Since the early 1970's, the NWS's National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) have issued two widely-distributed text products, the Selected Cities Summary (SCS) and the Travelers Forecast (TAV). The SCS provides basic observations (Temperatures and Precipitation) for the previous day and 2-day forecasts of temperature and Character of Day (CoD) for 163 cities in the United States, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, while the TAV provides 2-day forecasts for 30 US cities and Puerto Rico. Each of these products is created by gathering the Coded Cities Forecasts (CCF) issued by NWS Weather Forecast Offices (WFOs) and adding previously observed weather data. These products are widely regarded as being outdated, as the tabular nature of the products limits their flexibility in this digital era.
Consequently, the Meteorological Development Laboratory (MDL) was tasked to find new ways to streamline and modernize the production of SCS and TAV. It became clear that the National Digital Forecast Database (NDFD) would play a prominent role. First, WFO grids are now centrally located on the NDFD Central Server System (CSS). These grids, along with observations, provide the key elements needed to produce the legacy tabular products (SCS/TAV/CCF). Because WFO forecasters are constantly updating the NDFD, products generated from NDFD are remarkably reliable, and contain the most current forecast data. Second, updating the format for the future product suite by leveraging NDFD's eXtensible Markup Language (XML) schema would also address one of NOAA's Strategic Mission goals of serving "society's needs for weather and water information".
The Tabular Product Evolution in eXtensible Markup Language (TPEX) program focuses on steps modernize and streamline the current tabular product suite (SCS/TAV/CCF) by introducing four new XML products. These four new XML products will have a decided advantage over their current legacy tabular counterparts. In general, XML allows NWS users and partners the flexibility to capture some or all of the data being delivered in the product. Additional cities, weather elements or time projections all can be handled gracefully by the NWS and our users and partners without major software redevelopment efforts. These products will be generated early in 2007. These enhanced products are expected to replace the legacy SCS/TAV/CCF tabular products as users transition to the new XML product suite.
On December 9th, 2008, the 4 XML products (FOX3, FOX7, ObX and
TEX) became operational NWS products. In addition, on January 13th,
2009, operational responsibility for the SCS NWS product was moved
from HPC to NDFD. WMO Headers/AWIPS IDs as well as product dissemination
methods for these 4 XML products as well as the SCS can be found
in the navigational bar on the left.
the Product Description Document (pdf format)
on on these operational products