GEMPAK / N-AWIPS 5.6/5.7/5.8/5.9/5.10/5.11

GEMPAK 5.11 Homepage

What's New

New features of GEMPAK 5.6 are:

GEMPAK 5.6 supports building with the GNU g77/gcc Linux environment.

The distribution will build its own NetCDF library for use with decoders of NETCDF data sets (profiler and ACARS). Users no longer need to obtain and build NetCDF separately.

CIMSS product display

Display and anotation of CIMSS derived satellite products (added to the IDD data stream this summer) was added to the GEMPAK 5.4 release (patch level 17). In addition to new enhancement tables, the colorbar is now capable of displaying the units and scale contained within the CIMSS products. The CIMSS products are OZONE, Precipitable Water, Lifted Index, Cloud Top Pressure, Cape, and Sea Surface Temperature.


In response to requests from the Users Committee, I have developed a self-contained version of SFMAP which allows the user to plot the data values and contour the data in one application. This programs performs all necessary objective analysis on the data internally, which eliminates the need to create a barnes analysis gridded data set first.

Other Features

File Name Templates

File name templates can be used to obtain the most recent file of a specific type. For example, use GDFILE=eta in grid data programs to access the most recent ETA model run. Template definitions are maintained in $GEMTBL/config/datatype.tbl. The datatype.tbl file maintains the location and naming conventions used with each data set type, as long as the time range and menu options within NMAP/NMAP2. Template names are also refered to in the $GEMTBL/nmap/ configuration files for menu pulldowns.

The default configuration of datatype.tbl and the $GARPHOME/Garp_defaults file have been standardized to use the same file naming conventions. Note that while NMAP can look for model data in individual directory locations, GARP still expects the data to reside in a single data directory.

Map File Name Aliases

Map aliases can be used instead of long file names. See the $MAPFIL help pages, and the current aliases in $GEMTBL/config/mapfil.tbl.


New decoders

See the User Guide for usage of these decoders, as well as the GEMPAK tutorial for decoder patterns for use with the LDM.


New programs

See the User Guide for usage of these programs.

Data types

New data types

Decoders and/or display programs are available for use with the above data sets. All of the above datasets are routinely available on NOAAPORT (Unidata's IDD).

Device Drivers

GIF is a device independent GIF file device that can produce output without the use of the X server (as used by the traditional gf device). Since the device driver does not utilize the X server, all fonts will be rendered as software types.

Color coded parameters

Color-coding of any parameter may be done based on its own value or on the value of any other computable parameter.

Other Stuff

The maximum number of headers in a GEMPAK file is set to 30,000. The maximum number of report times is set to 300. This allows up to 30,000 grids in a gridded data file, 30,000 ship reports in a surface ship file, and 29,700 stations (at 300 times) in a standard surface file. As a result, I have removed separate surface programs for NLDN data (LTGLIST and LTGMAP) which were previously provided to access up to 30,000 observations in those files (Now you can use SFMAP and SFLIST).

The maximun number of grid points in a grid file is set at 400,000.

What's Gone!!

Additional features of GEMPAK 5.6.A

Additional features of GEMPAK 5.6.C

  • NEXRAD Radar Mosaics. I have developed GDRADR for creating gridded data composites from NEXRAD level III radar products. This program will produce GEMPAK grid format output for any specified grid projection and resolution. Composites can be displayed in all GEMPAK grid programs, including NMAP and Garp. Since the mosaics are a standard gridded data set, they can be overlayed on top of images (such as satellite images). and can be used within gridded data calculations, precipitation type masks, etc.

  • New program GPTRAJ for plotting trajectories from gridded data files. I have consolidated the process of creating trajectories for 2-D parcels from the set of scripts I provided previously into a single user program.

  • NMAP2 is used operational for product generation.

  • Dropsonde and Ship soundings decoded by dcuair.

    The max winds and tropopause parts, TRPA, TRPC, MXWA, MXWC, are now decoded and stored. In addition, the significant winds below and above 100mb, PPAA and PPCC, respectively, are now stored as separate parts.

    Currently, only the program SNLIST can list the tropopause and max wind data. NMAP and the other display programs will be modified in the future to handle these data types.

    The raw text, (undecoded data) is now stored. It can be listed in the program SNLIST by setting SNPARM to TEXT.

  • A new decoder, DCSVRL, has been written to decode SLS reports. These reports can be displayed in GPMAP and NMAP2.

  • A new zoom option (extended) has been added to GEMPAK and NMAP/NMAP2 programs. The extended zoom attempts to fill the entire display area. It uses either the width or the height of the zoom box to define the zoom area and fills the window, appropriately. By contrast, the old zoom (non-extended) uses the corner points of the zoom box to define the zoom area which may not necessarily fill the window. In GEMPAK programs, the extended zoom is enabled by setting the CURSOR variable to GAREAX before zooming with the box. The extended zoom is used by default in NMAP/NMAP2. It can be turned off by deselecting it under the Option pull-down.

  • Added the option to label latitude/longitude with N,S,E,W characters instead of the "-" for S and W values. Also, added the option to specify the latitude/longitude for the location of the labels. See the help on the GEMPAK LATLON for how to set these options and additional details.

