The Global Telecommunications System (GTS) is a major component of transmitting global meteorological data, consisting of both in situ and satellite observations. This data is collected by a number of organizations, which archive and further process the data. The National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) collect this GTS data and formats it into BUFR (Binary Universal Form for the ... Representation of meteorological data) for their processing needs. After processing, the BUFR is transmitted to NCAR for archival and additional processing into the International Maritime Meteorological Archive (IMMA) format for the International Comprehensive Ocean-Atmosphere Data Set (ICOADS). NCAR also archives this IMMA-formatted data. NCDC will use these data as source input for the new ICOADS Near-Real-Time (NRT) product and will archive the two data streams from NCAR--the NCEP-BUFR data as well as IMMA (International Maritime Meteorological Archive) formatted data files (converted from the NCEP-BUFR file format) that are produced by NCAR. The IMMA format has been adopted by many organizations as the preferred format for marine observations. The data consists of basic observations taken from ships, buoys, C-MAN (Coastal Marine Automated Network), and tide-gauge stations. Observations may include: air and sea surface temperature, wind direction/speed, waves, sea level pressure, etc.
The NCEP GTS marine Observations (BUFR format) was used to develop the ICOADS-NRT product (see http://icoads.noaa.gov
) created and maintained by NCDC--this source of GTS data from NCEP fills in gaps in the data received by NCDC's GTS stream and also enables Quality Control Checks for the ICOADS-NRT product. The NCEP GTS data is a significant input source for the new ICOADS NRT product and archiving these files is very important in the case a monthly NRT file needs to be reproduced.