Basic Introduction to EMWIN
The Emergency Managers Weather Information Network -- EMWIN -- is a service that allows users to obtain weather forecasts, warnings, and other information directly from the National Weather Service (NWS) in almost real time. EMWIN is intended to be used primarily by emergency managers and public safety officials who need timely weather information to make critical decisions.
However, anyone with a personal computer running Windows can be an EMWIN user.
EMWIN basically consists of two things:
1. A round-the-clock data feed of current weather warnings, watches, images from NESDIS, advisories, forecasts, and other products issued by the National Weather Service.
2. A suite of methods to obtain this data feed and display the products on your personal computer.
Two of the methods for obtaining the EMWIN feed are direct satellite broadcast and repeat radio broadcast. With direct satellite, you receive the EMWIN feed directly from one of the satellites broadcasting the signal. With repeat radio, you get the feed from a repeat broadcast (usually VHF), which comes from an existing direct satellite receive site.
Note: If you want to get the EMWIN feed by repeat radio, you must be within range (usually 10-50 miles) of a repeat broadcast from an existing direct satellite receive site. A list of these sites can be found on the Radio Broadcast Areas page of this web site.
To use the direct satellite or repeat radio method, you will need special hardware to receive the EMWIN feed. You can learn more about the hardware by contacting one or more of the EMWIN vendors listed on the Commercial Vendors page.
You will also need special software for storing, managing, and displaying the products on your computer. Many hardware vendors offer complete 'turnkey' systems that include software.
If you don't want to buy the broadcast hardware, the program by itself provides a couple of methods for obtaining the EMWIN feed directly over the Internet . One of these methods is called Internet push, because it automatically 'pushes' a continuous stream of data across your internet connection into your PC. This method is only a few seconds slower than the satellite or radio broadcast methods. The other internet method uses the File Transfer Protocol -- or FTP. Also known as Internet pull, this method allows you to request -- or 'pull' -- a large block (1-3 hours worth) of data at one time and have it sent to you in a compressed file for further processing by software. Both of these methods are available with the program. All you need is software and a dial-up connection to the internet. You don't need a Web browser to use either of these methods.
GO HERE to download a FREE 30-day trial version of the WeatherNode program -- TEST with the 'push' software already included and ready to install. NOTE: The Internet is not always available. .
Another form of Internet pull allows you to access and display the EMWIN data directly on the Web without using any special hardware or software. All you need is a dial-up connection to the Internet and your Web browser software. This method is called the Interactive Weather Information Network, or IWIN.
Finally, for links to information about other commercial software applications, including RealEMWIN and Digital Atmosphere, click here.
And Remember: Once you have paid for the initial hardware and software you need to start using the EMWIN service, there are no additional fees or recurring charges. The NWS forecasts, warnings, and other data you receive from this service are FREE, and you may do anything you want with them.
US Dept of Commerce
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
National Weather Service
1325 East-West Highway
Silver Spring, MD 20910
Page Author: EMWIN Team
Web site owner: NWS/OPS17
Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)