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OCWWS/HSD

Database Reference Information

Standardization Team Report

Guidelines and Standards

for Selected Reference Tables

in the IHFS and RAX Databases
27 March 2009

(updated on 04 Dec. 2013)

Executive Summary

Purpose
This report covers the team efforts to develop a defined set of standard formats and content for all reference information in the IHFS and RAX databases. The starting point for this endeavor was the team report from an earlier effort by the Central Region (CR) of the National Weather Service (NWS) in 2002-2003 to set guidelines and standards for some of the IHFS DB reference tables. The CR effort examined 16 reference tables of the IHFS DB. Although these guidelines were implemented at most WFOs in most regions, it was not mandatory. Since 2003 the various reference tables have diverged from these original guidelines.
This new team was assigned the task to establish a new set of guidelines and standards to ensure ease in sharing of information for service backup between WFOs, coordination between WFOs and RFCs, uploading of information into the NRLDB, and at RFCs the sharing and synchronizing of data between the IHFS DB and the RAX DB.
Recommendations


  • The team reviewed the CR report and determined that for 7 tables of the IHFS DB the guidelines and standards do not need to be changed. These tables are: “network”, “rfc”, “wfo”, “hsa”, “state”, “counties”, and “cooprecip”.

  • The team reviewed nine reference tables of the IHFS DB and updated the guidelines and standards. These tables are: “coopcomms”, “coopspons”, “dcpowner”, “gageowner”, “gagemaint”, “telmowner”,”telmpayor”, “gagetype”, and “telmtype”. For detailed information see sections 2 through 7.

  • The team reviewed the values that WFOs are using for the horizontal reference datum field (hdatum) of the “location” table and the vertical reference datum field (vdatum) of the “riverstat” table of the IHFS DB. Because of the obvious confusion on what should be in these fields and the importance of knowing this information for geospatial data, the team proposes some changes. First, the team reccommends the IHFS DB location table should have a field added for the vertical reference datum. Secondly, the team recommends a set of valid values for the horizontal reference datum and the vertical reference datum. This change would involve the addition of 2 new reference tables, one for valid values of hdatum and one for vdatum. See section 8 for specifics.




  • Several non-reference tables and their fields were reviewed and where the team thought it appropriate, guidelines on case and format are recommended. See section 9 for specifics.




  • The team recommends several changes to the WHFS application Hydrobase. See section 10 for specifics.




  • The team recommends the AWIPS LAD Snoopy application that was used back in 2003 to implement the guidelines and standards again be used. The difference this time will be that use be mandatory by all WFOs and RFCs. Using reference table entries extracted from the NRLDB for each WFO and RFC, reports will be generated that detail by office which tables and entries need to be updated and these reports will be sent to the WFO Hydro focal point at each Regional Headquarters Office. The Snoopy repair menu option will need to be updated. This process should greatly improve database consistency and integrity across WFO boundaries.




  • The team proposes a change-management process. This process will consist of an ad-hoc committee made of field, regional and national headquarters personnel. It is suggested that the committee meet on a quarterly basis. This committee will review requests for additional reference entries. If the new entry is denied, an appropriate entry would be suggested to use. If the new entry is approved, the following actions will take place: 1) the ac-hoc committee will notify the WHFS support group of the new entry, 2) the WHFS support group will coordinate with the WFO to immediately add the new entry, 3) The WHFS support group will also send the information to the appropriate contact in OHD/HL to add the entry to the IHFS DB for the next build (and coordinate with the contractor), 4) Determine if new entry will impact WHFS application(s). Coordinate with OHD with regards to any impacts/changes to WHFS applications. See section 11 for more information.




  • The team reviewed the guidelines and standards for the RFC’s RAX DB and determined that the current guidelines and standards are consistent with the IHFS DB guidelines and standards. See section 12 for more information.