    Additional features of GEMPAK 5.6.D

  • GPMAP can now fill selected bounded geographic regions
      A new parameter, BND, specifies the the bounded region name, and the fill attributes, such as color, fill pattern, etc. See the GEMPAK help for BND for additional details. Geographic regions that can be filled are the bounds files located in $GEMTBL/bounds. These regions are:
      Bounds file Map alias
      U.S. StatesSTATE_BNDS
      Low Resolution WorldWORLD_BNDS
      Great LakesGREAT_LAKES
      North American LakesLAKES
  • SFGRAM can now open more than one surface file
      Multiple file access requires an explicit template for SFFILE or an alias specified in the table $GEMTBL/config/datatype.tbl.
  • Day Of Week Option "?" Added to GEMPAK Title String
  • Added Divergence Tendency Diagnostic DIVT(S,V)
  • Additional NMAP hot keys
        The following list hot keys for Nmap/Nmap2 display functions:
            -       Step backward / Halt loop
            =       Step forward / Halt loop
            l       Loop forward / Halt loop
            1       Loop rock / Halt loop
            f       Reset the fade on the current look-up table and restores the
                    current look-up table
            h       Turns all background data on/off by toggling the hide/show loop
            i       Turns an image "on/off" by toggling the fade between black
                    and the default brightness setting
            w       Toggle the data window up or down
                    (Same as mouse button 3)
        The numeric key pad arrow keys (2, 4, 6, 8) roam in the direction of the
        respective arrow when in the roam mode.  (Note that this function is
        currently not supported on IRIX5/IRIX6 platforms.)
        The following list hot keys for Nmap/Nmap2 product generation functions:
            u       Undo
            r       Redo
        The following hot keys display different loops for Nmap2:
            F1      View loop 1
            F2      View loop 2
            F3      View loop 3
            F4      View loop 4
            F5      View loop 5
            F6      View loop 6
            F7      View loop 7
            F8      View loop 8

    Additional features of GEMPAK 5.6.E.1

  • NMAP2 stored proceedures files (.spf) which provide a mechanism to save and reload data and map settings. Procedures are stored in Stored Procedure Files (SPFs) which are accessed by clicking the "Save Data Settings" and "Restore Data Settings" in the "Data Selection Window". The following information can be saved and retrieved from an SPF for up to eight loops:
                    1. Data set name(s) and path(s)
                    2. Dominant data set
                    3. Skip factor
                    4. Number of frames
                    5. Roam factor
                    6. Auto-Update on/off
                    7. Pre-defined area name
                    8. Graphics area and map projection
                    9. Map on/off, lat/lon lines on/off, map overlay name(s)
    A complete description of this new functionality is available in the NMAP2 on-line "Procedure Save/Restore" help.

  • The capability to toggle a data source on/off in the "Data Selection Window" has been added to NMAP2. This function is analogous to the NMAP "Chk" feature. If a data source is turned off, it remains in the GUI, but will not be loaded into the loop frames with a subsequent load. Click the "Turn Source On/Off" button to toggle the selected data source. If a data source is turned off, the "(Off)" string appears ahead of the source name in the GUI. If a dominant data source is turned off, the next data source listed in the GUI will automatically become dominant.

  • New wind chill calculation WCHT for surface programs

  • New grid function BOOL returns a zero if the grid point has missing data, and one, if the grid point has data.

  • The capability to plot special symbols for high and low contour fields has been added to the GEMPAK HILO parameter. All 40 special symbols are available. To specify a special symbol, enter "S" before the symbol number for the symbolh/symboll specification in the HILO parameter. See the GEMPAK help on the HILO parameter for additional details.

    Unidata specific updates

  • GDRADR now supports RADMODE to include/exclude data based on whether the radar is operating in precipitation and/or clear air mode.

  • Added ability to plot any station table column in STNPLT (instead of just station ID) by specifying the column number preceeded by '#' following the station table name:
    text color/text attributes | marker attributes | stnfile#stntbl_column

  • Updated sfmetar_sa.tbl for Canadian CX.. stations.

  • Updated surface synoptic station tables, created lsystns.upc, and made this the default table searched by dclsfc via symbolic link to lsfstns.tbl.

    Additional features of GEMPAK 5.6.F

  • Grid programs now fully support templates for GDFILE and '//' parameter naming.
  • Product generation features improved in NMAP.
  • NALARM added to the NTL launcher provides desktop notification when designated products arrive.
  • AVN Mos decoder dcmosa now decodes 6Z and 18Z files (in addition to 0Z and 12Z).

    Unidata specific updates

  • Added map regions to the sounding selection within NSHARP
  • Improved GDRADR speed for generating radar mosaics.
  • New program NEX2GINI to create GINI radar mosaic images as an alternative to grids.
  • Added ability to read PNG compressed GINI images.
  • Added subcenter processing tables to dcgrib2, and %subc% template for subcenter ID.
  • Updated NWS grib 128 table for FFG parameters.
  • Updated dcgrib2 gribkey.tbl file for IDD ensemble data.
  • Added TANC, GMS, Meteosat, and Mollweide area file projections, fixed display of MDR area files.
  • New decoder DCSUOMI to decode Suominet GPS files to GEMPAK surface files. NMAP2 display products added under Surface Observations menu. DCSUOMI can be invoked from the LDM pqact using the following pattern/action (define GEMTBL appropriately for your system):
    	GPS	^suoHWV
    	PIPE	-close	decoders/dcsuomi
    	-d data/gempak/logs/dcsuomi.log
    	-e GEMTBL=/home/gempak/NAWIPS/gempak/tables
  • updated pqact entries in $NAWIPS/ldm/etc for use with LDM.
  • Added IMBAR parameter for programs displaying images to set color bar configurations.

