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United States Department of Commerce
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
National Weather Service
1325 East-West Highway
Silver Spring, Maryland 20910-3283
The Deputy Director

Click here to view PDF

November 13, 2014

Dear Voluntary Observing Ship Participant:

On behalf of National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) National Weather Service (NWS), thank you for your active participation in the Voluntary Observing Ships (VOS) program. Your efforts benefit all mariners and contribute to understanding of weather and climate. I want you to know the NWS is transitioning to new VOS software compliant with the World Meteorological Organization/Joint Technical Commission for Oceanography and Marine Meteorology requirements. The new software is called TurboWin, and enables your observations to be integrated into global weather prediction models.

Enclosed is your package of TurboWin to replace the current AMVER/SEAS VOS weather reporting software with a link to the TurboWin manual with instructions on how to install and use the software. I believe you will find TurboWin much easier to use and because it uses photographs to characterize sea state and clouds, there will be more uniformity in the way observations are taken. These improvements will contribute to improved marine weather forecasting capabilities.

Thank you for you collaboration with the NWS VOS program and please keep in contact with your NWS Port Meteorological Officer (PMO). Please let your PMO know if you have any question or concerns about this transition.


Laura K. Furgione

Instructions for setting up TurboWin:

Please follow the U.S. VOS TurboWin setup instructions found at this link:

TurboWin+ Installation Instructions

You may also download the program here:

TurboWin Homepage

The oberservation code has not changed, and the observation produced is the same as AMVER/SEAS. There are easily navigated differences in the way the program is displayed, and how users advance through the observations sections. This program is user friendly, and contains more pictures for aiding in cloud and sea state identification. You will also not some changes in the selections on the screen prompt. Furthermore, TurboWin provides more optional selections to aid in reporting non-weather phenomena.

If you are using the AMVER portion of the current program, you still may do so separately as it will not affect the TurboWin program. The user must send in the AMVER message separately, as the TurboWin does not currently incorporate the two messages. A future version of TurboWin will include the AMVER reporting capability, and will be announced when released.

Thank you for your participation in the VOS program, your efforts benefit all mariners!

U.S. Dept. of Commerce
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
National Weather Service
National Data Buoy Center
    Bldg. 3205
    Stennis Space Center, MS 39529
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