Public Information Statement
Issued by NWS National HQ

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NOUS41 KWBC 301455
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Service Change Notice 17-40
National Weather Service Headquarters Washington DC
1055 AM EDT Thu Mar 30 2017

To: Subscribers:
   -NOAA Weather Wire Service
 -Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Offices
 -NOAAPORT
 Other NWS Users, Partners and Employees

From: William Bauman
 Chief, Aviation and Space Weather Services Branch

Subject: Add Experimental Aviation Surface Forecast and Aviation
 Cloud Forecast Graphics, effective March 30, 2017

Effective on Thursday, March 30, 2017, the Experimental Aviation
Surface Forecast and Aviation Cloud Forecast graphics will be
added to the Satellite Broadcast Network (SBN) also known as
NOAAPORT.

The experimental Aviation Surface Forecast and Aviation Cloud
Forecast graphics are snapshot images derived from a subset of
the aviation weather forecasts. The graphics are valid for the
continental United States (CONUS) and coastal waters used within
the  Experimental Graphical Forecasts for Aviation (GFA)
interactive web-based display, which will become operational
effective 4/13/17, see Service Change Notice 17-31:

http://www.nws.noaa.gov/om/notification/scn17-
31awc_exp_graphics.htm

The static images are provided every 3 hours for one CONUS
projection and nine regional projections with 3-hourly forecasts
of Surface (predominant weather, visibility, wind) and cloud
coverage and layer (bases and tops) information out to 18 hours.
Details of the forecast graphics can be found in the Product
Description Document (PDD):

http://products.weather.gov/PDD/PDD_AviationForecastGraphics_4_17.pdf

The FAA, pursuant to Title 49 United States Code Section 44720,
established requirements for this weather information and
service which is necessary for the safe and efficient conduct of
operations in the National Airspace System. These graphics
provide a low-bandwidth alternative to the GFA interactive
web-based display and are provided through NOAAPORT/SBN and via
the Aviation Weather Center Web page. The static images are
intended for FAA Flight Service Stations (FSS) providers,
commercial and General Aviation pilots, operators, briefers and
dispatchers with limited Internet access.

These Portable Network Graphics (PNG) graphics will be available
over NOAAPORT/Satellite Broadcast Network. WMO header
information will be as follows:

T1T2A1A2ii CCCC
- CCCC is KKCI (Aviation Weather Center)
- T1 = Q (Regional Static Graphic)
- T2 specifies the forecast graphic as follows:
     = I for the Aviation Clouds Forecast Graphic
     = Z for the Aviation Surface Forecast Graphic
- A1 = T (Northern Hemisphere)
- A2 specifies the forecast time as follows:
     = B for the 3 hour forecast
     = C for the 6 hour forecast
     = D for the 9 hour forecast
     = E for the 12 hour forecast
     = F for the 15 hour forecast
     = G for the 18 hour forecast
- When T2 = I, ii specifies the regional domain of the Aviation
Clouds Forecast Graphic as follows:
     = 00 for Continental United States
     = 01 for Northeastern United States
     = 02 for Eastern United States
     = 03 for Southeastern United States
     = 04 for North Central United States
     = 05 for Central United States
     = 06 for South Central United States
     = 07 for Northwestern United States
     = 08 for Western United States
     = 09 for Southwestern United States
- When T2 = Z, ii specifies the regional domain of the Aviation
Surface Forecast Graphic as follows:
     = 90 for Continental United States
     = 91 for Northeastern United States
     = 92 for Eastern United States
     = 93 for Southeastern United States
     = 94 for North Central United States
     = 95 for Central United States
     = 96 for South Central United States
     = 97 for Northwestern United States
     = 98 for Western United States
     = 99 for Southwestern United States

Additionally, the Experimental Aviation Surface Forecast and
Aviation Cloud Forecast Graphics can be found at:

https://www.AviationWeather.gov/gfa/plot

Although requirements for the underlying meteorological
information currently provided through the legacy text Area
Forecast (FA) have not changed, the FAA recognizes that, given
modern advances within NWS, the legacy text FA is no longer the
best source of en route flight planning weather information.
Retiring the FA and transitioning to more modern digital and
graphical forecasts will allow the NWS to focus the efforts of
forecasters on maximizing operational benefit to aviation end
users, resulting in improved weather information to
decision-makers.

Based on comments received by the FAA and other NWS users on
this proposed change, NWS plans to discontinue production of
FAs. This termination will occur once the experimental GFA
interactive web-based display and the experimental Aviation
Surface Forecast and Aviation Clouds Forecast graphics are
operational and any concerns identified within submitted
comments have been addressed. Formal public notification will be
provided in advance of the action to discontinue the FAs.

The effective date of this change is sooner than specified by
NWS policy (NWS Instruction 10-1805). The reduction of the
normal advance lead time was requested by local users (FAA
Flight Service Stations providers).

If you have any questions regarding the experimental Aviation
Surface Forecast and Aviation Cloud Forecast Graphics, please
contact:

Kevin Stone
Meteorologist
National Weather Service Headquarters
Silver Spring, MD
301-427-9363 <(301)%20427-9363>
Kevin.Stone@noaa.gov

National Service Change Notices are online at:

http://www.nws.noaa.gov/om/notif.htm



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