    Additional features of GEMPAK 5.6.H

  • Direct and TrueColor (16 and 24 bit) X server display supported. This eliminates the need for the default X11 visual to be 8 bit (pseudocolor). When the display it not to a pseudocolor color map, the NCOLOR program will have no effect (If you want to set the background color for GUI applications to other than the default black, use the Ntop*appbgName resource in $NAWIPS/resources/Ntop before launching NTL). When operating under a display with depth greater than 8 bits, users will notice that changing the enhancement or fade value of an image will generate a reload (fade slider will change the value upon release). Higher depth displays will take proportionally more display resources.
  • GPMAP supports individual bounds plotting in BND parameter using the named TAG value from the $GEMTBL/bounds/*.info files (as defined in the $GEMTBL/config/clo.tbl file). For example, individual counties can be plotted using the id, states using the abbreviation, and continents using the tag such as:
      BND = world_bnds|NA/30 + state_bnds|CO/3/////5 + cnty_bnds|8013/4/////5
  • Reformated zone bounds table for plotting individual areas with the BND tag, eg:
      BND = zone_bnds|COZ039/2/////5
  • GPWARN configuration file $GEMTBL/unidata/gpwarn.config added for color and fill settings. Watch counties decoded using the dcsvrl program are displayable (SVRL).
  • Added data set configurations for NSHARP in $NAWIPS/tables/nsharp for options displayed in observed an model pulldown menus.
  • GDRADR supports gridding of multiple parameters with GDPFUN (eg GFUNC is now GDPFUN), and the ND data value can be set to other than the -9999.o missing value.
  • Added a scalar grid function MISS(S1,S2) for setting S1 to S2 when the value is missing, S1 otherwise.
  • Added decoding of Canadian cloud type remarks to dcmetr.
  • Added filtering of values in GPRCM.

    Additional features of GEMPAK 5.6.I

  • Added build configuration for FreeBSD.
  • New decoders (see sample pqact.conf file for pattern/action examples)
    • dcrdf - Regional Digital Forecast Decoder
    • dcidft - Sea Ice Drift Decoder
    • dccsig - Convective SIGMET Decoder
    • dctaf - TAF (terminal aerodrome forecast) Decoder
    • dcwstm - Winter Weather Watch, Warning and Advisory Decoder
  • NSHARP online help file display improved, added point forecast file selection, updated all file selections
  • Automatic directory creation for DC decoder output and log files extended to all decoders
  • GPTRAJ updated to allow range of times and GPOINT ranges for multiple plot locations
  • DCGRIB2 addition of FFF template for creating individual forecast hour files
  • ETAMAP now included from COMET for displaying Workstation ETA domain based on model domain parameters
  • Improved grid calculation buffer usage.

    Additional features of GEMPAK 5.6.J

  • New decoders (see sample pqact.conf file for pattern/action examples)
    • dcwou - decodes watch outline update reports
    • dcwcn - decodes watch county notification reports
  • NDFDG2 (GRIB 2) decoder for National Digital Forecast Database files
  • Updated Zone bounds tables for March 31, 2003 SCN (service change notice).
  • Updated sfmetar_sa.tbl station table.
  • Increased "dc" text product buffer size for RDF and other bulletins to 100Kb.
  • Numerous NMAP2 updates for product generation and SPF.

    Additional features of GEMPAK 5.6.K

  • Created PNG device driver.
      PNG image format is displayable by most browsers, files are highly compact, and the distribution of PNG format images is not restricted in use by pattent holders.
  • New programs GPNEXR2 and NEXR2RHI.
      Two new programs for displaying NEXRAD Level II radar imagery have been created. The programs are designed for use with the CRAFT IDD data feed which provides data in ARCHIVE2 format. The Level II data is distributed with all levels and parameters in a single file.

      GPNEXR2 provides display of Level II data in a plan projection. This program is similar to GPMAP with the additional parameters to specify the TILT and RADPARM.

      NEXR2RHI displays an RHI (vertical cross section) of radar data from tilts found in the Level II file.

      Level II radar data can be displayed in other programs which support RAD projection displays (current defaults assume the lowest tilt reflectivity data) if TILT and RADPARM are not provided by the program.

  • New decoder DCNEXR2 for Level II radar files (CRAFT data stream)
      The CRAFT data does not have the station ID in the data at this time. If you use the CAPS decoder (nexradII), you need to name file files like:
      This file naming will match the template I have in the datatype.tbl file for NEXRADII where %SITE% is used so that the programs know which station the file represents.

      I have wrapped a decoder dcnexr2 which uses a command line argument from the LDM to store the 4 character station ID in the data file in unused bytes 21-24 of the data file, so if you use that pqact.conf decoder entry:

        	CRAFT	^L2-BZIP2/(....)/([0-9][0-9][0-9][0-9][0-1][0-9][0-3][0-9])([0-2][0-9][0-5][0-9])([0-9][0-9])
        		PIPE		decoders/dcnexr2 -s \1 -d /dev/null data/craft/\1/\1_\2_\3
      you don't have to be as strict with the file naming.
  • New program NEX2IMG to create a radar image composite.
      Nex2img creates a radar composite image (currently GIF is the only output format). Eventual combining of this program with nex2gini and other output formats (such as Geotif) will allow users to combine GIS tasks.
  • New program ARINFO to dump the header contents of a McIDAS AREA file.
  • GEMPAK Grid Access Improvements for Large Grids
      New capabilities have been added to GEMPAK grid programs in support of accessing large grids including the National Digital Forecast Data Base (NDFD) 5 KM grids.

      The maximum grid size that can be stored in a GEMPAK file may now be larger than the maximum number of grid points used for calculation and display purposes (LLMXGD). A new parameter, LLMXTG, specifies the maximum number of grid points that can be stored.

