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News Updates - 2016
Wind profiler products
Notification from Hong Kong Observatory (HKO)
The Hong Kong Observatory will upgrade its wind profiler system during the period 29 December 2016 - 9 February 2017 and the bulletins UPHK01VHHH, UGHK20VHHH, IUWC01VHHH and IUPC01VHHH will be affected. During the period, HKO will continue to disseminate UPHK01 and UGHK20 to the GTS as scheduled with NIL content while the dissemination of IUWC01 and IUPC01 will be suspended. It is expected that observation data from the new wind profiler system will become available on 10 February 2017, and there will not be any changes to the data format and abbreviated headings of the GTS bulletins.
Published: 9 December 2016
Drifter data in BUFR TM315009 format to the GTS
Notification from Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA)
JMA will begin to distribute drifting buoy data in WMO official BUFR template TM315009 under the WMO headers IOB[A-D,I-L]1[1-3] RJTD.

The current ASCII formatted messages in FM18 BUOY will continue to be distributed under the headers SSVB[01-19] RJTD for JMA drifting buoys.

The current BUFR messages, distributed under the headers IOB[A-D,I-L]0[1-3] RJTD, for JMA drifting buoys not in TM315009, will cease after the migration to the new bulletins for the users.
Published: 14 November 2016
SATAID Service provided by DCPCs of JMA
Notification from Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA)
JMA plans a number of changes to the dataset provided via the SATAID Service and the release of an updated version of the SATAID program.

1. Change to dataset provided via JMA/WIS SATAID Service
JMA plans to implement the following changes at 02 UTC on 10 November 2016.

1.1 Areas of Himawari-8 imagery and NWP data
As informed in June, JMA had been considered to review and improve the existing six areas to meet users' demands.
Based on the consideration and feedbacks, JMA will change the areas of Himawari-8 imagery and NWP data as proposed at that time, that is:
 (1) Add three new areas:
  (a) West Central (WC): 70E-135E, 40N-20S
  (b) East Central (EC): 145E-210E (150W), 20N-40S
  (c) Full Domain (FD): 70E-210E (150W), 65N-65S
 (2) Terminate two existing areas, North East (NE) and South West (SW).

1.2 Available time of Himawari-8 visible imagery
Himawari-8 visible imagery is currently available only during daytime (from 21 UTC to 10 UTC), but it will become available throughout the day (00 UTC to 24 UTC).

1.3 Top layer of NWP data
Currently, the top layer of NWP data is 150 hPa. JMA will add 100 hPa as the top layer to the NWP data.
Note: As you may remember, JMA informed you on 21 September that you might need to change the settings of SATAID application in order to obtain the accurate cloud top height above 150 hPa. After the addition of 100 hPa layer to the NWP data, you will not need to change the default setting.

1.4 Coverage of in-situ observation data (SYNOP, METAR, TEMP and SHIP), ASCAT ocean surface wind data and SST data JMA will expand the coverage of these observation data from 80E-200E (160W) to 70E-210E (150W).

2. SATAID program update
Along with the changes of dataset, JMA plans to release a new version of SATAID as outlined below.

2.1 Version and schedule
SATAID ver. will be available via the SATAID Service on the WIS portal – GISC Tokyo website on 10 November 2016. (Ver. 3.1 is currently provided on the site.)
In accordance with the changes above, JMA will also release the new data downloader which enables you to download new area (West Central, East Central and Full Domain) data automatically.

2.2 Main changes
* Addition of capacity to save option settings for cloud top height calculation
* Addition of capacity to label isograms (e.g., isobars and isotherms) with decimals.

You can see all the related information and download the latest version of the SATAID software at the SATAID Service on the WIS portal – GISC Tokyo website: http://www.wis-jma.go.jp/cms/sataid/
Published: 27 October 2016
Launch of DCPC for WWIS for the public
Public Launch of Data Collection or Production Centre for World Weather Information Service
The Data Collection or Production Centre (DCPC), operated by the Hong Kong Observatory for the World Weather Information Service (WWIS) of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) at http://dcpc.worldweather.org, is now open for public access. The upgrade is mandated by the decision of the World Meteorological Congress, at its 17th Session, that the information content of WWIS, including the official weather forecasts and climatological information for worldwide cities, should be made available on a free and unrestricted basis. The WWIS at http://worldweather.wmo.int serves as a centralized source on the Internet of the official weather information issued by the National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHSs) around the world.

