OB9.3 GFE Changes

Last Updated 4/24/11

National Weather Service

Office of Climate, Water, and Weather Services

Forecast Decision Training Branch

Questions: Shannon.White@noaa.gov

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Focal Point-Specific Information

Information for Forecasters




Focal Point Information

News You MUST Use
Tropical Changes
New National Center Functionality


News You MUST Use

Due to a problem discovered with text capture, a new copy of GenericHazards and Hazard_RFW were provided by the NCF as a post-install step. You must run /awips/GFESuite/primary/bin/configureTextProducts after completing the install in order for these updated files to propagate throughout GFE. If you had already installed OB9.3, you will also need to conpare your Hazard_RFW_Local to the new Hazard_RFW to ensure you take advantage of the new code. This fix also allows the bullets to be disabled in the Hazard_RFW.

Significant changes occurred in GenericHazards in order to baseline the bulletted hazard product format. If you are currently using the formatters provided nationally or by your region for the experiement, you will need to either remove the now-unnecessary code in your Hazard_XXX_Local file or check the differences between the baselined code and the content of your Local override to determine what you should keep.

You can move your current Local file to another directory and check the format of the baseline NPW, WSW and RFW. If changes to the bullet order is desired, simply copy the bulletDict from the Hazard_XXX file and reorder or add bullets as needed. To revert to non-bulletted format, simply add Definition["bulletProd"] = 0 to your Hazard_WSW_Local, Hazard_NPW_Local and Hazard_RFW_Local files.

As a side note, both the CFW and MWW become officially bulletted in the baseline in OB9.5.

The RFW is more complicated due to the many possible permutations. While it will run with no additonal configuration, most sites will want to customize the bullets and other options. Please closely follow the inline documentation in Hazard_RFW_Local to complete this customization.

WarnGen changes have occurred which make it reliant upon the GFE VTEC active table to ensure the warnGen-generated ETNs are correct. WarnGen will use the higher ETN between the VTEC active table and the textdb for a given hazard type (e.g. SV.W - severe thunderstorm warning). This neccesitates enabling VTEC Active Table (AT) sharing via the /awips/GFESuite/primary/etc/SITE/localVTECPartners.py file. The following sections show what should go in the file. If you do not have a localVTECPartners.py file, you will need to create one as user ifps with permissions 644.

Required Entries
This variable must be 1 to enable active table sharing.

This variable tells the server to grab the active tables of surrounding sites every 30 minutes. While this is not that frequent when compared to convective warning timeframes, it is frequent enough to be able to track warnings but not too frequent to cause GFE performance issues.

3. If not already there, you need to add:
import VTECPartners
from VTECPartners import *

Highly Recommended Entry
1. VTEC_MERGE_SITES = ['Kwfo1', 'Pwfo2', 'Twfo3', etc.]
Tells the code to filter out all but these sites. Your own site and the national centers are included by default, so no need to add them. If this variable is not set, your VTEC AT will have all offices in your domain added, much like ISC works. These are 4-letter, VTEC site IDs. Just add the ones for which you are most likely to provide backup, either warnGen or GFE.

2. VTEC_DECODER_SITES = ['Kwfo1', 'Pwfo2', 'Twfo3', etc.]
Same logic as the above entry.

MHS ids (3-letter) of sites whose tables we are going to fetch. Once received, the code uses the sites in the above entries to determine what to pull out and merge with your own VTEC AT. This should not be more than 3 sites.

When changes are complete, bounce your ifpServer for them to take effect.

This sample localVTECPartners.py file shows these entries configured (as MHX).

Inland tropical hazards have been discontinued. All tropical hazards, regardless of location, will be issued using Tropical Storm or Hurricane VTEC and headlines. The event tracking number used for tropical events will be the storm number provided by the issuing national center. These changes do not impact Guam.

To implement these changes, the following files have been modified:


It is very important that you merge your changes to MakeHazard and MergeHazards with the OB9.3 versions. If you do not, forecasters will be unable to create tropical hazards correctly. Specifically in MakeHazard significant checks were added to ensure the veracity of the tropical ETN. Also, HLS-issuing sites other than GUM need to configure MakeHazard to have a list of options for determining the correct tropical ETN. You will need a SITE override of the 9.3 file to comment out the blank TCM selections and uncomment the appropriate basin list for your area (e.g. TCMAT1-5). Follow the comments in the MakeHazard configuration section.

With the HLS formatter, any overrides other than the required ones need to be removed all together or modified so the formatter will not fail. More on this issue is available in the tropical section.

If you have a local Hazards.COLORTABLE, you need to add your local changes to this new version.

If you are overriding the Hazards_commonValues in a SITEgfeConfig, then it needs to be updated to match the baseline. All tropical hazards must now be created through MakeHazard and not via commonValues in the spatial editor.

Tropical Changes

A new version of the HLS is baselined in OB9.3. A major overhaul of the formatter occurred to remove the inland hazards, unify the ETN and improve the guis. If you override anything other than the required items in your HLS_XXX_Overrides, you will need to comment out anything other than those required items and take the HLS Configuration course coming in April. Many overrides from last season will cause the formatter to fail or will bypass required changes.

1) TCMWindTool has been modified to add pie slice functionality which should lead to smoother grids, but longer run times. Any site that has a SITE override of TCMWindTool, that needs to be removed.

2) A new version of PWS Procedure. This new version uses the new 6-hourly data from NHC to create the same pws elements as past seasons. If you have a SITE-level version of PWS_Procedure, it will need to be removed.

3) Added pws weather elements to OFFICIALDBS in serverConfig.py. All pws elements must be removed from localConfig as serverConfig contains the correct definitions. Your local entries for the gHLS elements still are needed.

4) Updated MakeHazard to allow for ETN fetch from centers when no TCV is issued. HLS-issuing sites other than GUM need to configure MakeHazard to have a list of options for determining the correct tropical ETN.

5) New topo data has been provided for the SR and ER offices for use with the CoastalFloodThreatTool. A new version of the tool will be provided to account for this.

All of these changes will be covered in depth in the tropical configuration training provided in April.



New NCEP Functionality

Definitions with the correct domains have been provided in serverConfig for both NHC/TAFB AWIPS systems and both OPC AWIPS systems. All 4 domains have been identified as wfo to facilitate ISC with coastal WFOs.

The same 4 sites have been added to SiteCFG so text products will be generated. As part of this, a new region, NC, was introduced to allow formatter sharing among centers.

Rsync has been set up to allow for grids and config files to be sent to the central server for service backup purposes.



Information for Forecasters

Hazard Formatter Changes

Inland tropical hazards have been retired. As a result, there are significant improvements to the HLS which greatly streamline the product. Tropical-specific training will be provided this spring which covers the specifics of this change.
MakeHazard has been modified to allow for the selection of the associated TCM in the event a marine-only tropical hazard needs to be created. This change will only appear for sites, other than Guam, responsible for creating HLSs. Again, tropical-specific training will be provided which covers the specifics of this change.

The bulletted hazard product format has been baselined. For sites who are new to the bullet format, WR provided training on this which can be found at http://ww2.wrh.noaa.gov/msd/public/BulletForecasters-2_final.pdf.