      To access grid files with grids larger than LLMXGD grid points, the grid must be subset to not exceed LLMXGD grid points. The subset can be specified using an area (GAREA) or by specifying points using a new GEMPAK parameter IJSKIP.

      The IJSKIP parameter specifies the number of points to skip in each direction and/or the beginning and ending grid point number in each direction. In addition, if the parameter is set to "YES", then it will automatically calculate the optimum skip factors to display the maximum number of grid points for the geographic region defined by the GAREA parameter. See the GEMPAK help on IJSKIP for additional details.

  • WOU and WCN Display Added to NMAP2 and GPMAP (see additional decoders in GEMPAK 5.6.J).
  • New Fill Patterns Added to GEMPAK and NMAP2.
  • NSHARP Profiles from NMAP2 Cursor Point File:
      A new option has been added to NSHARP to generate sounding profiles from reading a location saved from a NMAP/NMAP2 cursor point file (CPF).

      The NMAP cursor position is saved to a CPF by using the Seek function. Click the "Save CPF" button to save the most recently written cursor position to the CPF. Any of the methods available in the Seek function can be used to write and subsequently save the cursor position to the CPF. For example, to save a cursor selected location to a CPF, click the "Click Point" button. Then move the cursor to the desired location and click the left mouse button. Click the "Save CPF" button to save this location to the CPF. The function automatically creates the CPF (called nmap2.cpf) in the local directory. The CPF contains one latitude and longitude that is overwritten each time the "Save CPF" button is clicked.

      The CPF is automatically read by the NSHARP program each time a data set is selected. Its location is plotted as a yellow x in the map window for observed, PFC and ACARS data types. Click on the yellow x marker to plot the sounding corresponding to the location in the CPF. For the model sounding data type, click the "CPF" radio button to use the location from the CPF to generate the sounding.

    Additional features of GEMPAK 5.6.L and L.1

  • NDFD Encoder/Decoder modified to convert between the GRIB parameter id numbers and the GEMPAK parameter names using a table. Decoder modified to accept a user input skip factor to reduce the resolution of the output GEMPAK grid.
  • NWX Append Mode Option Added to the "Text Report" GUI's text window.
  • New Fire Weather Grid Diagnostics added.
  • Objective Dvorak Technique(ODT) incorporated into N-AWIPS (NODT)
  • Numerous additions and improvements were made to the display of TAF parameters in SFMAP and NMAP2 , including low-level wind shear, color-coded ceilings MSL, and display of various combinations of prevailing, temporary and probability weather and flight conditions.
  • The cloud height calculation has been modified to use the previous sounding report if the latest is not available.

    Additional features of GEMPAK 5.6.M

  • Added GRIB2 decoding to Unidata dcgrib2 decoder to support NCEP grids using JPEG2000 compression. As a comparison between GRIB1 and GRIB2/JPEG2000, the ETA 212 grids on the NCEP ftp server are approximately 65 MB per forecast hour using GRIB1 and 18 MB per forecast hour using GRIB2.
  • Updated dcnexr2 and display programs for WSR88D Build 5.0 version of Level II data feed. Level II radar data products will use the new format beginning in February for a limited number of test sites, and full deployment in late March.
  • The GEMPAK help files for the "Options" window in NMAP2 are now available. "Color Enhancement", "Cursor", "Dwell Rate", and "Locator" functions have separate help descriptions under their respective Option help topic, e.g, "Option-Cursor". Other "Option" pull-down items help appear under "Option - General Description".
  • The GEMPAK help files for SFPARM and SNPARM are now available from the "Help" window in NMAP2 by selecting "Parameters - Surface" and "Parameters - Upper Air", respectively.
  • NMAP2 displays the frame time in the lower left hand corner of the main display window. It has now been enhanced to include the day of the week of the frame time. Also, if the dominant data type is a forecast model, the forecast hour for the frame is displayed.
  • The Busy sub-process has been removed from NMAP2 because it would occasionally cause NMAP2 to slow down or hang up. The Busy process controlled the cloud and sun icon, located to the right of the "Stop" icon, that moved to indicate that NMAP2 was busy loading frames, e.g., when an auto-update was occurring. Thus the cloud and sun icon has been removed from the NMAP2 GUI. To indicate that NMAP2 is loading frames, the "Stop" icon turns red and the cursor changes shape, as was done in previous versions of NMAP2.
  • A new option called "Roam Share" has been added to the "Option" pull down. If this option is turned on (the default), then loops with the same navigation and roam factor will "share" the roam information. This means that switching loops will preserve the same location when roaming. The default for this option is specified in the table $GEMTBL/config/prefs.tbl.
  • A new option has been added to allow looping to stop on the current frame instead of the last frame. The option is controlled by selecting the "Loop Stop" item on the NMAP2 "Option" pull down. The default for this option is specified in the table $GEMTBL/config/prefs.tbl.
  • Severe local storm watches (SVRL) can now be distinguished by color coding them by the last digit of the watch number. This capability has been added in the same way as it was done in a previous release for the WCN and WOU watch products. Click the "Edit Source" button in the "Data Selection Window" GUI to invoke the "SVRL Attributes" GUI. To enable watch number color coding, click the "Color Code" check box. Watch plotting and color are specified by clicking the adjacent check box and color palette button, respectively, for watch number digits zero through nine. Default values for the "SVRL Attributes" GUI are specified in the table $GEMTBL/config/miscset.tbl.
  • The aircraft decoder DCACFT has been modified to interpret '-OCNL' in the context of turbulence as denoting a range (e.g., 'MOD-OCNL SVR'), for PIREP reports. In addition, more navaid locations were added to the PIREP station table $GEMTBL/stns/pirep_navaids.tbl.
  • The international SIGMET decoder DCISIG has been enhanced to decode Alaskan SIGMETs that use lat/lon and VOR positions. Not all Alaskan SIGMETs will be decoded, especially if they are very different from the format generated by the encoder or use new keywords or have missing keywords. However, some modifications have been made to decode selected irregular reports that have been found to be non-standard.