As an integral component of the WMO Information System (WIS), the DCPC for WWIS serves three major functions:

(1) Provide online services for global users to search and access the official weather forecasts and climatological information for cities around the world collected under the WWIS programme.

(2) Offer subscription service for users to automatically receive weather information of their interest via RSS; and

(3) Provide metadata of the weather information available at the DCPC for WWIS to the Global Information System Centres (GISC) under the WIS framework to enable searching of weather information through the GISC’s Discovery, Access and Retrieval
(DAR) services.

The official world city forecasts and climatological information encoded in standard JSON format are published by the DCPC for WWIS to enable subsequent data exchange between computer systems.

For more information about the service of DCPC for WWIS, please contact Mr. CHAN Sai-tick, Forecast Systems Division, Hong Kong Observatory at email: dcpc@hko.gov.hk.
Published: 25 October 2016
Adoption of amendments to the Manual on Codes (WMO No. 306) by the fast-track procedure
In accordance with the Procedures for Maintaining Manuals and Guides (Res. 21 (Cg-17) revised by Res. 12 (EC-68)), the Secretariat sent on 22 July 2016 the amendments to the Manual on Codes (WMO-No. 306) to the focal points for codes and data presentation matters for comments.

No objections were received from the focal points to the amendments.

The President of WMO has adopted the amendments on behalf of Executive Council in accordance with the Procedures.

The date of implementation is 2 November 2016. 

The amendments are available from: http://www.wmo.int/pages/prog/www/WMOCodes/WMO306_vI2/VolumeI.2.html
Published: 18 October 2016
Change of bulletin header for UK Argo float data
Notification from the UK Met Office
To be consistent with the correct procedures, the data designators for all UK Argo floats data issued in FM-64 TESAC format by the Met Office, Exeter will change from SOVX02 EGRR YYGGgg to SOFX02 EGRR YYGGgg on 1 July 2016. The change is planned to be implemented between the Argo data processing runs at 0300 UTC and 1800 UTC. There will be no change to the designators used for UK Argo float data issued in BUFR (IOPX02 EGRR YYGGgg).
Published: 06 June 2016
Adoption of amendments to the Manual on Codes (WMO No. 306) between CBS sessions
In accordance with the Procedures for Maintaining Manuals and Guides (Res. 21 (Cg-17)), and as approved by the president of CBS, the WMO letter No. OBS/WIS/DRMM/DRC (PR-6892) dated 7 March 2016, including draft amendments to the Manual on Codes, was ​circulated to all WMO Members for comments.

The Secretariat has received no disagreements on the draft in the letter. The amendments are therefore approved in accordance with the Procedures.

The president of CBS has agreed to notify all WMO Members and members of EC of the agreements to the amendments through the WWW Operational Newsletter in accordance with the Procedures.

The implementation date of the amendments is 16 November 2016.

The amendments are available in Arabic ¦ English¦ French ¦ Russian¦ Spanish
Published: 12 May 2016
WIGOS Station Identifiers
The 17th World Meteorological Congress (Cg-17), May-June 2015, approved the Manual on WIGOS, which includes the WIGOS Station Identifiers as Attachment 2.1 that comes into force on 1 July 2016. Described below are some of the most relevant aspects for the implementation of the WIGOS Identifiers, as well as a diagram to guide Members on what to do when assigning WIGOS Identifiers to observing facilities (stations/platforms).

The structure of the WIGOS Identifier consists of four blocks: the "WIGOS Identifier Series" (a number), the “Issuer of Identifier” (a number), the "Issue Number" (a number) and the "Local Identifier" (a set of characters).

For observing facilities the "WIGOS Identifier Series" takes the value 0.

The WIGOS Identifier(s) associate the observing facility with their WIGOS metadata – the WIGOS Metadata Standard is also part of the Manual on WIGOS (Attachment to Appendix 2.4). Each observing facility must have at least one WIGOS ID (it may have more than one, but it is desirable to have as few as possible).

