPS 16.2.2, scouring of /awips2/data_store is performed at 30 minutes past every hour, and the default retention rate is 1 hour. Previous releases used ldmadmin scour which had a minimum retention period of 1 day.