    DCISIG has also been modified to decode tropical cyclones (WCP) from PGUM and PHFO. Again non-standard WCP SIGMETs may not be decoded.

    DCISIG has also been modified to decode the phenomena CB for SIGMETS issued by the U.S.

  • The WOU decoder was updated to be able to decode WOU cancellation messages. The cancel messages have only the header line being written to the decoded file; no counties follow this line. In addition, the decoder was modified to decode WOU text messages issued from a backup site, e.g., AFWA.
  • The time range and interval values for the dominant data source have been added to the Saved Procedure Files. In a future release the user will have control over these time line attributes. However, for this release, these values do not have any effect on the time line. They have been added now in preparation for the future development.
  • When selecting data by "state" in NWX, the results are displayed in alphabetical order based on the search string. The search string is the station ID or the bulletin ID, depending on the type data selected by the user.
  • New TAF parameters TCMS, TMOB, WCMS and WMOB, along with new functions to calculate temporary/probability and worst case ceilings and mountain obscuration thresholds, have been added. These parameters can be displayed in GEMPAK surface programs and NMAP2. For NMAP2 display, the parameters must be added to the table, $GEMTBL/config/prmlst.tbl, which specifies station plotting models. See the sfparm.hl2 help file for a more detailed description of each of these new TAF parameters.
  • Several new parameters were added to support encoding and decoding CPC products into the NDFD. The parameters PTBN, PTNN, and PTAN were added to the g2vars.tbl to support CPC Temperature Below Normal, Near Normal, and Above Normal products, respectively. Also, the parameters PPBN, PPNN, and PPAN were added to the g2vars.tbl to support CPC Precipitation Below Normal, Near Normal, and Above Normal products, respectively. The GD2NDFD and NDFDG2 programs were modified slightly to accommodate the new CPC products.
  • Two new grid diagnostics have been added:
    • INT (S) - Converts the grid point value to an integer.
    • NINT (S) - Rounds the grid point value to the nearest integer.
  • The GFS-based marine MOS data has been added to NWX as data type "MARINE MOS" under the "MOS" category.
  • The Fosberg Index and the Haines Index may now be computed for observed data.

    The Fosberg index (FOSB) may be used in SFPARM in the surface data programs. FOSB is computed from the surface temperature, relative humidity and wind speed and gives an index for the Flame Length and Fuel Drying.

    There are 3 Haines Indices: LHAN, MHAN and HHAN. These stability indices are used in the GEMPAK parameter STNDEX in the upper air data programs. The Haines indices are simple measures of the chance that an existing fire will become a dangerous, erratic fire. LHAN is for the low level Haines index and is a layer between 950-850 mb. MHAN is the mid level index value and is for the layer 850-700 mb. Finally, HHAN is the high level index for 700-500 mb.

  • The 10-bit imagery calibration has been improved by applying a higher-ordered polynomial to increase precision of 10-bit imagery to within 0.001 degrees K. This calibration is used by the NODT and cloud height functions.

    Additional features of GEMPAK 5.7.1

  • This release begins a new naming convention for N-AWIPS versions obtained from NCEP. The version numbering scheme now corresponds to the fiscal year (FY) quarterly release cycle. Thus this release is 5.7.1 and the remaining quarterly releases for FY04 will will be 5.7.2, 5.7.3 and 5.7.4. Patches, if required, will add a lower case letter to the release name, e.g., 5.7.1.a. Releases scheduled for FY05 will be named as 5.8.1, 5.8.2, 5.8.3 and 5.8.4.

  • NMAP2 provides all functionality of NMAP and NSAT, therefore NMAP and NSAT are no longer supported as of this release.

  • The location of the product generation work file, .DEFAULT.vgf, may now be specified. The entry "WORK_FILE_DIR" in the table $GEMTBL/config/prefs.tbl specifies the path to the directory to be used for the work file. The default value as delivered is the current directory, ".". The value of this preference may be any directory for which the user has write permission. The path may include an environment variable.

  • An auto-update feature has been added to NWX. The user must first select a data type and a location. If auto-update is on, the data are reloaded at 5 minute intervals. If new data have arrived, they are displayed in the text window. The current default value for auto-update is off. Click on "Auto" pull down on the "NWX" GUI to turn on the auto-update feature.

  • GFS MOS Replaces AVN MOS and MRF MOS!
    Directory, file and source code nomenclature and documentation have been changed in NMAP2, NWX, the decoders and the LDM pqact templates to support the scheduled December 16, 2003 switch from separate AVN- and MRF-based MOS systems to a unified GFS-based MOS system. All MOS data are now classified as type 'MOS' in NMAP2 and NWX, and no distinction is made between what was formerly differentiated as 'MOS' and 'New MOS'. References to 'New AVN MOS' have been changed to 'GFS MOS', and references to 'New MRF MOS' have been changed to 'GFSX MOS'. Obsolete references to the "old" AVN and MRF MOS codes, which have not run for months, have been removed. Finally, the GFS MOS station table has been updated with 145 new stations, 4 deleted stations, and 3 changed station names. Note that the previous release will continue to handle the MOS data sets.

