Welcome to WIFS

WIFS is the World Area Forecast System (WAFS) Internet File Service, a service provided by the United States to support international flight operations. An account is required to use WIFS. For more information, including Eligibility Requirements, go to the Description section and review the WIFS Users Guide (Section 4) located in the Documents section.

Access to the WIFS data requires a user name and password.

Click Here to Register
View Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Return to Aviation Weather Center

WIFS Description

The World Area Forecast System (WAFS) Internet File Service (WIFS) provides approved users with access to aviation-related weather information required to support international air traffic management and flight operations. The United State (US) and the United Kingdon (UK) share in the local distribution of WAFS poroducts and operational meteorological (OPMET) information through WIFS (US) and SADIS (UK).

WIFS is jointly managed and operated by the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the National Weather Service (NWS) Aviation Weather Center (AWC). WIFS users must meet certain eligibility requirements (see Eligibility Requirements below) and be approved by the ICAO State and FAA WIFS Approving Official before accessing WIFS. Once the user access has been approved, the AWC will provide a user name and password to the applicant which will be required to access the data.

Eligibility Requirements

Access to WIFS is granted on a case-by-case basis as outlined in the WIFS User Guide (Section 4). In general, authorized users of WIFS shall meet one or both of the following requirements.

  • Applicant performs international flight operations.
  • Applicant supports international flight operations by providing and/or developing aviation weather information for such operations (i.e. flight document folder).

WIFS Documents

Users Guide

To view the User's Guide click here (Version 5.0, January 2018)

NOTE: Please check Advisories for updates that have not made it into the Users Guide.

WIFS Products

WIFS hosts the following aviation weather products intended for international flight planning and documentation in accordance with ICAO Annex 3, Meteorological Service for International Air Navigation.

WAFS Grids (GRIB2)

Gridded model forecasts in General Regularly-distributed Information in Binary Form Edition 2 (GRIB2) format. Forecasts of the following fields are available every 3 hours from forecast hours 6 through 36 on two grid reoslutions: 1.25x1.25 degree and 0.25x0.25 degree::

  • Standard 1.25x1.25 degree grids
    • temperature at 17 pressure levels (100 mb, 125 mb, 150 mb, 175 mb, 200 mb, 225 mb, 250 mb, 275 mb, 300 mb, 350 mb, 400 mb, 450 mb, 500 mb, 600 mb, 700 mb, 750 mb, 850 mb)
    • geopotential height at 17 pressure levels (100 mb, 125 mb, 150 mb, 175 mb, 200 mb, 225 mb, 250 mb, 275 mb, 300 mb, 350 mb, 400 mb, 450 mb, 500 mb, 600 mb, 700 mb, 750 mb, 850 mb)
    • U/V wind components at 17 pressure levels (100 mb, 125 mb, 150 mb, 175 mb, 200 mb, 225 mb, 250 mb, 275 mb, 300 mb, 350 mb, 400 mb, 450 mb, 500 mb, 600 mb, 700 mb, 750 mb, 850 mb)
    • relative humidity at 5 pressure levels (500 mb, 600 mb, 700 mb, 750 mb and 850 mb)
    • maximum U/V wind components
    • height of maximum wind
    • height of tropopause
    • temperature at the tropopause
  • Aviation 1.25x1.25 degree grids - blended GFS/UKMET
    • clear air turbulence probability (average and maximum) at 6 pressure levels (150 mb, 200 mb, 250 mb, 300 mb, 350 mb, 400 mb)
    • in-cloud turbulence probability (average and maximum) at 6 pressure levels (300 mb, 400 mb, 500 mb, 600 mb, and 700 mb)
    • icing probability (average and maximum) at 6 reference pressure levels (300 mb, 400 mb, 500 mb, 600 mb, 700 mb, and 800 mb)
    • Horizontal Extent of Cumulonimbus for the entire atmospheric column
    • Height of the Cumulonimbus Base
    • Height of the Cumulonimbus Top
  • Aviation 0.25x0.25 degree grids - blended GFS/UKMET - new in November 2020
    • turbulence (eddy dissipation rate) values 0 to 1 at 9 pressure levels: 148 mb, 197 mb, 250 mb, 301 mb, 344 mb, 393 mb, 506 mb, 595 mb, 697 mb
    • icing severity values are categories 0 to 4: none, trace, light, moderate, severe; at 6 pressure levels: 301 mb, 393 mb, 506 mb, 595 mb, 697 mb, 812 mb
    • Horizontal Extent of Cumulonimbus for the entire atmospheric column
    • Height of the Cumulonimbus Base
    • Height of the Cumulonimbus Top

