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Overview

 

Framework

The WMO Information system (WIS) is the single coordinated global infrastructure responsible for the telecommunications and data management functions. It is the pillar of the WMO strategy for managing and moving weather, climate and water information in the 21st century. WIS provides an integrated approach suitable for all WMO Programmes to meet the requirements for routine collection and automated dissemination of observed data and products, as well as data discovery, access and retrieval services for all weather, climate, water and related data produced by centres and Member countries in the framework of any WMO Programme.

Architecture

WIS was designed to dramatically extend WMO Members' ability to collect and disseminate data and products. Owned and operated by Members, it will be the core information system utilized by the WMO community, providing linkages for all WMO and supported programmes associated with weather, climate, water, and related natural disasters. It is being built upon the Global Telecommunication System of WMO's World Weather Watch, using standard elements and at a pace feasible for all Members.

WIS is an enhanced information system capable of exchanging large data volumes, such as new ground- and satellite based systems, finer resolutions in numerical weather prediction and hydrological models and their applications.  These data and products must be available to National Hydrological and Meteorological Services, but also national disaster authorities for more timely alerts where and when needed. WIS will be the vital data communications backbone integrating the diverse real-timel and non-real-time high priority data sets, regardless of location.

Evolving to WIS Centres

Existing centres within WMO Member States that comply with the required WIS functions and technical specifications will be designated as one of the three types of centres forming the core infrastructure of WIS: Global Information System Centres (GISCs), Data Collection or Production Centres (DCPCs), and National Centres (NCs).

Current centres WIS Centres
NMHS
NC
RSMC
DCPC
WMC
DCPC and/or GISC
RTH
DCPC
RTH on MTN
DCPC and/or GISC
Others
NC and/or DCPC

 

WIS encompasses three types of centres and a communications network. For regional and global connectivity, Global Information System Centres (GISCs) are connected by high speed dedicated networks allowing the rapid dissemination of information between GISCS so they can collect and distribute the information available for global dissemination. The network connecting GISCs is known as the "Core Network" of WIS and is based on the GTS Main Telecommunication Network (MTN) which has evolved under development initiative such as the Improved Main Telecommunication Network (IMTN) project that was completed in 2010. GISCs connect by dedicated and public networks to centres within their area of responsibility. This connectivity network is referred to as the GISC's "Area Meteorological Data Communication Network" (AMDCN) and includes using Regional Meteorological Telecommunication Networks (RMTNs) of the GTS and the Internet. This allows GISCs distribute information to centres in their AMDCN from the global community as well as to collect and distributed information between centres in their AMDCN. GISCs also provide entry points, through unified portals and comprehensive metadata catalogues, for any request for data held within the WIS. Requests can be ad hoc or via subscription services. GISCs are a new type of WMO centre providing these specialist functions and mostly are being offered by centres that functioned as World Meteorological Centres or major global analysis centres or Regional Telecommunication Hubs on the MTN as depicted in the above table.

At the heart of WIS are the data centres of the WMO community and its partners. These data centres are mostly existing functions in the World Weather Watch (as shown in the above table) and other WMO programmes. Centres are categorised as either National Centres (NCs) or as Data Collection or Production Centres (DCPCs). The primary difference between an NC or DCPC is the principal focus of a centre. If a centre has a national focus it is an NC, if it has a regional or global primary focus, then it is a DCPC. In general NCs and DCPCs will be responsible for the collection or generation of sets of data, forecast products, processed or value-added information, and/or for providing archiving services. National Centres (NCs) will collect and distribute data on a national basis and will coordinate or authorize the use of the WIS by national users, normally under a policy established by the respective Permanent Representative with WMO.

The WMO data representation formats, i.e. table-driven code forms, will be used for real-time exchange of operational critical data, but the user will be able to select from a wide variety of optional data representation formats.

WIS will provide three fundamental types of services (as agreed by Congress) :

1.  Routine collection and dissemination service for time-critical and operation-critical data and products: This service is based on real-time “push” mechanism including multicast and broadcast; it would be implemented essentially through dedicated telecommunication means providing a guaranteed quality of service.

2.  Data Discovery, Access and Retrieval service: This service is based on request/reply “pull” mechanism with relevant data management functions; it would be implemented essentially through the internet.

3.  Timely delivery service for data and products: This service is based on delayed mode “push” mechanism; it would be implemented through a combination of dedicated telecommunication means and of public data-communication networks, especially the internet.

Congress recognized the importance of all three service components to the WIS.  Congress recognized the routine collection and dissemination service and the timely delivery service not only supported the basic operations of NMHSs but were also critical to the WIS architecture and their improvement should have the highest priority.

Implementation Plan

Congress agreed that the WIS implementation plan has two parts developed in parallel:

Part A: The continued consolidation and further improvements of the GTS for time-critical and operation-critical data, including its extension to meet operational requirements of WMO Programmes in addition to the World Weather Watch (including improved management of services);

Part B: An extension of the information services through flexible data discovery, access and retrieval services to authorized users, as well as flexible timely delivery services.

WIS has moved from its development stage and is now being implemented, with the first GISCs and DCPCs operational from January 2012.

Beyond the WMO community

Through the interoperability principles of WIS, it will allow WIS users to connect to other interoperable systems. For example WIS is an exemplar contributing component of the GEOSS (The Global Earth Observation System of Systems) for weather, water, climate and disaster, but it also has the potential to support other societal benefit areas. WMO users can discover information in GEOSS via their GISC. Similarly, GEOSS can discover information in WIS via the GISC catalogues through the GEOSS common infrastructure.

 

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