  • GDTOPO is now included to create GEMPAK grid files from USGS rasters. To avoid increasing the GEMPAK tar file size, topography files for use by GDTOPO can be downloaded separately from the TABLES download area. See online "phelp topofl" or "phelp gdtopo".

  • GPNEXR2 now uses TILT to specify the elevation angle of the sweep instead of the sweep number. TILT will specify the sweep with elevation closest to the angle requested. To display all available sweeps, set TILT=list.

    Additional features of GEMPAK 5.7.2

  • Level II Nexrad display is now remapped from Cartesian to local tangent plane (same as Level III data).

  • Nprog tables have been moved under $GEMTBL. GEMHLP files are now placed into program (hlp) and parameter (hlx) subdirectories.

  • NMAP2 has been enhanced to allow the user to control the time range and interval that appears in the time line for the dominant data type. This functionality allows the user to specify the frame times that are available for selection in the time line GUI.

      Click the "Range/Int" button on the "Data Selection Window" GUI to invoke the "Range/Interval Input" GUI. The "Range/Interval Input" GUI allows the user to enter interval and range in days, hours and minutes. Blank entries are equivalent to entering a 0 for the range and interval entries.

      For example, say the dominant data type is radar data and the user desires to see radar imagery once per hour for a day. Enter "1" under the "DAY" column in the "Range:" row and "1" under the "HR" column for the "Interval:" row. After clicking the "Accept" button the time line will include frames starting at the most recent hour going back one day in time assuming the data are available in the database for the entire period.

      A reference time may also be selected. For observed data, the reference time is the last time that appears on the right of the time line. For forecast data, the reference time is the first time that appears on the left of the time line. If the reference time is blank, the last marker for observed data is the time associated with the most recent data. When the reference time is blank and forecast data is dominant, the first marker is the first forecast time in the data set, usually F000.

      For more information, see the "What's New" section in the NMAP help panel.

  • NMAP Map Selection GUI now has a scrollable list instead a fixed check list. This change allows more predefined area and overlay selections to be available to the user without increasing the size of the "Map Selection" GUI.

  • The land surface decoder, DCLSFC, has been enhanced to prepend the bulletin time before the report text written to the GEMPAK file.

  • Precipitation Accumulation now handles instances where the model output is accumulated precipitation since the beginning of the model run (The Canadian model accumulates precipitation from the beginning time of the model run to each forecast hour).

  • GIF Driver now supports the various fill patterns. Previously, any pattern selected would be drawn as a solid filled pattern.

  • Display of raw land synoptic observations added to NWX.

  • U.S. Time Zone Maps and Bounds Files added.

  • Advanced Objective Dvorak Technique (AODT) button added to NMAP2.

      A preliminary GUI for the NAWIPS implementation of the AODT has been developed for this release. In this release the GUI provides the required AODT widgets, however, most of the AODT functionality will be delivered in the next release. When fully implemented, the GUI will allow the user to run the AODT code as contributed by CIMSS at the University of Wisconsin. These capabilities include deterministic Dvorak scene type and classification as well as AODT history file management.

    Additional features of GEMPAK 5.7.2p2

  • Level II data can now be read in BZ2 format as received via LDM in CRAFT feedtype. This eliminates the need to run dcnexr2. Sample LDM pqact.conf file actions are provided in $NAWIPS/ldm/etc/templates/pqact.gempak_craft. For pre-build 5.0 Level II data without the station ID in the header, you must have the NEXRII template defined as in $GEMTBL/config/datatype.tbl.

  • New program GPNIDS added to enable display of NEXRAD Level III (NIDS) overlay products as well as tabular and alpnanumeric graphic sections of Level III products.

    Additional features of GEMPAK 5.7.3

  • Loop functionality added to NSHARP

  • Maximum Number of NMAP Data Loops Increased from 8 to 16.

  • Enhancements have been made to the NMAP2 timeline.

    The timeline now retains its selections when changing restore files for models or station models for surface and upper-air data. The reference time in the "Range/Interval Input" GUI is now saved in Stored Procedure Files (SPFs) for forecast data sets.

    The "Set Time" functionality that appeared in the timeline in previous versions has been replaced by the Reference Time in the "Range/Interval Input" GUI. The Reference Time allows the user to specify the end time for the timeline, for observational data, or the start time, for forecast data. The calendar window used by the Set Time function has been moved to the "Range/Interval Input" GUI. Therefore, the user may type a date/time string or use the calendar interface to select a Reference Time.

    The "Current Time" below the timeline has been changed to a push button. The "Current Time" button updates the tick mark selection outline. For observed data, the Reference Time is erased and the tick marks for the latest data are selected. For forecast data, the Reference Time is erased and the tick marks for the earlier forecasts (the left side of the timeline) are selected. The other attributes of the timeline are unaffected, i.e., range, interval, number of frames, etc.

  • Advanced Objective Dvorak Technique (AODT) Added to NMAP

    The AODT GUI in NMAP has been completed and is ready for TPC operational testing, evaluation and use. The NMAP GUI uses the AODT version 6.3 library in collaboration with the CIMSS at the University of Wisconsin. The GUI includes the calculation of deterministic Dvorak scene type and classification as well as AODT history file management.

  • Display of NEXRAD Level III (NIDS) overlay products as well as tabular and alpnanumeric graphic sections of Level III products added to all GEMPAK programs.

  • Updated Level II processing to detect old (NCDC ca. 2001) ARCHIVE2.0 header differences.