Observing facilities (stations) that already have an identifier from a WMO Programme may continue to use it and are not required to have additional identifiers (see diagram below and the WIS Wiki for more detailed guidance on how to derive the values of the WIGOS Identifier blocks for observing facilities with existing identifiers issued by WMO Programmes). If an observing facility is already associated with a WIGOS Identifier, or is associated with a WMO or partner programme identifier, an additional WIGOS ID should not be issued.

The only constraint on how an "Issuer of identifiers" allocates "Issue Number" and "Local Identifier" is that only one observing facility may be associated with a particular combination of values in these blocks "Issue Number" and "Local Identifier" (different issuers will use different values for "Issuer of Identifier" to ensure that there is no duplication of identifiers).

WIGOS Identifiers cannot be represented in the Traditional Alphanumeric Code forms such as FM-12 SYNOP or FM-35 TEMP. The Table Driven Code Form (TDCF) equivalents have to be used (FM-94 BUFR or FM-95 CREX, or, in the future, model driven code forms) – more details are available on using WIGOS IDs when exchanging reports. Centres that are unable to read the TDCFs will not be able to access the reports from stations that only have WIGOS IDs.

A diagram summarizing how to assign a WIGOS station identifier is available.
Published: 29 April 2016
Adoption of amendments to the Manual on Codes (WMO No. 306) by the fast-track procedure
In accordance with the Procedures for Maintaining Manuals and Guides (Res. 21 (Cg-17)), the Secretariat sent on 5 February 2016 the amendments to the Manual on Codes (WMO-No. 306) to the focal points for codes and data presentation matters for comments. No objections were received from the focal points to the amendments other than comments to the proposal on VOS observation data, which is withdrawn for further clarification.

The president of CBS has approved and the President of WMO endorsed the amendments on behalf of Executive Council in accordance with the General Regulation 9 (5).

The date of implementation is 4 May 2016.

The amendments are available in English,   French,   Russian and   Spanish.
Published: 29 April 2016
Simple (fast track) amendment to the Manual on WIS for implementation 17 May 2016
The President of WMO has approved the first simple (fast track) amendment to the Manual on WIS for 2016. This modifies the definition of the keyword “WMOEssential” in the code list "WMO_DataLicenseCode" (Table 14 to Annex C to the Manual on WIS). The formal amendment to WMO-No. 1060 Manual on WIS is available from http://wis.wmo.int/WIS-Manual.

The change is intended to clarify that the keyword may be used to describe "essential" hydrological and GFCS relevant climate related data. This clarifies the intention of the keyword that it should be used to describe information that is classed as "essential" under WMO Resolutions 40 (Cg-CII), 25 (Cg-XIII) or 60 (Cg-17).

This change will be implemented on 17 May 2016.
Published:21 April 2016
Volume D - Information for Shipping
Chapter 4 - Part B - Focal Point Contact Information for Port Meteorological Offices

Amendments (in country alphabetical order):

Region/Metarea Country Date of Change Chapter
PMO updates (in country alphabetical order):

METAREA I Belgium 2 March 2016 Ch 4/PtB
METAREA V Brazil 15 March 2016 Ch 4/PtB
METAREA IV, XVII, XVIII Canada 16 March 2016 Ch 4/PtB
METAREA XV Chile 21 January 2016 Ch 4/PtB
METAREA I EUMETNET 04 March 2016 Ch 4/PtB
METAREA II, IV France 14 March 2016 Ch 4/PtB
METAREA II Gambia 15 March 2016 Ch 4/PtB
METAREA I Germany 10 March 2016 Ch 4/PtB
METAREA III Greece 15 March 2016 Ch 4/PtB
METAREA XI Hong Kong, China 02 March 2016 Ch 4/PtB
METAREA XI Indonesia 15 March 2016 Ch 4/PtB
METAREA XI Japan 10 March 2016 Ch 4/PtB
METAREA VIIIN Kenya 2 March 2016 Ch 4/PtB
METAREA I Netherlands 2 March 2016 Ch 4/PtB
METAREA XIV New Zealand 10 March 2016 Ch 4/PtB
METAREA IX Pakistan 14 January 2016 Ch 4/PtB
METAREA XI Republic of Korea 2 March 2016 Ch 4/PtB
METAREA VII South Africa 17 March 2016 Ch 4/PtB
METAREA I Sweden 21 March 2016 Ch 4/PtB
METAREA XI Thailand 07 March 2016 Ch 4/PtB
METAREA I United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland 07 March 2016 Ch 4/PtB

