NOUS41 KWBC 111825



Service Change Notice 16-12

National Weather Service Headquarters Washington DC

225 PM EDT Mon Apr 11 2016


TO:        Subscribers:

           -NOAA Weather Wire Service

           -Emergency Managers Weather Information Network


           Other NWS partners and NWS employees


FROM:      Mark Tew

           Chief, Analysis and Mission Support Division


           Eli Jacks

           Chief, Forecast Services Division


SUBJECT:   Use of Mixed-Case Text and Expanded 25 Character

           ASCII Character Sets in NWS Text Products Effective

           May 11, 2016


Effective Wednesday, May 11, 2016, the NWS will transition the

experimental mixed-case text format in text products to

operational status.


On or about Tuesday, May 11, 2016, all NWS Weather Forecast

Offices (WFOs) will begin operationally issuing the Area

Forecast Discussion (AFD), local Public Information Statement

(PNS), and Regional Weather Summary (RWS) products using mixed-

case text and an expanded 25 character ASCII character set.

(Some WFOs do not issue an RWS). Examples of the mixed-case

format AFD, local PNS and RWS are online at:


If weather conditions prevent a WFO from making the change on

May 11, 2016, the change to the mixed-case text format will

occur on the next suitable day.


This initial roll-out of the mixed case text format will be

followed later in 2016 (tentatively July - August 2016) by NWS

short duration Watch, Warning, and Advisory products.  Most

other NWS text products will be issued using mixed case by

January 2017. Future Service Change Notices (SCNs) to announce

these transitions will be issued with at least 30 days lead

time. These SCN will include AWIPS product identifiers and 

effective dates for each grouping.


These changes are based on feedback NWS received over a period

of time from partners and users.


The NWS originally sought comments regarding the proposed

change to mixed-case text products via the PNS below:


Favorable comments resulted in the NWS issuing national PNS

products using mixed-case characters on an experimental basis

starting in August 2010.


The use of mixed-case characters was extended to include the

AFD, local PNS and RWS products at select WFOs starting in

October 2011.


Continued favorable feedback regarding those products is the

basis for this operational implementation.


Partners and users of NWS text products should modify their

systems to accommodate mixed case and the expanded character

set. This change will make text products easier to read and

allow users to click on internet links directly rather than

converting them to lowercase or mixed case.


If you have questions, please contact:


Art Thomas

NWS Digital and Graphical Support Branch

Silver Spring, MD, 20910


National Service Change Notices are online at: