ESRL Global Systems Division

Use of FX-Net as a fire weather forecasting workstation

NOAA's Forecast System Laboratory, FX-Net - weather forecasting workstation, has become the primary meteorological forecast workstation used at the National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC) in Boise, Idaho and at the eleven Geographic Area Coordination Centers (GACCs) throughout the continental US and Alaska. Each GACC office, which is in charge for the overall coordination of fighting large wildland fires, has two meteorologists using FX-Net. This workstation has been in use in Boise NIFC headquarters and the eleven GACC offices since November, 2001. Special tools and scales were developed in order to fulfill the needs of the GACC meteorologists. A final "FX-Net-GACC" software version will be released on July 15th.

FX-Net has also been tested extensively in the field by the NWS Western Region. Western Region HQ has served as an FX-Net test site for several years. This is the first location which operated an operational FX-Net server outside FSL. The server supported the outdoor venue weather forecasters for the Salt Lake City Olympic Winter Games in February 2002. In addition, Western Region HQ staff decided to allow Incident Meteorologists (IMETs) to test the performance of FX-Net during a field experiment in late summer 2001. In this test, FX-Net products were transmitted over a phone line. The test results were very positive. Western Region HQ sent out a proposal to the NWS asking for funding which would allow the region to replace the existing Advanced Technology Meteorological Unit (ATMU), which provides onsite forecasting at wildfires and a limited response to HAZMAT incidents, with an FX-Net system. The proposal is currently under review.

Contact information
Name: William Bendel
Tel: 303-497-6708
william.b.bendel@noaa.gov