  • The primary reason that the entries in some of these tables have diverged so dramatically is that documentation of the reference tables with thorough and easy to understand language defining the different fields and their proper definitions and values has not been readily available. The team recommends additional documentation be added on the WHFS website as a location for information on IHFS DB guidelines and standards. Documentation on this page should have detailed explanations of these fields and give guidance that helps field personnel populate the database with valid and accurate data. At a minimum this web page should contain 1) a pdf version of the CR team report and 2) a pdf version of this report. Much of the work of this team could be used as a starting point for this enhanced documentation as deemed useful by the WHFS support group. Consider including much of this data directly in the OHD maintained IHFS web page http://www.nws.noaa.gov/oh/hrl/ihfs/database/html/databases.php to document some of these details. Consider supplementing the data dictionary.



Changes
OCWWS/HSD, 12/04/2013


  • Added the following entries back to the Telemetry Type Table. The entries appeared in the “Guideline 2003” but not in “Guideline 2009”, probably were left out accidently.

ALERT Gage sends reports via radio across an ALERT network.

bdr301 Binary Digital Recorder (BDT) model 301.

buoy Gage sends reports across buoy network.

cr10 Campbell Recorder model 10.

cr21 Campbell Recorder model 21.

cr500 Campbell Recorder model 500.

dah21 Design Analysis model H21.




  • Added “optical” to the precipitation gauge type as Larry Ellis requested on 11/14/2013:

optical These have a row of collection funnels. In an enclosed space below

each is a laser diode and a photo transistor. When enough water is

collected to make a single drop, it drops from the bottom, falling into

the laser beam path. The sensor is set at right angles to the laser

so that enough light is scattered to be detected as a sudden flash of

light. The flashes from these photo detectors are then read and

transmitted or recorded.



Table of Contents

1.0 Introduction 1

1 Introduction
Background
In 2002-2003, Central Region Headquarters (CRH) formed a team to set guidelines and standards for several tables of the Integrated Hydrologic Forecast System (IHFS) database. The team was made up of several River Forecast Center (RFC), Weather Forecast Office (WFO) and regional headquarters personnel from the Central Region. The CR team quickly recognized that for this task to be successful, participation of all the regions would be needed. The team was expanded to include members from the other regions. Sixteen reference tables (and their foreign key ties) were identified for standardization. The result of this effort was documented and an Advanced Weather Interactive Processing System (AWIPS) Local Applications Database (LAD) application, Snoopy.py, was modified to help the offices implement the guidelines and standards.1

Current Status
The current configuration of the IHFS database allows some entries without regard to upper/lower case, spelling, abbreviation, or correctness for that particular field. A database synchronization package (run_raxdb_sync) pushes those same values into the RFC Archive System (RAX) at the RFCs and in most cases the application attempts to apply the RAX guidelines and standards.. In addition, past versions of Hydrobase allowed the addition of reference fields for tables that should have been static. That insertion is no longer permitted as an option in Hydrobase, but many extraneous values were entered into those reference tables before the software was changed. As a result, many entries that did not conform to previously established standards appeared, making sharing of information between WFOs for service backup or coordination between WFOs and RFCs difficult and tedious.
National Team Formed
To address this problem a new team was formed to standardize all portions of the IHFS database that impact service backup and coordination.2 The team consisted of members from Western (WFO), Central (RFC), Southern (WFO), Eastern (WFO) and Alaska Region (RFC), as well as members from headquarters. This team set out to construct a stable set of choices or standards for each of the portions (i.e. reference tables). Tables that were not changed from the original Central Region Team definitions included “network”, “rfc”, “wfo”, “hsa”, “state”, “counties”, and “cooprecip”.
Going a step beyond the Central Region team that went through this exercise in 2002-2003, this team has made recommendations for every table for which text entries can be entered. In addition to establishing guideline and standards for various tables and fields, the team also recommends the following:


  • modifications to the AWIPS LAD Snoopy.py application’s repair menu option such that users could update their database with the new standards




  • a methodology of how to keep the databases current; an infrastructure needs to be built such that data can be transferred and updated regularly and as instantaneously as possible




  • a configuration management system be established. The team proposes an oversight committee consisting of RFC and WFO members from Western, Central, Southern, Eastern and Alaska Regions, as well as appropriate headquarters offices. This committee would handle proposed new entries for any of the standardized tables and fields.

