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Meteorological Development Laboratory

GFS and Eta MOS BUFR Guidance

On or about October 11, 2005, MDL will be making changes to the extended-range GFS MOS BUFR (Binary Unformatted Format for the Representation of meteorological data) messages. New messages will be implemented containing MOS guidance for 6 to 192 hours from the 0000 and 1200 UTC model runs. These new products will eventually replace the current extended-range GFS MOS BUFR messages. The new products contain guidance for more elements and projections than the current messages, including temperature, dew point, wind speed, and wind direction guidance for projections out to 192 hours. Note, too, that these new BUFR products will be availabe during both the 0000 and 1200 UTC forecast cycles while the old products will be available ONLY for the 0000 UTC cycle. An overlap of a minimum of 9 months will allow users to transition to the new products. Headers and details about the guidance are given below.

The changes to the extended-range BUFR guidance message complement those made to the short-range GFS and Eta MOS bulletins on February 8, 2005. As before, the BUFR messages will contain a more complete set of MOS forecasts than what is found in the MAV, MEX, and MET alphanumeric bulletins. BUFR messages will include all of the probabilities for precipitation amount, sky cover, ceiling height, visibility, obstruction to vision, precipitation type, and snowfall, as well as their respective categorical forecasts. Additionally, the BUFR messages will include guidance products not found in the alphanumeric bulletins, including probability of precipitation occurrence, and conditional precipitation characteristic. The stations included in these messages are the same as the MAV, MEX, and MET bulletins, and can be found at

The GFS MOS bulletins use these headers:

    Short-range (6 - 84 h products):
  • JSML30 KWNO - Pacific Region
  • JSML31 KWNO - Northeast CONUS
  • JSML32 KWNO - Southeast CONUS
  • JSML33 KWNO - North-Central CONUS
  • JSML34 KWNO - South-Central CONUS
  • JSML35 KWNO - Rocky Mountain CONUS
  • JSML36 KWNO - West Coast CONUS
  • JSML37 KWNO - Alaska
  • JSML38 KWNO - Western Pacific Islands
    Extended-range (6 - 192 h products):
  • JSMT30 KWNO - Pacific Region
  • JSMT31 KWNO - Northeast CONUS
  • JSMT32 KWNO - Southeast CONUS
  • JSMT33 KWNO - North-Central CONUS
  • JSMT34 KWNO - South-Central CONUS
  • JSMT35 KWNO - Rocky Mountain CONUS
  • JSMT36 KWNO - West Coast CONUS
  • JSMT37 KWNO - Alaska

The Eta MOS bulletins use these headers:

  • JSML10 KWNO - Pacific Region
  • JSML11 KWNO - Northeast CONUS
  • JSML12 KWNO - Southeast CONUS
  • JSML13 KWNO - North-Central CONUS
  • JSML14 KWNO - South-Central CONUS
  • JSML15 KWNO - Rocky Mountain CONUS
  • JSML16 KWNO - West Coast CONUS
  • JSML17 KWNO - Alaska

What changed in the short-range GFS (MAV) BUFR?

  • Headers (see above)
  • Temperature, dewpoint, ceiling, cloud cover, wind, PoP, QPF, thunderstorm, PoPC and PTYPE guidance have been extended to 84 hours
  • PoPO (Prob. of Precip Occurrence), unconditional severe weather probabilities, and snowfall guidance (probabilities and categorical) have been added
  • Ceiling height and visibility categories have been redefined (see below for more details)
  • Cloud cover category "FEW" has been added

What's changing in the extended-range GFS (MEX) BUFR?

  • Headers (see above)
  • The MEX guidance is now available in one message, instead of two
  • New 1200 UTC cycle run
  • Temperature and dew point guidance available every 3 hours instead of every 6 hours
  • NEW wind speed and direction guidance available every 3 hours
  • Sky cover and precipitation type categories have been redefined (see below for more details), and will be available every 3 hours instead of every 12 hours
  • 24-h 3" PQPF has been eliminated


National Weather Service
Office Of Science and Technology
Meteorological Development Laboratory
Statistical Modeling Branch
1325 East West Highway
Silver Spring, MD 20910
Page last modified: 11 March 2009
Page Author: MOS Web Team
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