The new 0.25x0.25 degree grids are tiled into 8 regions:

  1. Europe - 30-90N, 30W-60E
  2. Africa - 60S-30N, 30W-60E
  3. central Asia - 0-60N, 60E-150W
  4. Australia - 60S-0, 60E-150W
  5. North America - 15-90N, 150W-30W
  6. South America - 60S-15N, 150W-30W
  7. Siberia - 60-90N, 60E-150W
  8. Antarctica - 90-60S, 180W-180E

Significant Weather (SIGWX) BUFR and PNG Charts

Upper-air aviation charts that include jet stream locations, clear air turbulence, thunderstorm, and tropopause height. These are produced by forecasters at WAFC Washington and WAFC London.

SIGWX BUFR WMO Headers

WMO HeaderDescription
JUBE99 EGRRWAFC LONDON CUMULONIMBUS CLOUDS FL250-FL630
JUBE99 KKCIWAFC WASHINGTON CUMULONIMBUS CLOUDS FL250-FL630
JUCE00 EGRRWAFC LONDON CLEAR AIR TURBULENCE FL250-FL630
JUCE00 KKCIWAFC WASHINGTON CLEAR AIR TURBULENCE FL250-FL630
JUFE00 EGRRWAFC LONDON SURFACE FRONTS
JUFE00 KKCIWAFC WASHINGTON SURFACE FRONTS
JUJE00 EGRRWAFC LONDON SURFACE FRONTS..LIMITED AREAS
JUJE00 KKCIWAFC WASHINGTON SURFACE FRONTS..LIMITED AREAS
JUME00 EGRRWAFC LONDON CLEAR AIR TURBULENCE FL100-FL450
JUME00 KKCIWAFC WASHINGTON CLEAR AIR TURBULENCE FL100-FL450
JUNE00 EGRRWAFC LONDON CLOUD..ICING..TURBULENCE FL100-FL450
JUNE00 KKCIWAFC WASHINGTON CLOUD..ICING..TURBULENCE FL100-FL450
JUOE00 EGRRWAFC LONDON TROPOPAUSE HEIGHT FL100-FL450
JUOE00 KKCIWAFC WASHINGTON TROPOPAUSE HEIGHT FL100-FL450
JUTE00 EGRRWAFC LONDON JETSTREAM FL100-FL450
JUTE00 KKCIWAFC WASHINGTON JETSTREAM FL100-FL450
JUTE97 EGRRWAFC LONDON TROPOPAUSE HEIGHT FL250-FL630
JUTE97 KKCIWAFC WASHINGTON TROPOPAUSE HEIGHT FL250-FL630
JUVE00 EGRRWAFC LONDON Volcanoes, Tropical Cyclones, Sandstorms
JUVE00 KKCIWAFC WASHINGTON Volcanoes, Tropical Cyclones, Sandstorms
JUWE96 EGRRWAFC LONDON JETSTREAM FL250-FL630
JUWE96 KKCIWAFC WASHINGTON JETSTREAM FL250-FL630

SIGWX PNG WMO Headers

WMO HeaderDescription
PGAE05 KKCIICAO Area H Significant Weather FL250-FL630
PGBE05 KKCIICAO Area I Significant Weather FL250-FL630
PGDE29 KKCIICAO Area M Significant Weather FL250-FL630
PGEE05 KKCIICAO Area A Significant Weather FL250-FL630
PGGE05 KKCIICAO Area F Significant Weather FL250-FL630
PGIE05 KKCIICAO Area B1 Significant Weather FL250-FL630
PGJE05 KKCIICAO Area J Significant Weather FL250-FL630
PGNE14 KKCINorth Atlantic Significant Weather FL100-FL450

Volcanic Ash and Tropical Cyclone Advisories (PNG)

Graphics of volcanic ash produced by the nine Volcanic Ash Advisory Centers across the world. They are transmitted as PNG graphics. The same applies for tropical cyclone advisories even though at this time only advisories from Japan are provided.