Inherent in recommendations for changes and standards applying to the IHFS database is the understanding that these same standards will apply to the RAX where appropriate. It is assumed that if the IHFS database is brought into compliance with the established standards, the RAX which is synchronized with the IHFS database will also be brought into compliance with those standards.



About Sections 2 thru 12
Nine reference tables (and their foreign key ties) were examined for standardization. In sections 2 through 7 below, each of the reference tables is discussed. In each section, the background and standards for each table is listed first followed by all the allowable entries for each. Some findings and recommendations regarding datums are set forth in Section 8. A summary of all tables and fields examined with specific recommendations for all fields requiring standardization is included in Section 9. This includes a switch from all caps to mixed case for a number of text entries. Section 10 provides information on potential software changes needed to accommodate the recommendations. Section 11 details the configuration management plan proposed by the team to both get all offices on a consistent footing and to allow for additions to fixed reference fields as technology and gage ownership change in the future. Section 12 addresses the RAX.



2 COOP Communications Table
The COOP communications table describes the way Cooperative Observers pass information to the WFO. Use the comms column for the correct entry. The descriptions are examples of some of the more common names for the comms type. This is a single column table with 10-character field and mixed case. The team came up with the following 7 entries for this table (2 less entries than the original CRH Team). If there are two communication methods, the primary should be entered into this field.

Comms Description/Examples

Phone Reports sent to NWS via telephone. This includes IV-ROCS, ROSA, Voice Recording, and person-person. If observer reports by phone and mail, choose "Phone".

Internet Reports sent to NWS via the internet, including WxCoder and e-mail. If observer reports via internet and mail, select "Internet".

Mail Observer only sends reports via Mail.

Radio Reports sent via amateur radio (Ham) .

Telemetry A site that automatically sends observations to the NWS. This includes DCP, ASOS, AWOS, Microwave, and LARC.

Other A reporting system that does not fit into another category.

Unk unknown/not defined




3 COOP Sponsor Table
The COOP sponsor table describes the entity responsible for the upkeep and cost of a particular station. Use the sponsor column for the correct entry. The source for this table is pages G-12-13 of the NWSM 10-1313 dated 18 March 2005. Sponsors that have been added to CSSA and need to be added to this table are shown in red. The latest version of the manual can be found on the NWS Directives website:

http://www.nws.noaa.gov/directives/sym/pd01013013curr.pdf Network and description information are provided as supplemental information for this document. The table is single column, 7-character field and upper case.
Sponsor Network Description

FC-1 B Salary and Expenses

S&E A Salary and Expenses (Climatological)

S&E (A) C Salary and Expenses (Agricultural)

S&E (B) A Salary and Expenses (Benchmark Station)

S&E (H) B Salary and Expenses (Hydrological)

S&E (M) B Salary and Expenses (Mount St. Helens)

S&E (P) C Salary and Expenses (Public Service)

S&E (R) C Salary and Expenses (Marine)

ASSO BC Associate

BPA-1 B Bonneville Power Administration

FC-2 B Lower Mississippi River

FC-5 B Willamette River

FC-6 B Yazoo River

FC-7 B Red River

FC-8 B Wallace Lake Reservoir

FC-9 B Middle Arkansas River

FC-10 B Huntington District

FC-11 B Louisville District

FC-12 B Nashville District

FC-13 B Mobile Reporting Network

FC-15 B St. Francis River

FC-16 B Lower Arkansas River

FC-17 B Snake River

FC-18 B Delaware River

FC-20 B Quachita River

FC-21 B Upper Trinity Basin

FC-22 B Brazos River

FC-23 B North Conche River

FC-24 B Buffalo Bayou

FC-25 B Bayou Bodcou Reservoir

FC-26 B Texarkana Reservoir

FC-27 B Farrell’s Bridge Reservoir

FC-28 B Morringsport Reservoir

FC-30 B Roanoke River

FC-32 B Middle Mississippi River

FC-35 B Leon River

FC-36 B Savannah River

FC-39 B Geneses River

FC-40 B HO RDS Creek Reservoir

FC-42 B Guadalupe River

FC-43 B Intra-Costal Canal

FC-44 B Naches River

FC-46 B San Francisco District

FC-48 B Albuquerque District

FC-49 B Philadelphia District

FC-50 B Omaha District

FC-51 B Puerto Rico District

FC-52 B Norfolk District

FC-53 B Pearl River Valley (Vicksburg district)

