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Service Records Retention System (SRRS)

The Service Records Retention System (SRRS) stores weather observations, summaries, forecasts, warnings, and advisories provided by the U.S. National Weather Service (NWS) for public use. Congress mandates that NCEI store and retain SRRS products for a five-year period. SRRS records can be used for accident investigations and litigations.


SRRS products are available through NCEI data services. NCEP weather charts (not a part of SRRS) also are included in the product table below. There are three SRRS product categories: observations, forecasts, and graphics.

Observations are typically text products, while forecasts include both text and graphic representation. The graphics category contains images of surface analysis, standard layer upper air analyses, weather depictions, radar summaries, and ocean products. Each category has both global and regional data coverage.

Local File Decoding Instructions

To decode SRRS binary files on your local machine, use this Perl script to scan local files and then index and extract messages. To download the script, right click and save the link as a file without the "_.txt" extension. Contact for help with file decoding. 

Product Grid/Scale Period of Record Model Cycle Output Timestep Data Access Links
SRRS Charts (Image Files) Various 02Dec2005–Present Daily, various cycles Various HTTPS
NCEP Charts (Image Files) Various 02Jan1995–Present Daily, various cycles Various HTTPS
NCEP Old Charts (Image and Binary Files) Various 01Feb1994–15Jul2006 Daily, various cycles Various temporarily offline
NCEP Charts (Daily TAR Files) Various 12Apr2005–Present Daily, various cycles Various AIRS
SRRS Text Products (Raw Data) N/A 26Apr2001–Present Daily Various
SRRS Text Products (Bulletin Selection) N/A 26Apr2001–Present Daily Various AIRS
SRRS Binary (GRIB) Various 26Apr2001–Present Daily, various cycles Various TDS
SRRS Binary (BIN bundles) Various 26Apr2001–Present Daily, various cycles Various

Data Usage Notes

  • Newer NCEP Charts (2004 and later) are generally GIF and JPEG image formats, while older charts (pre-2004) are in a less widely used 8-bit graphics and DFAX (radio fax charts) formats.
  • SRRS BIN archive units contain multiple binary clustered file units that consist of a concatenation of various binary formats, the vast majority being GRIBv1, GRIBv2, and BUFR.
  • The Pictorial (PCX) archive units contain several file units that are concatenated clusters of graphical formats. Unidata's GEMPAK is required to use some of them. Identifying many of these products can be difficult and there is no official documentation. Photoshop and other such programs may or may not be able to identify them.