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Glossary of Terms
This page is divided into three sections:
Organizational Acronyms Observation Related Terms Forecast Related Terms

Glossary of Organizational Acronyms:   [Back to Top]

Abbreviation Organization Name
AHPS Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service
CO-OPS NOS Center for Operational Oceanographic Products and Services
CSC NOAA Coastal Services Center
CSDL NOS Coast Survey Development Laboratory
DOD Department of Defense
DOE/BNL Department of Energy/Brookhaven National Laboratory
ENVIRONMENT CANADA Canadian Agency of the Environment
ESRL Earth Systems Research Laboratory
FAA Federal Aviation Administration
FSL NOAA Forecast Systems Laboratory (now called ESRL; see above)
GLERL Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory
GSD NOAA/ESRL Global Systems Division
HABS Harmful Algal Blooms
MDOT Maryland Department of Transportation
Maryland DNR Maryland Department of Natural Resources
MBARI Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute
MMAP NOS CSDL Marine Modeling and Analysis Programs Branch
NCEP NOAA/NWS National Centers for Environmental Prediction
NDBC NWS National Data Buoy Center
NESDIS NOAA National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service
NEXRAD Next Generation Radar
NGA National Geospatial Intelligence Agency
NHC NWS National Hurricane Center
NJ DEP New Jersey Department of the Environment
NOS NOAA National Ocean Service
NMFS NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service
NSSL NOAA National Severe Storms Laboratory
NWS NOAA National Weather Service
OAR NOAA Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research
OCS NOS Office of Coast Survey
OSRI Prince William Sound Oil Spill Recovery Institute
RFC NWS River Forecast Center
UCAR University Corporation for Atmospheric Research
USACE United States Army Corps of Engineers
USAF United States Air Force
USCG United States Coast Guard
USGS United States Geological Survey
USMC United States Marine Corps
USN United States Navy
VMC Vermont Monitoring Cooperative
WADOT Washington Department of Transportation
WFO NWS Weather Forecast Office
WHOI Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Glossary of Observation-Related Terms:   [Back to Top]

