The National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) has announced a change in the scheduled roll-out of the next generation of the Advanced Weather Interactive Processing System (AWIPS) software package. Operational testing of the AWIPS II package is now planned to extend from January through summer of 2011, and deployment of AWIPS II to the National Weather Service's National Centers is now planned for the fourth quarter of 2011. NCEP expects to make AWIPS II available to the Unidata community during Winter of 2011/2012.
The change in schedule will allow Raytheon Technical Services (the contractor migrating the core AWIPS functionality to the AWIPS II architecture) to address any outstanding issues. The change also gives the AWIPS II development team at NCEP the opportunity to ensure that all existing National Centers AWIPS (NAWIPS) functionality including NMAP2, NWX, NTRANS and NSHARP is included in the AWIPS II application before the initial deployment.
Overview of AWIPS II
The AWIPS II architecture allows consolidation of the features of the AWIPS and NAWIPS systems in a single Java-based application. This in turn means that forecasters at the NWS forecast offices (which currently rely on AWIPS) and at the NWS National Centers (which rely on NAWIPS) will be able to use common technology, training materials, and support services. AWIPS II is based on the Eclipse Rich Client Application Framework; this will allow users to work in a customized graphical environment known as CAVE (Common AWIPS Visualization Environment).
Functionality from GEMPAK underlies NAWIPS, and thus will be available in the AWIPS II package as well. Existing command-line GEMPAK scripts should continue to function using data from the AWIPS II database.
Continuing Support for GEMPAK
Once AWIPS II has been deployed, NCEP plans to discontinue development and maintenance activities for the GEMPAK software suite. Unidata will continue to actively support and maintain its distribution of GEMPAK for 18 months after deployment of AWIPS II to the NWS National Centers. After the 18-month transition period has elapsed, Unidata will continue to make the GEMPAK source code, help and training materials, and the GEMBUD mailing list available.
For additional information about the GEMPAK to AWIPS II migration, please see Unidata's GEMPAK/NAWIPS Migration Information.