==>> For additional information
Published: 22 March 2016
Amendment - New AWS observation station
Notification from Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI)
As from Tuesday, 01 March 2016 at 09:00 UTC, a new Dutch AWS observation station will be operational. This AWS is installed on the newly built North Sea platform "Gemini" "Buitengaats/BG-OHVS2".

WMO = 06214

Gemini Buitengaats/BG-OHVS2 is expected to produce the following additional bulletin information:

Station 06214 will be added to 5 existing BUFR SYNOP bulletins:

Additional information provided in the attached pdf (update all highlighted in yellow, new station in red-bold).

There will also be half-hourly AUTO METAR reports and NAF’s (9h North Sea TAF’s) produced, mainly for national users.
Published:15 March 2016
Migration of Table-Driven Code Forms (TDCF)
Notification from Dirección Meteorológica de Chile (D.M.C.) to stop distribution of TAC observation bulletins
Chile D.M.C. is to change their observation BUFR distribution (CLIMAT).
"Official" TAC (CLIMAT) bulletins were discontinued on 01 February 2016.
TAC bulletins with a BUFR version will be available, on request, for a period of six months.
Centres still requiring TAC bulletins should contact:
Jaime Cortez Pizarro
Email: jaime.cortez@dgac.gob.cl
Telephone: +(56 2) 24364581
Published:01 March 2016
Launch of OSCAR/Surface
OSCAR/Surface will be launched on 2 May 2016, thereby replacing WMO No. 9, Volume A, Observing Stations and WMO Catalogue of Radiosondes.

OSCAR/Surface is a web-based inventory of all surface observing stations contributing to WIGOS and the tool through which WMO Members will share WIGOS metadata. While Volume A will continue to be published for a transition period of two years, after the operational launch of OSCAR/Surface, this "legacy" format(1) will not have all the fields present in the traditional "flatfile" format as it has to be generated from OSCAR/Surface directly.

All users of Volume A are invited to ensure that all processes relying on the traditional flatfile format will continue working with the "legacy" format, or that they can directly use information from OSCAR/Surface.

After the launch, updates to the station catalogue will have to be made directly online in OSCAR/Surface, instead of communicating by mail or phone with the Secretariat. Furthermore, the circulation of METNO (meteorological advance notifications of changes to Volume A), will be discontinued. Finally, WIGOS Identifiers will take the place of the traditional 5 digit station IDs, which implies that dissemination of Traditional Alphanumeric Codes will no longer be possible with the longer WIGOS IDs.

Before the launch of OSCAR/Surface, PRs of WMO Members will be invited to nominate National Focal Points for OSCAR/Surface, who can then register, enter and update their observing station details in OSCAR/Surface. A machine-to-machine API (Application Programming Interface) will also be provided in OSCAR/Surface to import information from other existing databases. As the encoding of the WIGOS metadata standard is still under development, only an alpha version of the API will be available at the launch date, with completion later in 2016. Members prepared to work with the community, to test and further develop this interface, are welcome to contact the WIGOS Project office for more information.

OSCAR/Surface has been developing in partnership between the WMO Secretariat and MeteoSwiss with substantial human and financial resources made available through the generosity of the Government of Switzerland.

(1) http://www.wmo.int/pages/prog/www/wigos/documents/VolA-differences_v2-3.pdf
Published:02 February 2016
Migration of Table-Driven Code Forms (TDCF)
Notification from Deutscher Wetterdienst
In compliance with the WMO BUFR Migration Plan, Deutscher Wetterdienst will stop the parallel dissemination of SYNOP reports in FM12 TAC (Traditional Alphanumeric Code, ASCII) with effect from 13 January 2016, 07000 UTC.

The last FM12 TAC bulletins will be SMDL// EDZW 130600

There will be no TAC FM12 data dissemination after this date/time, BUFR only.