    Additional features of GEMPAK 5.7.4

  • GD programs have been enhanced to use lat/lon points from NMAP cursor point files (CPFs)

  • NWX tables updated for new CID implementation. New pqact.conf entries for text product identifier changes are provided. Users will need to update pqact entries after 11/9/2004 to reflect NWS broadcast WMO/PIL changes. Users of old distributions will have to update their pqact actions and $GEMTBL/nwx files to keep pace with data stream changes as well.

  • GARP updated to use datatype.tbl templates as modelkeys (in $Garp_defaults.tbl) for access to grid files, allowing grid data to be stored in separate directories, use of file by forecast hour (FFF template, and standardizing grid access between GARP and other GEMPAK programs (Unidata).

  • Dcgrib2 tables updated to reflect AVN to GFS transtition. Storing of products decoded from GRIB2/JPEG2000 bulletins improved to use number of bits input to JPEG2000 encoding, resulting in smaller GEMPAK files than previous.

    Modified gribkeys.tbl to store files by model name under $MODEL in order to reduce files in a single directory, improve scouring by model type and grid, and allow for storage of model forecast times in separate files (useful where storing all times in a single file would create very large files).

  • Added ability to plot QuikSCAT winds from BUFR files (QBUF) available from NOAAPORT (Unidata). Use ISXX.. KNES pattern as shown in $NAWIPS/ldm/etc/templates/pqact.gempak_upc, eg:
      # Quikscat BUFR
      HRS	^ISXX(..) KNES ([0-3][0-9])([0-2][0-9])([0-6][0-9])
      	FILE	data/gempak/qsct/(\2:yyyy)(\2:mm)\2\3.bufr

    Additional features of GEMPAK 5.8.1

  • A general grid library rewrite has been done to improve time handling and grid navigation.

      Work has begun on updating the grid programs to use the new functions in the DG and GD libraries. In this release, the following programs contain calls to the new functions:


      The remaining grid programs will be updated in future releases.

  • GEMPAK 5.8.1 adds internal grid interpolation to facilitate computations involving grids of different navigations.

      NAWIPS now has the ability to remap grid data as part of the diagnostic calculations. Previous versions required that all grids involved in a calculation be on the same projection and area. With this release, any grid on any navigation can be used in the same diagnostic calculation.

      For example, a difference can be computed between the 500 mb height field from the ETA and GFS models. Multiple grid files may be listed in the GDFILE parameter. The first grid file in the list defines the internal navigation used for the computation of the diagnostic. So, an entry of "GDFILE = eta + gfs" is remapped to the eta navigation, while "gfs + eta" is remapped to the gfs.

      This functionality is available in those programs which have completed the upgrade to new grid functions as listed in the previous section

  • Distance Scale Legend Added to GEMPAK and NMAP2

      A new GEMPAK parameter, MSCALE, has been added for use by GEMPAK programs that display maps. Specifically, gdcntr, gdmap, gdplot, gdplot2, gdstream, gdwind, gpltln, gpmap, sfmap and snmap can now display a distance scale legend anywhere within the view region of a map using any "true" latitude. The distances can be displayed in nautical miles, kilometers, or statute miles. The user can specify the text attributes, including font, size and style. The exact distance values to be displayed can be specified and need not be whole numbers or equally spaced. For more details on the available options and the precise syntax, see the help file: "phelp mscale" or $GEMHLP/hlx/mscale.hl2.

      The distance scale can also be plotted in NMAP. A "Scale" check box has been added to the "Map Selection" GUI to control the plotting and attributes of the legend. Click the "Scale" check box to plot the distance scale. Click the "Scale" button to invoke the "Scale Attribute" GUI to specify scale legend attributes including position, true latitude, units, distance values, text attributes and color.

      The distance scale plotting and attributes can be specified for each display loop like other map attributes and can be applied or inherited from other loops using the "Apply Settings" and "Get Settings" buttons, respectively. Distance scale plotting and attributes can also be saved and restored from Stored Procedure Files (SPFs).

      The default legend attributes for NMAP are specified in the table $GEMTBL/nmap/mapovl.nmap. Default attributes include an on/off flag, color, distance units, screen position, true latitude and distance values. See this table for additional details.

  • Added Support for Tilda '~' for Path Names

      The tilda '~' can now be used to specify file path names in N-AWIPS tables, e.g., $GEMTBL/nmap/vgf.nmap. A file pathname can either be a full pathname (/dir/sdir1/sdir2), or include the use of an environmental variable ($HOME/sdir1/sdir2), or include the use of tilda (~/sdir1/sdir2).

  • Ability to Control Line Width For Winter Weather

      The line width can now be controlled when outlining winter storm warnings, watches, and advisories in GPMAP. The new parameter line for WSTM is:

      End time|WN;WT;AD clrs|Tm|Lb|Outline/WN;WT;AD lwidth

      The line widths follow the / after the Outline flag. If any line width value is missing or less than 1 or greater than 10, a default line width of 3 is used. See $GEMHLP/hlx/wstm.hl2 for additional details.

      The line width can now be controlled in NMAP2 displays of winter weather advisories, watches and warnings (WSTM). Click the "Line" button in the "WSTM Attributes" GUI to specify the desired line width using a slider bar. The width is applied if the "Outline" check box is on. The default line width is specified in the table $GEMTBL/config/miscset.tbl. See this table for additional details. Since miscset.tbl has been modified, old SPF files using WSTM data should be recreated to use the new attribute.

  • Add Decode and Display of CB and TCU for TAFs.

  • Unidata additions include improved GRIB2 handling for products available in the DVB-S NWSTG channel, updated tables, and NMAP2 modifications to allow parameter and tilt selection for Level II radar data within NMAP2 (Using "Edit Source" under "dataset Selection").

