Is Something Strange Happening at Your Local NWS Office?


Is there anything strange happening at your local National Weather Service (NWS) office? CARDINAL NEWS noticed something a little strange with the 3 day weather observation tables at a few NWS offices sampled in the United States. For example, the O’Hare International Airport or KORD, weather observation table is messed up. The table usually shows the time in Central Time, or currently Central Daylight Time (CDT), but on Tuesday, October 17, 2023 something happened that made the table very confusing to read.

UPDATE: Looks like the issue is fixed.

On Tuesday, October 17, 2023, the time column was displayed in Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). In the case of O’Hare International Airport, that makes it a difficult or confusing situation to understand when the new date (or tomorrow) begins. We all expect “tomorrow” to begin at 12:00 a.m. Central Daylight Time in October, or any day of the month. But in Coordinated Universal Time, “tomorrow” begins at 5:00 a.m. UTC, and sunrise occurs on Wednesday, October 18, 2023 at about 12:08 p.m. UTC, not 7:08 a.m. CDT. Usually the low temperatures for the day occur about 6:00 a.m. to 7:00 a.m. CDT. However, in Coordinated Universal Time, the lowest temperatures occur around 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. UTC. This time difference occurs because Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) is 5 hours ahead of Central Daylight Time (CDT). After the time change away from Daylight Savings Time, UTC is six hours ahead of Central Standard Time, or you might say Central Time is six hours behind Coordinated Universal Time. It is very confusing for the average citizen to read weather information in Coordinated Universal Time because of the 5 or 6 hour math that needs to be mentally processed.

The table below usually has a header that is titled, “Chicago, Chicago-O’Hare International Airport” but beginning Tuesday, October 17, 2023, the table header displayed “KORD Ob Site” — KORD being the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) airport code or location indicator for O’Hare International Airport in Chicago. The time column is displayed by UTC. Without recognizing or understanding that the time column’s display is by UTC, it appears to the casual observer that the weather data is observed in the future.


KORD ob 3-Day Observation table captured on October 17, 2023 at 9:24 p.m. (SOURCE: National Weather Service)
KORD Ob 3-Day Observation table captured on October 17, 2023 at 9:24 p.m. CT shows a weather observation for October 18, 2023 at 1:51 a.m. UTC (SOURCE: National Weather Service).


Chicago O’Hare International Airport 3-Day Observation table captured with the preferred method of displaying the time column in Central Daylight Time on October 15, 2023 (SOURCE: National Weather Service).

Weather observation reports available from an ATOM feed from the National Weather Service also had an issue. The feed output displayed yesterday, for example: Fair and 42 F at *Unknown Station* (instead of Chicago, Chicago-O’Hare International Airport, IL)

Winds are Calm. The pressure is 1017.9 mb and the humidity is 85%.
Last Updated on Oct 17 2023, 4:51 am MDT.”

The issue with the feed began sometime between 2:00 a.m. CDT and 8:00 a.m. CDT on October 17, 2023. Notice the weather station name is missing (“unknown station”) and the reported time for the feed output is displayed in MDT (Mountain Daylight Time).

Severe Weather Alerts (Tornado Warnings, Severe Thunderstorm Warnings, and Winter Storm Warnings, etc) also use NWS feeds to alert citizens and media. Since there were no active alerts for Chicagoland, CARDINAL NEWS couldn’t check to see if the weather alerts feeds were also affected by the issues.

CARDINAL NEWS reported the weather table issue and the ATOM feed issue to the NWS Chicago office, and the NWS Chicago office replied promptly that the issue was reported to a regional IT department, which maintains that data particular page, and likely the feed issue as well.

Here is a link to the table that has the issue. At the latest check on Wednesday, October 18, 2023 at 6:50 a.m. CDT, the table indicated the latest observation was 10:51 UTC …

Get updates from The Cardinal ALL NEWS FEEDS on Facebook. Just ‘LIKE’ the ‘Arlington Cardinal Page (become a fan of our page). The updates cover all posts and sub-category posts from The Cardinal — You can also limit feeds to specific categories. See all of The Cardinal Facebook fan pages at …

Help fund The Cardinal

Search Amazon …

Search for products sold on Amazon: is an Amazon Associate website, which means that a small percentage of your purchases gets paid to at no extra cost to you. When you use the search boxes above, any Amazon banner ad, or any product associated with an Amazon banner on this website, you help pay expenses related to maintaining and creating new services and ideas for a resourceful website. See more info at