WA8LMF Home Page | Get NWS ShapeFiles | Main APRS Page | Updated 26 December 2009
25 December 2009
The following is an excerpt of an email between Randy
(WF5X) and the current owner/maintainer of the APRS-IS weather server.
In mid-summer 2009, this server replaced the older one that put everything from
the NWS into the APRS-IS system. Lines that begin with > are from me; all
non-marked lines are from the wxsvr owner/maintainer (AE5PL).
PLEASE, read this a few times and understand what isn't put put out by the current wxsvr and why, and that a good part of what we aren't seeing is due to a procedure policy of the NWS, not the wxsvr maintainer.
> I'm sure you are aware of all the buzz on the APRSSIG and UIVIEW lists
> about how the wxsvr isn't working. The biggest gripe from people right
> now is that they aren't seeing the winter weather warnings. I'm sure
> that the primary reason is that you aren't parsing the event code from
> the NWS stream for those. A big part of that is that the NWS lumps a
No, the reason they are not being put on APRS-IS is because they are not (according to the NWS) Immediate, Actual, Meteorological alerts. The reason the NWS does not classify them this way is because there is no immediate identification in a winter weather warning, a flood warning, a watch, a special weather statement, etc. To qualify as an immediate, actual alert, the NWS office determines that there is an immediate, identifiable threat to life or property in a specific area. This includes Severe Thunderstorm Warnings, Tornado Warnings, and Flash Flood Warnings.
The translation of this is that only LOCAL weather service issued warnings ( FFW, TOR, SVR event codes ) will be ported to the APRS-IS, due to the belief that having *ALL* NWS watch/warn/advis messages was causing too much local RF traffic *AND* that general area and broad coverage events such at blizzards, winter storms, hurricanes, and floods are best received via Internet or media sources including NOAA weather radio.
Flash Flood, Tornado, and Severe Thunderstorm Warnings
are all LOCALIZED events that IMMEDIATELY affect safety of life and property.
Many of the other warnings ( blizzard, winter storm, flood, hurricane, etc. )
are wide spread events that often have many *HOURS* of lead time to prepare for
or react to them. Flash Flood, Tornado, and Severe Thunderstorm Warnings have
lead times in the *minutes*, and thus warrant *immediate* dissemination by all
means, including APRS.
Please note, there is nothing that precludes someone from creating these types of objects locally for their area and submitting them via RF. If you want to parse the NWS stream yourself for all information related to your locality, go right ahead. Just be mindful of the traffic you add to your local network in doing so.
I'm only the messenger, not the policy maker. Hope this sheds light on this "issue" for lots of people, and rest assured that your UI-NWS is working correctly *if* you have it set up according to the instructions located on this website:
WA8LMF UIview Notes