Operational Meteorology (OPMET) Messages

  • Traditional Alphanumeric Coding (TAC)

    Alphanumeric messages consisting of routine aviation weather reports (METAR and SPECI), terminal aerodrome forecasts (TAFs), en-route hazardous weather warnings of significant meteorological information (SIGMETs), pilot reports (PIREP), volcanic ash advisory messages (VAA) messages, and tropical cyclone advisory (TCA) messages.

  • International Weather XML Exchange Format (IWXXM)

    Traditional OPMET products including METAR/SPECI, TAF, SIGMET, VAA and TCA are now being encoded in IWXXM format and being made available in a product by product basis and assembled into a compressed Unix tar file. Most products are in the latest available version (3.0). Here is a list of the WMO header prefix used by each product:

WMO HeaderDescription
LA, LPMETAR and SPECI
LC, LTTAF short and long range
LS, LV, LYSIGMET general, volcanic ash and tropcial cyclone
LUVolcanic Ash Advisory (VAA)
LKTropical Cyclone Advisory (TCA)
LWAIRMET

WIFS Directory Structure

Here is a list of the directories under "/wifs/data" and their contents:
  • ADMIN_MSGS

    Administrative messages which announce new products, late products, system issues, etc.

  • BUFR

    BUFR encoded products

    • SIGWX

      SigWx data

      • KWBC

        US generated BUFR data

      • EGRR

        UK generated BUFR data (provided as backup for SADIS users)

  • GRIB2

    GRIB2 encoded gridded data

    • KWBC

      US generated grids

      • *.grib2

        Wind/Temp grids at 1.25 deg.

      • cat, cb, ice

        Blended viation hazard grids for clear air turbulence (CAT), cumulonimbus height and extent, and icing potential. These are legacy 1.25 deg grids.

        • *.grib2

          Hazard grids at 1.25 deg.

      • cb_0.25, ice_0.25, turb_0.25

        Blended viation hazard grids for cumulonimbus height and extent, icing severity, and turbulence severity (EDR). These are new 0.25 deg grids.

        • *.grib2

          Global hazard grids at 0.25 deg.

        • *regX.grib2

          Regional hazard grids at 0.25 deg. See regional tile locations above

    • EGRR

      UK generated grids (provided as backup for SADIS users)

      • *.grib2

        Wind/Temp grids at 1.25 deg.

      • T+06, T+09, T+12,...

        Wind/Temp grids at 1.25 deg broken down by hour (SADIS convention)

      • CAT, CB, ICE

        Blended viation hazard grids for clear air turbulence (CAT), cumulonimbus height and extent, and icing potential. These are legacy 1.25 deg grids.

        • *.grib2

          Hazard grids at 1.25 deg.

        • T+06, T+09, T+12,...

          Hazard grids at 1.25 deg broken down by hour (SADIS convention)

      • CB_0.25, ICE_0.25, TURB_0.25

        Blended viation hazard grids for cumulonimbus height and extent, icing severity, and turbulence severity (EDR). These are new 0.25 deg grids.

        • *.grib2

          Hazard grids at 0.25 deg.

        • T+06, T+09, T+12,...

          Hazard grids at 0.25 deg broken down by hour (SADIS convention)

  • IWXXM

    IWXXM OPMET data, all files gzip compressed

    • 5MINUTE

      IWXXM OPMET data - 5 minute files, tar file of minute files - 36 hours

    • HOURLY

      IWXXM OPMET data - hourly files, tar file of twelve 5 minute files - 36 hours

    • MINUTE

      IWXXM OPMET data - minute files, tar file of IWXXM products - 36 hours

    • *.tgz

      IWXXM OPMET data - rolling files, tar file of minute files (30MIN, 60MIN, LAST HOUR use 5 min files)

  • OPMET-HOURLY

    TAC OPMET data - hourly files - 36 hours

  • OPMET-MINUTE

    TAC OPMET data - minute files - 36 hours

  • OPMET-ROLLING

    TAC OPMET data - rolling files - last minute, 5 minutes, 30 minutes, 60 minutes, and last hour

  • PNG

    PNG charts

    • SIGWX

      SigWx charts

      • KWBC

        US generated SigWx charts

      • EGRR

        UK generated SigWx charts (provided as backup for SADIS users)

    • TROP

      Tropical cyclone advisory charts

    • VOLC

      Volcanic ash advisory charts

WIFS Support

WIFS is available for use 24x7. Between the hours of 7:00 am and 3:00 pm Central Time, Monday through Friday, live WIFS technical support is provided by the AWC. To contact AWC WIFS technical support, use the following email address and phone number.

