The Joint WMO-IOC Technical Commission for Oceanography and Marine Meteorology

Access on the Global Telecommuncation System GTS

GTS data are exchanged according to WMO Resolution 40 (Cg. XII). The text of the resolution can be found in the WMO Publication No. 508, Resolutions of Congress and the Executive Council (2007).

Annex 1 to the resolution defined “essential” data and products to be exchanged without charge and with no conditions on use. All available in situ observations from the marine environment as well as upper air observations are regarded as “essential” by the resolution. These can be obtained by contacting any Permanent Representative of a National Meteorological and Hydrological Service (NMHS) with WMO.

Code form Name Typical observing platforms
FM 13–XI Ext. SHIP GTS Report of surface observation from a Sea Station Voluntary Observing Ships (VOS), including VOSClim, meteorological moorings
FM 18-XII BUOY Report of a buoy observation Drifting buoys, tropical moorings
FM 36–XI Ext. TEMP SHIP Upper-level pressure, temperature, humidity and wind report from a sea station Automated Shipboard Aerological Programme (ASAP) ships
FM 62-VIII Ext. TRACKOB Report of marine surface observation along a ship's track Thermosalinographs (TSG)
FM 63–XI Ext. BATHY Report of bathythermal observation Expendable BathyThermographs (XBT), thermistor chain moorings
FM 64–XI Ext. TESAC Temperature, salinity and current report from a sea station Conductivity-Temperature-Depth probes (CTD), Argo profiling floats, moorings
FM 65-XI Ext. WAVEOB Report of spectral wave information from a sea station or from a remote platform (aircraft or satellite)

Wave buoys

FM 94–XI Ext. BUFR Binary Universal Form for the Representation of meteorological data Any type of ocean observations
FM 95–XII CREX Character form for the REpresentation and eXchange of Data Any type of ocean observations

For GTS distribution purposes, GTS observational reports of the same type (e.g. BUOY reports) are grouped in so called GTS bulletins. GTS data are routed through the GTS for each type of observational data on the basis of the GTS bulletin abbreviated headings (T1T2A1A2ii). Rules regarding GTS bulletin abbreviated headings are described in the Manual on the Global Telecommunications System, WMO Publication No. 386, and particularly in Attachment II-5.

Of particular interest regarding in situ ocean data, are the following tables:

  • Table A: Data type designator T1 Matrix Table for T1T2A1A2ii definitions. Table particularly indicates that T1=S for surface data (e.g. SHIP, BUOY, TRACKOB, BATHY, TESAC, WAVEOB), T1=U for Upper air data (e.g. TEMP SHIP). T1=I for BUFR data (i.e. data of any type encoded in BUFR format), and T1=K for CREX data (i.e. data of any type encoded in CREX format)
  • Table B1: Data type designator T2 (when T1 = A, C, F, N, S, T, U or W). Table particularly indicates that T2=O for ocean data, T2=S for drifting buoy data, T2=T for sea ice data, T2=W for wave data, and T2=Z for sea level data
  • Table B3: Data type designator T2 (when T1 = I or J)
  • Table B6: Data type designator T2 (when T1 = K)
  • Table C2: Geographical designators A1A2 for use in abbreviated headings T1T2A1A2ii CCCC YYGGgg for bulletins containing ships’ weather reports and oceanographic data including reports from automatic marine stations
  • Table C3: Geographical area designator A1 (when T1 = D, G, H, O, P, Q, T, X or Y) and geographical area designator A2 (when T1 = I or J)
  • Table C6: Data type designator A1 (when T1 = I or J)
  • Table C7: Data type designator A1 (when T1 = K)

Information regarding currently used GTS bulletin headers can be found in the WMO Publication No. 9, Weather Reporting, Volume C1 - Catalogue of Meteorological Bulletins.

A the list of GTS bulletin headers that the Integrated Science Data Management (ISDM, Canada) has selected to routinely fill in their ocean database is available as an example.

Hosted by
UNESCO/IOC Project Office for IODE Oostende, Belgium