FC-58 B Heppner Project (Portland district)

IRPN-1 B Dept of the Interior

IRPN-2 B Dept of the Interior

IRPN-3 B Dept of the Interior

IRPN-4 B Dept of the Interior

IRPN-5 B Dept of the Interior

IRPN-6 B Dept of the Interior

IRPN-7 B Dept of the Interior

IRPN-8 B Dept of the Interior

IRPN-9 B Dept of the Interior

PRHN B Puerto Rico Hydrologic Network

SCS-1 B Natural Resources Conservation Service

SJRA B San Jacinto River Authority

Unk unknown/not defined (exception to upper case rule for this table).



4 DCP Owner Table
The DCP Owner table describes which entity is responsible for the DCP. Note, the use of the Generic Entries column may be adequate for many sites. The program manager must decide the level of detail they want to provide. Entries were developed based on review of entries in several WFO tables and a review of the NESDIS/HADS identification system. A simple approach was taken with the acronyms so that they would be easily recognizable. The description is provided as supplemental information for this document. The table is a single column, 10-character field with a combination of upper case and mixed case. The owners that need to be added to this table are shown in red.
Generic

Entries Description

Assoc Associate such as private companies, power plants, watershed districts

BLM Bureau of Land Management

COE U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

NWS National Weather Service

USBR U.S. Bureau of Reclamation

USGS U.S. Geological Survey

BIA Bureau of Indian Affairs

BPA Bonneville Power Administration

DOD Department of Defense

NCDC National Climatic Data Center

NOS National Ocean Service

NPS National Park Service

NRCS National Resources and Conservation Service

TVA Tennessee Valley Authority

USFS U.S. Forest Service

USFWS U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

CANADA-WS Water Survey of Canada

City City owned

County County owned

State State owned

Coll/Univ College or University

NWFWMD Northwest Florida Water Management District

SFWMD South Florida Water Management District

SWFWMD Southwest Florida Water Management District

SRWMD Suwannee River Water Management District

SJRWMD St John's River Water Management District

RA River Authority

PortAuth Port Authority

PrivUtil Private Utility

BasinCom Basin Commission

Other owned by agency not specified

Unk unknown owner


U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Entries Description

Great Lakes and Ohio River Division

COEBUF USACE - Buffalo District

COECHI USACE - Chicago District

COEDTW USACE - Detroit District

COEHTS USACE - Huntington District

COELOU USACE - Louisville District

COEBNA USACE - Nashville District

COEPIT USACE - Pittsburgh District

COEMEM USACE - Memphis District

COENEW USACE - New Orleans District

COERKI USACE - Rock Island District

COESTL USACE - St. Louis District

COESTP USACE - St. Paul District

COEVIC USACE - Vicksburg District


North Atlantic Division

COEBWI USACE - Baltimore District

COEBOS USACE - New England District (Boston)

COENYC USACE - New York District

COEORF USACE - Norfolk District

COEPHL USACE - Philadelphia District


Northwestern Division

COEMKC USACE- Kansas City District

COEOMA USACE - Omaha District

COEPDX USACE - Portland District

COESEA USACE - Seattle District

COEALW USACE - Walla Walla District


Pacific Ocean Division

COEAED USACE - Alaska District (Elmendorf AFB)

