AWIPS Forecasting Software

Unidata AWIPS

Unidata AWIPS (formerly AWIPS II) is a meteorological display and analysis package originally developed by the National Weather Service and Raytheon, repackaged by Unidata to support non-operational use in research and education by UCAR member institutions.

AWIPS takes a unified approach to data ingest, and most data types follow a path through the system starting with an LDM client requesting data from the Unidata IDD. These data files are then decoded and stored as HDF5 and Postgres metadata by EDEX.

Unidata supports two visualization frameworks for rendering AWIPS data: CAVE, and the Python Data Access Framework (python-awips).

Install CAVE Viz Client (stable release 16.2.2)

Mac OS Xawips2-cave-16.2.2.dmg
CentOS/RH 6 or 7 (x86_64) Run from the command line
chmod 755
Windows 32-bitawips-cave.msi
Windows 64-bitawips-cave.amd64.msi

Install EDEX Data Server (stable release 16.2.2)

CentOS/RH 6 or 7 (x86_64) Run from the command line
chmod 755 && ./

AWIPS Data in the Cloud

Unidata and Microsoft have partnered to offer a EDEX data server in the Azure cloud, open to the Unidata university community and the public. Select the server in the Connectivity Preferences dialog, or enter (without adding http:// before, or :9581/services after).

EDEX in the cloud

Note: Unidata does not support the operational NWS version of AWIPS. It is recommended that only Unidata AWIPS clients connect to Unidata AWIPS servers. Using a NWS client with a Unidata server will result in errors.

AWIPS News & Announcements
  • Unidata AWIPS 16.2.2-3 - EDEX for CentOS 7 Unidata AWIPS 16.2.2-3 - EDEX for CentOS 7
    December 7, 2016 AWIPS build 16.2.2-3 is now available via yum. Build 16.2.2-2 and 16.2.2-3 updates include: - EDEX is now available for 64-bit CentOS/RHEL 7. - Radar mosaic CAVE bundle fix. - httpd access_log now reports client hostname. - Re-enable LDM scour to backup EDEX scour in the event that EDEX stops but LDM continues to write files to /awips2/data_store. - Added command "edex start base" to start all services excluding the LDM (same as at boot). - Removed gempak from awips2-server group due to yum not resolving deps on some systems. AWIPS Install Instructions and User Manual
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More AWIPS news

AWIPS II Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is AWIPS?

A: The National Weather Service is in the process of developing the next generation of its AWIPS software (AWIPS II) to provide a comprehensive package in support of its forecasting and public service operations. This new software will be developed in Java, allowing it to run on more platforms than the current AWIPS software. Many of the underlying technologies in AWIPS will be based on open source projects and the plan is to make AWIPS software also open source. Currently, the NWS National Centers and NWS field forecast offices use different tools to support their mission, with the National Centers using NAWIPS, and NWS forecast offices use AWIPS, which is fundamentally different and not compatible with NAWIPS. The new AWIPS architecture will allow the NWS to reduce development time, expand data access and provide better integration and collaboration between the NWS field offices, river forecast centers and National Centers.

Q: Who is developing AWIPS?

A: Raytheon is responsible for developing the underlying infrastructure for AWIPS and migrating the existing AWIPS functionality into that infrastructure. NCEP is responsible for migrating the existing GEMPAK/NAWIPS functionality into the AWIPS framework.

Q: How is GEMPAK related to AWIPS?

A: GEMPAK functionality, specifically the underlying analysis and diagnostic routines, will be included with AWIPS, most likely as wrapped code. AWIPS is being developed for a "black box" GEMPAK transition, meaning batch scripts and automated processes which call GEMPAK routines would not require updating after migrating to AWIPS.

Q: What is Unidata's role in all this?

A: The Unidata Program Center distributes and provides support for GEMPAK to our member sites. Membership in Unidata is open to U.S. colleges and universities, and is free of charge. GEMPAK is also available as unsupported software without charge to organizations which do not participate in Unidata through the limitations specified in the Unidata participation policy. The UPC release of GEMPAK/NAWIPS incorporates several additions developed both locally and at other locations to enhance the use of real-time data aquired through the Unidata IDD, and through instructional case studies such as those developed at COMET. It includes GARP (GEMPAK Analysis and Rendering Program) which was developed by COMET.

Q: Why is NCEP moving away from GEMPAK?

A: The National Weather Service announced plans in 2007 to cease development of NAWIPS in August 2008 and proceed with a migration of the functionality of that package to the new AWIPS environment. The decision to migrate NAWIPS to AWIPS was made unilaterally by NWS. Since NCEP's primary goal is to support the National Centers, Unidata had no input on this decision.

Q: What is NCEP's plan for NAWIPS/GEMPAK?

A: NCEP intends to migrate all NAWIPS/GEMPAK functionality to AWIPS and intends to make AWIPS available to the Unidata community.

Q: If/When the UPC stops supporting GEMPAK, can I still use it?

A: The GEMPAK source code is freely available and will still be accessible in some form after the UPC ends official support. It will not stop working on any certain date. Furthermore, the existing support materials (tutorial, help manual and documentation) will still be available on line. The gembud mailing list will be kept active so GEMPAK users can provide community support to each other.

CAVE System Requirements

  • CentOS/RHEL 6, OS X, Windows
  • 4GB memory
  • 1.5GB disk space (you should be prepared for more with caching datasets in ~/caveData)
  • 2GB video ram and OpenGL 2.0
  • Latest NVIDIA driver for your graphics card.

EDEX System Requirements

  • 64-bit CentOS/RHEL 6
  • 8 CPU cores minimum, 16 recommended.
  • 16GB RAM minimum, 32GB+ recommended for large servers processing more of the IDD.
  • 500GB minimum footprint, more if you plan to build a data archive
  • An SSD mounted to /awips2 contain the entire software system and data files.
  • EDEX can scale to any system by reducing the volume of incoming data and/or turning off certain decoders (for example, with 4 cores you will only have 4 parallelized decoders running at any one time, which will not be able to handle CONDUIT and NEXRAD3 feeds).
  • As of AWIPS 16.2.2, scouring of /awips2/data_store is performed at 30 minutes past every hour, and the default retention rate is 1 hour. Previous releases used ldmadmin scour which had a minimum retention period of 1 day.