All SYNOP reports are available in FM94 BUFR code. Should you miss any data in BUFR, please contact rth@dwd.de for clarification.

For detailed information and equivalence of TAC and BUFR bulletins, please see the table below. The reason for differences between TAC and BUFR bulletins is the due to the fact that stations within one TAC bulletin refer to different WMO BUFR-tables and have therefore to be disseminated in different BUFR bulletins; stations within one BUFR bulletin may refer to one BUFR-table only.

Should you not be able to comply with this long-announced termination of FM12 TAC dissemination, please contact rth@dwd.de who will offer support if possible.

Equivalence of German SYNOP bulletins/reports  FM12 SYNOP / FM94 BUFR
Category TTAAii TTAAii CCCC Contents
  FM12 SYNOP FM94 BUFR    
ESSENTIAL SM(I,N,X)DL(01,21) IS(M,I,N,X)D01 EDZW 10004 10015 10020 10035 10055 10147 10162 10184 10200 10224 10270 10338 10361 10393 10400 10469 10488 10506 10548 10637 10685 10738 10763 10788 10852 10946
ESSENTIAL SM(I,N,X)DL22 IS(M,I,N,X)D02 EDZW 10007 10044 10046 10091 10113 10124 10131 10170 10253 10264 10268 10291 10315 10379 10381 10382 10384 10410 10427 10430 10453 10496 10499 10505 10513 10532 10544 10554 10567 10578
ESSENTIAL SM(I,N,X)DL23 IS(M,I,N,X)D03 EDZW 10609 10616 10641 10655 10675 10688 10708 10729 10731 10742 10776 10791 10805 10815 10836 10870 10895 10908 10929 10948 10961 10962
ESSENTIAL S(M,I)AA(01,21) IS(M,I)I(01,11) EDZW 89002
ADDITIONAL SM(I,N,X)DL44 IS(M,I,N,X)D04 EDZW 10022 10028 10042 10093 10097 10129 10130 10139 10142 10146 10150 10152 10156
ADDITIONAL SM(I,N,X)DL45 IS(M,I,N,X)D05 EDZW 10161 10168 10180 10193 10210 10235 10249 10261 10267 10281 10282 10289 10305 10309 10312
ADDITIONAL SM(I,N,X)DL46 IS(M,I,N,X)D06 EDZW 10321 10325 10348 10356 10359 10365 10368 10376 10385 10396 10418 10424 10433 10435 10441 10442 10444 10449 10452
ADDITIONAL SM(I,N,X)DL47 IS(M,I,N,X)D07 EDZW 10454 10458 10460 10466 10471 10474 10480 10490 10495 10519 10520 10526 10534 10537 10540 10542 10552 10557
ADDITIONAL SM(I,N,X)DL48 IS(M,I,N,X)D08 EDZW 10564 10565 10569 10574 10577 10579 10582 10591 10615 10628 10635 10646 10648 10658 10671 10686 10704 10706 10724 10733 10736 10739 10747
ADDITIONAL SM(I,N,X)DL49 IS(M,I,N,X)D09 EDZW 10756 10761 10765 10777 10782 10796 10803 10818 10827 10840 10850 10863 10865 10872 10875 10945 10963 10982
ADDITIONAL -- IS(M,I,N)D43 EDZW 10033 10037 10038 10067 10126 10136 10172 10238 10246 10304 10306 10334 10335 10343 10476 10500 10502 10516 10613 10618 10743 10771 10837 10853 10856 10857 10860 10954

==>> A previous reminder was included on 22 December 2015
Published: 05 January 2016
Caribbean Netherlands - Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba islands - New situation on provision of meteorological services
Notification from The Netherlands
To rectify the information submitted by the Netherlands on 11 November 2015. Two corrections were made:
1. Correction in the airport name for St. Eustatius.
2. Correction in bulletin headers for BUFR SYNOP.

As from 01 January 2016, KNMI – The Netherlands (Region VI) will become responsible for the production and international distribution of all meteorological information for the Caribbean Netherlands (Region IV): the islands Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba. This includes the provision of meteorological observations, forecasts and warnings.

==>> For additional information.
Published: 04 January 2016




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