Abbreviation Title Definition
4DWX Four-Dimensional Weather Systems and Technology Department of Defense weather observation network. "Improving meteorological support through the development and application of new technologies."
AIRMAP AIRMAP The primary mission of AIRMAP is to develop a detailed understanding of climate variability and the source of persistent air pollutants in New England. Our goal is to identify the causes of climate variability, predict air quality changes as an addition to daily weather forecasts, and to demonstrate new forecasting technologies.
ASOS Automated Surface Observing System The Automated Surface Observing System (ASOS) is an automated meteorological observing system sponsored by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), National Weather Service (NWS) and the Department of Defense (DOD). ASOS provides weather observations which include:air temperature, dew point temperature, wind, altimeter setting, visibility, present weather, cloud heights and types, and precipitation amount and type. There are presently 569 FAA-sponsored and 313 NWS-sponsored ASOSs are installed at airports throughout the U.S.
AWOS Automated Weather Observing System The Automated Weather Observing System (AWOS) is an automated meteorological observing system consisting of both FAA purchased and maintained stations as well as stations owned and operated by state, local, and private organizations. The AWOS consists of a suite of sensors for measuring air temperature, dew point temperature, barometric pressure, density altitude, and wind. In addition, some AWOS stations also measure visibility, cloud height and type, and precipitation type.
BLP Boundary Layer Profilers Boundary Layer Profilers are wind profilers that measure winds above the profiler using upward-looking, high-sensitive Doppler radars.
CBOS Chesapeake Bay Observing System CBOS is a real-time meteorological and oceanographic observing station network for the Bay consisting primarily of fixed buoys and moorings. The buoys record air temperature, wind velocity, and MSLP along with water temperature and currents at different depths. There is also one coastal land station. CBOS is operated by the Univ. of Maryland's Center for Environmental Science.
C-MAN Coastal Marine Automated Network C-MAN is a real-time marine station observing network which records air temperature, wind velocity, and MSLP. Some of the stations also record water level, SST, relative humidity, precipitation, and visibility. The C-MAN is operated by NOAA's National Weather Service/National Data Buoy Center. There are approximately 60 stations operating at the present time.
COOP Cooperative Observer Program There are over 100 automated NWS COOP (Cooperative Observer Program) stations presently deployed in the Northeast Region of the United States. These stations, located in New England states and in the State of New York, are part of the NWS' High Resolution Temperature Program COOP Modernization Program.
CORIE CORIE is a pilot environmental observation and forecasting system (EOFS) for the Columbia River. It integrates a real-time sensor network, a data management system and advanced numerical models.
CREWS NOAA's Coral Reef Watch Program The mission of NOAA's Coral Reef Watch program is to utilize remote sensing, computational algorithms and artificial intelligence tools in the near real-time monitoring, modeling and reporting of physical environmental conditions which adversely influence coral reef ecosystems. The Coral Reef Watch program is a partnership among three NOAA Line Organizations: NESDIS's Office of Research Applications (ORA), NMFS's Coral Reef Ecosystem Investigation (CREI) program, and OAR's CREWS and NURP-supported Caribbean Marine Research Center (CMRC).
CRN US Climate Reference Network The US Climate Reference Network is a real-time climatological network which records air temperature, precipitation, and wind velocity. The CRN is managed and coordinated by NOAA's National Climatic Data Center. When fully implemented there will be 250 stations in the U.S.
DART Deep-ocean Assessment and Reporting of Tsunamis DART systems consist of an anchored seafloor bottom pressure recorder (BPR) and a companion moored surface buoy for real-time communications. An acoustic link transmits data from the BPR on the seafloor to the surface buoy. The BPR collects temperature and pressure at 15-second intervals. The pressure values are corrected for temperature effects and the pressure converted to an estimated sea-surface height (height of the ocean surface above the seafloor) by using a constant 670 mm/psia.
FixedBuoy NDBC Data Buoy
GLOS Great Lakes Observing System The Great Lakes Observing System is a non-profit corporation dedicated to providing wide community access to real-time and historic data on the hydrology, biology, chemistry, geology and cultural resources of the Great Lakes, its interconnecting waterways and the St. Lawrence River. GLOS is a regional node of the U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS) initiative.
GOES Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites GOES satellite imagery is a product of the National Environmental Satellite, Data and Information Service (NESDIS).
GoMOOS Gulf of Maine Ocean Observing System GoMOOS is a national pilot program designed to bring hourly oceanographic data from the Gulf of Maine to all those who need it, including commercial mariners, coastal resource managers, scientists, educators, search and rescue teams, emergency response teams, and public health officials.
GOOS Global Ocean Observing System
GSOS GPS Surface Observing System GSOS is a real-time meteorological observing network which records air temperature, relative humidity, station pressure, and surface pressure at many GPS-IPW stations. The GSOS is operated by NOAA's Forecast System Laboratory. The meteorological sensor package for GSOS was built by NDBC.
ICON Innovative Coastal-Ocean Observing Network The Monterry Bay element of the National Ocean Partnership Program. NOPP projects each represent a partnership between Government, Academia, and Private Industry.
IFLOWS Integrated Flood Observing and Warning System The Integrated Flood Observing and Warning System (IFLOWS) is a cooperative program between the NWS and local agencies established in 1978 as part of the National Flash Flood Program Development Plan. The goals of the IFLOWS Program are to substantially reduce the annual loss of life from flash floods, reduce property damage, and reduce disruption of commerce and human activities.
IOOS Integrated Ocean Observing System IOOS is a multidisciplinary system designed to enhance our ability to collect, deliver, and use ocean information.
LIShore Long Island Shore Observing Network LIShore provides information on sea and shoreline conditions for Long Island, New York. LIshore began in 1998 as the Shinnecock Inlet Field Monitoring Project. From this initial focus on Shinnecock Inlet and Shinnecock Bay, LIShore has expanded along the South Shore of Long Island.
LUMCON Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium The Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium (LUMCON) was formed in 1979 to coordinate and stimulate Louisiana's activities in marine research and education. LUMCON provides coastal laboratory facilities to Louisiana universities, and conducts research and educational programs in the marine sciences.
MADIS Meteorological Assimilation Data Ingest System MADIS is an integrated, reliable and easy-to-use database containing real-time and archived observational datasets. Also available are real-time gridded surface analyses that assimilate all of the MADIS surface datasets (including the highly-dense integrated mesonet data). The grids are produced by the Rapid Update Cycle (RUC) Surface Assimilation System (RSAS) that runs at ESRL/GSD, which incoporates a 15-km grid stretching from Alaska in the north to Central America in the south, and also convers significant oceanic areas. The RSAS grids are valid at the top of each hour, and are updated every 15 minutes.
