Polar: System status, information, and FAQs
Polar and the fields on it is meant to be available at all times, to all people. It is not, however, 'operational' as this term is used in our organization. Please see the NWS Web distribution disclaimer for more about what this entails. One feature of importance to most users is that the system does not have 24x7 support.
For operational availability of the information which is noted as operational on http://polar.ncep.noaa.gov/mmab/products.shtml , again, please see NWS Web distribution disclaimer for operational distribution channels.
Q: I hear that polar won't be around much longer. What is its future and its replacement?
A: A machine named polar is expected to be around for some time to come. What hardware stands behind that name can be expected to change, as has already happened 3 times in the history of the name.
Q: If polar is having problems, is there somewhere else I can go for the information?
A: In general, no for graphical products and yes for digital products. If the product is available operationally, then the sources mentioned in NWS Web distribution disclaimer can be used. Many popular graphical products are not on that list at this time. Digital products are generally available by operational means; see http://polar.ncep.noaa.gov/mmab/translation.shtml
Q: If that situation changes, how can I find out?
A: We maintain a mailing list through which we make announcements of changes to our products, product availability, and distribution methods. Signing up for the mailing list is your surest method. We will also update this notice and make note on the branch main page.
Q: Followup question -- how can I find out about planned outages, say to upgrade the hardware?
A: Same as above. We perform our upgrades in such a way that it almost never requires the system to be unavailable to users. When such an event is planned, we will announce it.
Q: Why is polar now refusing ftp connections to me?
A: This is never a decision of not releasing the data. It can be, however, that your system or a firewall your system uses is refusing to identify itself. If identity cannot be confirmed, ftp sessions to polar are not permitted.
Q: My access to ftp://polar.ncep.noaa.gov/ has been slow lately, why and is there anything I can do about it?
A1: use the operational system ftpprd. See http://polar.ncep.noaa.gov/mmab/translation.shtml
A2: Some changes in response time are unavoidable contention from Internet use to our building, or of polar itself. Both are upgraded periodically.
A3: See also the notes on best ftp usage below.
Q: I'm using MacOSX and ftp sessions freeze almost immediately
A: turn off the epsv4 mode by issuing the epsv4 command to your client. Passive mode is required so don't turn that off, but extended passive mode does not work with polar. It does work with ftpprd.
Times in the table are approximate times of availability in UTC. Eastern Standard Time is 5 hours earlier; Eastern Daylight Time is 4 hours earlier. So 00 UTC is 7 PM EST and 8 PM EDT.
* The 18 UTC cycle of wind analysis is available at about 9:10 UTC on the following day.
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Last Modified 10 December 2004