E-mail: wifs.admin@noaa.gov

Phone: +1 (877) 280-2811

Click here to view frequently asked questions.

If a message is sent to the WIFS Help Desk outside of normal hours, users can generally expect a response within three business days. If users require immediate help outside of WIFS Help Desk hours they should contact the NWS Telecommunications Operations Center Help Desk at +1(301) 713-0902.

WIFS Troublshooting

SymptomProbable CauseActions to Take
Data out of date, cannot be retrieved, or is not being properly displayed on the missing on the workstationWAFS data retrieve process failedTest the internet connection (Note 1)
Check the data retrieve log file for errors (Note 2)
Contact the WAFS workstation support team
Data on WIFS is out of dateTest the internet connection (Note 1)
Browse to the WIFS online file list and check to see if data is up to date (Note 3)
If data is out of date send an email to wifs.admin@noaa.gov and contact the NWSTG to report the problem.(Note 4)
There is a WIFS data ingest problemCheck the Advisories page for new advisories pertaining to data outages.
If data is out of date send an email to wifs.admin@noaa.gov and contact the NWSTG to report the problem.(Note 4)

1. To test your internet connection, try the following URL in a browser: "https://www.aviationweather.gov". If the browser opens the page, you have a working internet connection. If it is not, contact your system administrator or your Internet Service Provider for assistance.

2. If you don't know where this file is or how to access it, contact the WAFS Workstation Support Team (reference the WIFS Vendor POC Information list below).

3. In your browser type in the following URL: https://www.aviationweather.gov/wifs/data. Click on the appropriate category and find the data you are looking for. Take note of the file name with the latest date/time.

4. The National Weather Service Telecommunications Gateway (NWSTG) Helpdesk phone number is (301) 713-0902.

WIFS Vendor POC Information

GST - Global Science and Technology
Contact person: Paul Heppner, Program Manager
Address: Global Science & Technology, Inc., 7855 Walker Drive, Suite 200, Greenbelt, MD, 20770
Email:pheppner@gst.com

IPS MeteoStar
Contact persion: Richard Stedronsky
Address: IPS MeteoStar, Inc., 99 Inverness Drive East STE 130, Englewood, CO 80112
Phone: (303) 242-5002
Email: sted@meteostar.com

IES - Info-Electronics Systems
Contact person: Wendy Borsuk
Address: Info-Electronics Systems Inc., 1755 St. Regis, Suite 100, Dollard des Ormeaux, Quebec, H9B 2M9, Canada
Phone: (514) 421-0767
Fax: (514) 421-0769
Email: contact@info-electronics.com
Phone: (514) 421-0767, ext. 223
Fax: (514) 421-0769
Email: wendy@info-electronics.com

Morcom International
Contact person: Manuel Ojeda
Phone: (703) 263-9305
Email: info@morcom.com
Web: www.morcom.com

COROBOR Systems
Contact person: Isabelle Jouannot
Phone: +33 1 45 73 60 62
Email: sales@corobor.com
Web: www.corobor.com

IBL Software Engineering
Product: Aero Weather
Contact person: Michal Weis
Address: Galvaniho 17/C, Bratislava, SK-82104 Slovak Republic
Web: www.iblsoft.com
Email: aeroweather@iblsoft.com
Phone: +421-2-32662111
Fax: +421-2-32662110

MFI - Meteo France International
Product: AeroMetWeb Pilot Met Briefing
Contact person: Mr. Jean S├ębastien Cases
Website: http://www.mfi.fr
Contact: http://www.mfi.fr/en/contact.php
Email: sales@mfi.fr
Phone: +33 561 43 2940
Fax: +33 561 43 2941

NetSys International (Pty) Ltd
Products: nsGIB, nsWEBPIB
Contact person: Isak Lombard or Tiaan Wessels
Address: Palermo Suite, IL Villaggio, Persequor Technopark, Pretoria, 0020, South Africa
Email: sales@netsys.aero
Phone: (27) 12-349-2056
Fax: (27) 12-349-2757
Mobile: (27) 82-4819253 or (27) 823261326.

WIFS Advisories

NWS/TOC and NCEP/AWC Notices


WIFS Advisories

WIFS Status

Web Data Status (enter time here)

WIFS Grib

WIFS BUFR

WIFS PNG

WIFS OPMET