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)
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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:
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.
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
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
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
COEDFW USACE - Fort Worth District
COEGLS USACE - Galveston District
COELIT USACE - Little Rock District
COETUL USACE - Tulsa District
COECRREL USACE - Cold Regions Research and Engineering Lab
U.S. Geological Survey
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
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
STATENH New Hampshire
STATENJ New Jersey
STATENM New Mexico
STATENY New York
STATENC North Carolina
STATEND North Dakota
STATERI Rhode Island
STATESC South Carolina
STATESD South Dakota
STATEWV West Virginia