MetPy Monday #9 - 2017 Total Solar Eclipse

Last Monday was a big day for folks in the geoscience and astrosciences — the 2017 total solar eclipse! Many of those on the Unidata team made the drive to be in the path of totality, where the sun was completely blocked for a period of up to two and a half minutes. In this MetPy Monday post, we will take a look at some animations made in Python and posted by the team just after the eclipse.

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MetPy Mondays #8 - Interactive Dewpoint Calculator

I recently installed a weather station in my back yard. Every day I look at the display and see the temperature, wind, rain, and humidity, but the dewpoint is not displayed by default! As it turns out, dewpoint is a tricky thing to directly measure. The only way to directly measure it is with a fogged mirror sensor. Otherwise a hygrometer or psychrometer can be used to measure humidity or wet-bulb temperature, and then the dewpoint can be calculated. MetPy has the calculation functions to do both of these conversions. In this week’s MetPy Monday I’ll show you how to use the Jupyter Notebook’s interactive widgets to make a dewpoint calculator with slider widgets. This is a great way to get students to interact with formulas and get an intuitive sense of how they work!

Adding Compression to NetCDF-3 (Classic)

This document proposes adding compression to the netcdf-3 (aka classic) file format. The proposal has numerous limitations because of the nature of the existing netcdf-3 format.

The algorithm and data format proposed here requires re-writing an existing netcdf-3 file to move it to the new format. In effect, the re-written file becomes archival (read-only).

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MetPy Mondays #7- Contouring a Field on a Map

Last week we looked at how to create a simple base map with Cartopy. In this week’s MetPy Monday, we learn about contouring a field on the map and some of the idiosyncrasies of cyclic points. In the end, we will have a plot of the globe with the Coriolis parameter contoured. You can use this functionality to create height maps and more!

We’ll start off with importing the tools we will use: matplotlib, MetPy calculations, MetPy units, and numpy. We’re also using the magic %matplotlib inline so figures show up in the notebook instead of in separate windows.

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Event Notification for Thredds Servers

Periodically some of the Thredds servers run by Unidata get seriously overloaded. One cause is because external users poll the Thredds server to see what has changed. If the polling rate is too high then the performance of the Thredds server can seriously deteriorate.

I am proposing here to mitigate this problem by allowing Thredds servers to generate events that signal changes that might be of interest to users. Then, instead of polling, these users can watch for specific changes events and use that information to update their local databases (or whatever).

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A weblog about software development by Unidata developers*
Unidata Developer's Blog
A weblog about software development by Unidata developers*

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