MAN Rutgers University
NEOCO Network for Environmental Observations of the Coastal Ocean In July 2001, a group of scientists representing seven University of California (UC) campuses introduced a cooperative venture entitled the Network for Environmental Observation of the Coastal Ocean (NEOCO). This project is funded by the University of California Marine Council (UCMC). NEOCO will establish a centralized, long-term repository of high-resolution data obtained from the participating UC campus sites along the coast of California. The resulting database will be open for public access on the Web, thus providing an invaluable research utility for students, educators, legislators and policy makers.
NERRS National Estuarine Research Reserve System
NWLON National Water Level Observation Network NWLON is a real-time, nationwide oceanographic observing station network. THe stations measure water level and SST along the U.S. coast, the Great Lakes, and connecting channels. In addition, at many stations meteorological data are also measured including air temperature, wind velocity, and MSLP. NWLON is operated by NOAA's National Ocean Service/Center for Operational Oceanographic Products and Services. There are presently 189 NWLON stations.
NWIS USGS National Water Information System NWIS contains real-time information about current streamflow conditions, water quality of streams and ground water, and water levels in wells.
PORTS Physical Oceanographic Real Time System The Physical Oceanographic Real-Time System (PORTS®) is a program of the National Ocean Service that supports safe and cost-efficient navigation by providing ship masters and pilots with accurate real-time information required to avoid groundings and collisions. This technological innovation has the potential to save the maritime insurance industry from multi-million dollar claims resulting from shipping accidents. PORTS includes centralized data acquisition and dissemination systems that provide real-time water levels, currents, and other oceanographic and meteorological data from bays and harbors to the maritime user community in a variety of user friendly formats, including telephone voice response and Internet. Also, PORTS provides nowcasts and predictions of these parameters with the use of numerical circulation models. Telephone voice access to accurate real-time water level information allows U.S. port authorities and maritime shippers to make sound decisions regarding loading of tonnage (based on available bottom clearance), maximizing loads, and limiting passage times, without compromising safety.
PWSN Prince William Sound Network The Prince William Sound Network is a project of the the Prince William Sound Oil Spill Recovery Institute (OSRI). The network provides you with information on hydrologic, meteorologic, and oceanographic data and information. Our information is provided to assist many different groups in Prince William Sound. Oceanographic and climate research projects will use this data to improve our understanding of how the hydrologic cycle works within the sound. This will help with evaluation of natural resources, developing tools to help faster and more efficient response efforts to potential oil spills and other environmental problems. Marine travelers will benefit by having easier access to near-real time weather and marine conditions across the Sound. The National Weather Service will have additional data to help with marine forecasts and station reports.
RAWS Remote Automated Weather Stations There are nearly 1,500 interagency Remote Automated Weather Stations (RAWS) strategically located throughout the United States. These stations monitor the weather. Weather data assists land management agencies with a variety of projects - monitoring air quality, rating fire danger, and providing information for research applications. Most of the stations owned by the wild land fire agencies are placed in locations where they can monitor fire danger. RAWS units collect, store, and forward data to a computer system at the National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC) in Boise, Idaho via NOAA's Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES).
RIDGE Radar Integrated Display with Geospatial Elements RIDGE radar imagery is a product of the National Weather Service.
SST Sea Surface Temperature
TABS Texas Automated Buoy System Real Time Oceanographic Data Supporting Oil Spill Prevention and Response in the Western Gulf of Mexico.
TAO Tropical Atmosphere Ocean Array TAO is an observing network consisting of approximately 70 moorings in the Tropical Pacific Ocean telemetering oceanographic and meteorological data to share in real-time via the Argus satellite system.
TCOON Texas Coastal Ocean Observation Network In 1989 the Conrad Blucher Institute for Surveying and Science (CBI) at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi commenced the installation of a modern state-of-the-art water-level measurement system along the Texas coast. The first measurement systems installed by CBI were intended to provide real-time water-level and meteorological information to the City of Corpus Christi to assist local officials with preparations for incoming hurricanes and tropical storms. From this initial work, other state agencies such as the Texas General Land Office and the Texas Water Development Board began contracting CBI to provide similar information for other areas along the Texas coast. Following a Texas Legislative mandate in 1991, this network of water level gauges became the Texas Coastal Ocean Observation Network (TCOON). As a result, TCOON expanded from an initial three stations in Corpus Christi in 1989 to over forty stations by 1992.
USCG US Coast Guard Observations USCG personnel take manual weather observations at their small boat rescue stations and forward them to the NWS. The observations are taken every 2 or 3 hours depending on geographic region.
USF COMPS University of South Florida's Coastal Ocean Monitoring and Prediction System COMPS consists of an array of instrumentation both along the coast and offshore, combined with numerical circulation models, and builds upon existing in-situ measurements and modeling programs funded by various state and federal agencies. COMPS is designed to support a variety of operational and research efforts, including storm surge prediction, environmental protection, coastal erosion and sediment transport, red tide research (ECOHAB - Ecology of Harmful Algal Blooms), and hyperspectral satellite remote sensing of coastal ocean dynamics (HYCODE).
VOS Voluntary Observing Ship VOS is an international voluntary marine observation program under the auspices of the World Meteorological Organization.
Washington State Ferries Wind and temperature observations from the Washington Department of Transportation's ferry network. Partnership with the University of Washington.
WAVCIS Wave-Current Surge Information System for Coastal Louisiana The objective of WAVCIS is to provide wave information (sea state) including wave height, period, direction of propagation, water level, surge, near surface current speed and direction and meteorological conditions on a real time basis around the entire Louisiana coast.

Glossary of Forecast-Related Terms:   [Back to Top]

Abbreviation Full Name Definition
CBOFS Chesapeake Bay Operational Forecast System
ETSS Extra Tropical Storm Surge model
GFS Global Forecast System
LEOFS Lake Erie Operational Forecast System
LHOFS Lake Huron Operational Forecast System
LMOFS Lake Michigan Operational Forecast System
LOOFS Lake Ontario Operational Forecast System
LSOFS Lake Superior Operational Forecast System
MOS Model Output Statistics
NAM North American Mesoscale weather prediction model
NDFD National Digital Forecast Database
NYOFS Port of New York/New Jersey Operational Forecast System
RUC Rapid Update Cycle
SJOFS St. John's Operational Forecast System
WNA Western North Atlantic domain of NOAA's WaveWatch model
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