(note: excerpts below from National Weather System/NOAA) and from wikipedia.org)
Advanced Weather Interactive Processing System
The Advanced Weather Interactive Processing System (AWIPS) is a technologically advanced information processing, display, and telecommunications system that is the cornerstone of the National Weather Service (NWS) modernization and restructuring.
(image at right example of AWIPS system, from wikipedia.org)
AWIPS is an interactive computer system that integrates all meteorological and hydrological data, and all satellite and radar data, for the first time, and enables the forecaster to prepare and issue more accurate and timely forecasts and warnings.
The primary tool used in AWIPS is D2D (Display Two Dimensions), a graphical software application that incorporates most available weather information into an easy-to-use interface.
Graphical forecasts that NWS forecasters issue to form the National Digital Forecast Database (NDFD) are composed with the Graphical Forecast Editor (GFE), another independent software application running on AWIPS, developed by the Earth System Research Laboratory (formerly the Forecast Systems Laboratory). (image left example of The Graphical Forecast Editor, from noaa.gov)
AWIPS was originally developed and maintained by PRC, Inc. As of August 2005, the National Weather Service awarded the new maintenance and operation contract of AWIPS to Raytheon Technical Services Company LLC. It is a five year contract with five one-year award terms for a potential maximum 10 year contract.
Raytheon is currently in the process of developing "AWIPS II" a major revision of the system. It is expected that AWIPS II will be deployed by the year 2010.
(image below from jonessimp4.blogspot.com)