COEHNL USACE - Honolulu District

South Atlantic Division

COECHS USACE - Charleston District

COEJAX USACE - Jacksonville District

COEMOB USACE - Mobile District

COESAV USACE - Savannah District

COEILM USACE - Wilmington District
South Pacific Division

COEABQ USACE - Albuquerque District

COELAX USACE - Los Angeles District

COESAC USACE - Sacramento District

COESFO USACE - San Francisco District
Southwestern Division

COEDFW USACE - Fort Worth District

COEGLS USACE - Galveston District

COELIT USACE - Little Rock District

COETUL USACE - Tulsa District
Other

COECRREL USACE - Cold Regions Research and Engineering Lab




U.S. Geological Survey

Entries Description

USGSAL Alabama - Montgomery

USGSAK Alaska - Anchorage

USGSAZ Arizona - Tucson

USGSAR Arkansas - Little Rock

USGSCA California - Sacramento

USGSCO Colorado - Lakewood

USGSCT Connecticut - East Hartford

USGSDE Delaware - Dover

USGSFL Florida - Tallahassee

USGSGA Georgia - Atlanta

USGSHI Hawaii - Honolulu

USGSID Idaho - Boise

USGSIL Illinois - Urbana

USGSIN Indiana - Indianapolis

USGSIA Iowa - Iowa City

USGSKS Kansas - Lawrence

USGSKY Kentucky - Louisville

USGSLA Louisiana - Baton Rouge

USGSME Maine - Augusta

USGSMD Maryland - Baltimore

USGSMA Massachusetts - Northborough

USGSMI Michigan - Lansing

USGSMN Minnesota - Mounds View

USGSMS Mississippi - Pearl

USGSMO Missouri - Rolla

USGSMT Montana - Helena

USGSNE Nebraska - Lincoln

USGSNV Nevada - Carson City

USGSNH New Hampshire - Pembroke

USGSNJ New Jersey - West Trenton

USGSNM New Mexico - Albuquerque

USGSNY New York - Troy

USGSNC North Carolina - Raleigh

USGSND North Dakota - Bismarck

USGSOH Ohio - Columbus

USGSOK Oklahoma - Oklahoma City

USGSOR Oregon - Portland

USGSPA Pennsylvania - New Cumberland

USGSRI Rhode Island - Providence

USGSSC South Carolina - Columbia

USGSSD South Dakota - Rapid City

USGSTN Tennessee - Nashville

USGSTX Texas - Austin

USGSUT Utah - West Valley City

USGSVT Vermont - Pembroke

USGSVA Virginia - Richmond

USGSWA Washington - Tacoma

USGSWV West Virginia - Charleston

USGSWI Wisconsin - Middleton

USGSWY Wyoming - Cheyenne

USGSCAR Caribbean - Guaynabo, Puerto Rico


U.S. Bureau of Reclamation

Entries Description

USBRPNR Pacific Northwest Region - Boise, ID

USBRMPR Mid Pacific Region - Sacramento, CA

USBRUCR Upper Colorado Region - Salt Lake City, UT

USBRLCR Lower Colorado Region - Boulder City, NV

USBRGPR Great Plains Region - Billings, MT



State Agencies

Entries Description

STATEAL Alabama

STATEAK Alaska

STATEAZ Arizona

STATEAR Arkansas

STATECA California

STATECO Colorado

STATECT Connecticut

STATEDE Delaware

STATEFL Florida

STATEGA Georgia

STATEHI Hawaii

STATEID Idaho

STATEIL Illinois

STATEIN Indiana

STATEIA Iowa

STATEKS Kansas

STATEKY Kentucky

STATELA Louisiana

STATEME Maine

STATEMD Maryland

STATEMA Massachusetts

STATEMI Michigan

STATEMN Minnesota

STATEMS Mississippi

STATEMO Missouri

STATEMT Montana

STATENE Nebraska

STATENV Nevada

STATENH New Hampshire

STATENJ New Jersey

STATENM New Mexico

STATENY New York

STATENC North Carolina

STATEND North Dakota

STATEOH Ohio

STATEOK Oklahoma

STATEOR Oregon

STATEPA Pennsylvania

STATERI Rhode Island

STATESC South Carolina

STATESD South Dakota

STATETN Tennessee

STATETX Texas

STATEUT Utah

STATEVT Vermont

STATEVA Virginia

STATEWA Washington

STATEWV West Virginia

STATEWI Wisconsin

STATEWY Wyoming



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