AMS Short Course: IDV, WRF, and Other Model Output

WRF output
WRF output displayed in the IDV

Unidata is hosting a Short Course on Integrating WRF and Other Model Output with Remote and In-situ Observational Datasets using Unidata’s Integrated Data Viewer (IDV) on 2nd February 2014, preceding the 94th AMS Annual Meeting in Atlanta, Georgia. Preliminary programs, registration, hotel, and general information are posted on the AMS Annual Meeting Web site To register for the Short Course from the meeting site, select Registration from the site menu, then Online Registration. You'll have to log in to register for the course, so have your AMS login information handy.

The short course is sponsored by Unidata, and registration is $25.00. Note that Millersville University, which will be teaching a section on the Geosciences Probe of Discovery (GEOpod), is offering $500 travel grants for up to two students who wish to attend the short course and annual meeting, but are having difficulties making arrangements. To apply for the travel grant, please contact Dr. Sepideh Yalda.

Many challenges exist when trying to analyze and visualize atmospheric datasets. It is often the case that those new to the field of Atmospheric Science quickly hit a "wall" when it comes to working with atmospheric data, and one of those walls is data formats. Different communities within the atmospheric science have developed tools that allow their users access a specific data type (for example, netCDF or GRIB1/2 for the modeling domain). While this might be acceptable for those who live solely in one domain (modeling, observations, etc.), life can become quite problematic once these different data types need to be accessed at the same time and in the same computing environment, for scientific analysis and visualization.

This short course seeks to break down the walls that divide different domains in the atmospheric sciences, particularly the modeling and observational community. The focus will be on integrating model output with various observational datasets, both real-time and archived, to demonstrate how the IDV enables the visualization and analysis of these disparate data sources. While this is most easily done with WRF output, other model output can be used as well. This one-day course will cover the following topics:

  • Introduction to the IDV
    • Examining model output with the IDV
      (Use your own model output! WRF output preferred, but not required.)
    • 2D/3D visualization
    • Gridded data analysis
  • Using observational datasets in the visualization and analysis of gridded model output, including verification of model forecasts
  • Enabling collaboration via IDV bundles
  • Interactive immersion learning: Flying through data onboard the Geoscience Probe of Discovery (GEOpod)

The last section of this course will focus on using The Geosciences Probe of Discovery (GEOpod). GEOpod was developed by the Computer Science and Earth Science departments at Millersville University through a National Science Foundation grant, and is a learning tool designed to enhance undergraduate level earth science education by providing students and instructors with a novel and intuitive way to explore meteorological concepts. Geopod presents a new perspective and simplified interface for using some important features of the IDV, while including new features to enhance learning and facilitate classroom use.

The course format primarily consists of hands-on exercises. Participants are encouraged to bring some of their own data to learn how to use the IDV with their datasets. Unidata staff will be available the entire week of the conference to help participants face-to-face as they continue to explore the topics covered in the class.

The instructor for the course is Unidata's own Sean Arms. He will be joined by Yuan Ho, Julien Chastang, and Tom Yoksas, all from Unidata, and Rich Clark, Sepi Yalda, Gary Zoppetti, and Sam Wiley from Millersville University.

A luncheon will not be provided during the short course.

Participants are required to bring their own laptops for use during the course; no classroom computers will be provided.

For more information, please contact us at


Will these study materials be available in soft copy for a user who can't come and attend the conference...


Posted by Supantha Paul on December 06, 2013 at 11:55 AM MST #

Yes, the materials will be available online. I also plan on creating screencasts on our youtube channel as well!



Posted by Sean Arms on December 06, 2013 at 07:08 PM MST #

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