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Weather Prediction Center
College Park, MD

WPC Products in GIS Format

A subset of WPC's product suite is now provided in a GIS (Geographic Information System) Shapefile format. Products are available for download via the NCEP anonymous FTP server at ftp.hpc.ncep.noaa.gov/shapefiles.

If clicking on the above link does not work, then access can be gained by:

  1. FTPing to ftp.hpc.ncep.noaa.gov
  2. At the "User" prompt, type anonymous
  3. For the password, use your e-mail address
  4. Change directories to "shapefiles" ( cd shapefiles )
At this point, you will see four subdirectories:

The .tar files in each subdirectory contain the required three files (.dbf, .shp, .shx) to import and display using most GIS software packages. Additionally, a fourth file (.prj) is included and provides map projection information in order to align correctly with other geodata files.

For fop products, the file naming convention is fop_yyyymmdd.tar, where:

  • yyyymmdd is the year (yyyy), month (mm), and day (dd) the product was created

For heatindex products, there are subdirectories corresponding to the issuance date. Within these subdirectories are files containing the Daily Mean, Minimum, and Maximum Heat Index forecasts for Days 3-7 over the contiguous U.S. The file naming convention is prodhi_yyyymmddfhhh.tar, where:
  • prod is mean for Daily Mean, min for Daily Minimum, or max for Daily Maximum Heat Index forecasts.
  • yyyymmdd is the year (yyyy), month (mm), and day (dd) the product was created
  • fhhh is the forecast hour. For example, "f072" corresponds to Day 3, "f096" to Day 4, etc...
Example: The file meanhi_20070606f120.tar is the Day 5 Daily Mean Heat Index forecast issued on June 6, 2007 and valid June 11, 2007.

For  qpf, the file naming convention is ppp_yyyymmddcc.tar, where:
  • ppp is the product identifier
  • yyyymmdd is the year (yyyy), month (mm), and day (dd) the product was created
  • cc is the forecast cycle (00Z, 06Z, 12Z, 18Z)
In the day1 subdirectory, the file 93e_2006071100.tar is the second period 6-hour QPF from the July 11th, 2006 00Z cycle (the 6-hour period covering 06-12Z on July 11th).

The file 94q_2006071100.tar is the Day 1 24-hour QPF from the July 11th, 2006 00Z cycle (00Z July 11th through 00Z July 12th).


  1. The Day 4-5 QPF has a four-character product identifier (p48i).
  2. The Day 1-2 QPF's product identifier is day12.
  3. The Day 1-3 QPF's product identifier is day13.

View information about WPC's QPF products, including a more detailed description of valid time periods and file naming conventions.

For winter weather products (in the ww subdirectory), the files are named as follows:

dayx_psnow_gt_nn_yyyymmddcc.tar for snow products. dayx_picez_gt_nn_yyyymmddcc.tar for freezing rain products.
  • dayx is the forecast day -- day1, day2, or day3
  • nn represents the accumulation threshold.  For snow, the value will be 04, 08, or 12. For instance, a file in which nn is 04 contains the forecast probability of snowfall exceeding 4 inches.
  • For freezing rain, the value will always be 25, as the product depicts the probability of freezing rain accumulating more than .25 inch
  • yyyymmdd is the year (yyyy), month (mm), and day (dd) the product was created
  • cc is the forecast cycle (00Z or 12Z)
Note:  Separate directories exist for each of the forecast days (day1, day2 and day3).

View information about WPC's winter weather products.