    Additional features of GEMPAK 5.8.2a

  • NMAP Time Binning of Observational Data

      Time binning of observational data has been added to NMAP2. Time binning allows observations to be combined from different times into NMAP frames for display. This capability is especially useful for observations that are not concentrated at nominal observation times.

      For more information, see the "What's New" section in the NMAP help panel.

  • Ensemble computation capability introduced for grids

      GEMPAK 5.8.2 adds ensemble creation using sets of grid files. This release adds the ability to specify sets of grid files to be processed in ensemble calculations. Currently, ensemble means are computed. Additional ensemble functions will be added in future releases. Ensemble calculations can use grids on different navigations, expanding the functionality of the general grid library rewrite first introduced in version 5.8.1.

      For examples, see the "What's New" section in the NMAP help panel as well as the on line help for GDFILE and GPARM.

  • Add County Fill for WOU and WCN Displays

      Watch Outline Update (WOU) and Watch County Notification (WCN) displays now support county fill in addition to outline. Status update displays have been enhanced to allow the option of only displaying the most recent status line via the WTCH attributes.

  • Enhanced Display Options for Watch Status Lines

      Plotting options for the Watch Status Line have been enhanced for NMAP2 and GPMAP. Options are to plot the most recent status line, the watch time for the watch box and/or watch status line, and the watch number for either the watch box and/or watch status line. The "WTCH Attributes" GUI has been modified with additional check boxes to control these attributes.

  • Additional GRIB2 capability

      A stand-alone GRIB2 decoder NAGRIB2 has been added to the core development. The ability to pack and store data in GRIB2 format within GEMPAK grid files will be added in a future release.

  • Additional GRID programs now support grid diagnostics for grids on different projections/domains.

      The following programs now include calls to the new functions:

      • GDPLOT2
      • NMAP2
      • GDDIAG
      • GDOMEG
      • GDGSFC

  • Additional Unidata Updates
    • Added new product ids for aviation product handling in decoders.
    • Updated pqact decoder entries for dcncon, dccsig, dcairm, dcisig for header changes.
    • Updated pqact NWX entries for airmets, sigmets, convective sigmets, international sigments.

    Additional features of GEMPAK 5.8.3a

  • Ensemble Cyclone Tracks added to NMAP2 and GPMAP

      The ensemble cyclone tracks generated by various forecast models (GFS, NAM, UKMET, NCEP Ensemble, ...) can now be decoded and displayed (in NMAP2 and GPMAP) as a new miscellaneous data type. In many respects, these data sets are similar to the ATCF forecast track data which is decoded "on the fly" and displayed as miscellaneous data type ATCF in NMAP2 and as parameter ATCF in GPMAP. Ensemble tracks can be found on the NCEP/EMCweb pages.

  • Watch Corner Point (WCP) product decoder and display capability added.

      A new decoder, DCWCP, decodes the WCP text messages created by the WOU- update program. The decoded message is in an ASCII format, similar to the decoded watches. Please see $GEMHLP/hlp/dcwcp.hlp for more information on the DCWCP decoder and its output format.

      new parameter (WCP) has been added to GPMAP for displaying the decoded WCP data. The watch lines in the decoded WCP file have the option to be color coded to the watch number. Otherwise, by default, they are color coded as severe thunderstorms (cyan) and tornadoes (red). The capability to display WCPs in NMAP2 is also available. The data source is found under the "MISC" data source category.

  • Decode and Display of New Buoy/CMAN Parameters

      The marine surface decoder DCMSFC has been modified to decode five new section 5 ("national practice") buoy/CMAN parameters - highest one-minute mean wind speed in m/s (PKWS), direction of one-minute peak wind in degrees (PKWD), time of one-minute peak wind as hhmm (PKWT), lowest one-minute average pressure in millibars (PMN1), and time of lowest one-minute average pressure as hhmm (PMNT). New computed parameters PKWK (highest one- minute mean wind speed in knots) and BRPK (wind barb in knots for highest peak 1-minute wind) were added. Tables were modified to allow for display in NMAP2 and the GEMPAK SF programs.

  • The remaining GEMPAK application programs have been converted to use the new DG and GD library functions to access grid files. (See the release notes item IV A. from version 5.8.1 for additional description).

  • Vertical Layer Diagnostics Added

      GEMPAK gridded data diagnostic functionality has been enhanced to allow for computations over layers containing multiple levels of the vertical coordinate. This functionality allows for a new set of LYR_ functions to be entered in GFUNC or GDPFUN to calculate layer quantities. The general form of the user input is

      	LYR_X ( arg1 & arg2 & ... & argN & argout | levels )

      where X is the name of the function (currently only SWTM exists), arg1-argN are input arguments, argout identifies a particular output if the function can produce more than one output, and levels is an optional input specifying the levels to be used. If levels is not specified, the level information is taken from the GLEVEL input.

      The infrastructure for the LYR_ capability has been created for this release along with one function. This single function is LYR_SWTM, which calculates a weighted layer average of its single input argument. This argument can be any valid diagnostic function string. Additional layer diagnostics will be added in future releases.

  • New Ensemble Diagnostics Added

      Three new ensemble diagnostics have been added in this release. They are:

      1. ENS_SSPRD ( scalar_input_arg ) -- Computes the spread (sample standard deviation) over the members of an ensemble.
      2. ENS_VAVG ( vector_input_arg ) -- Computes the average of a vector over the members of an ensemble. The result is a vector field.
      3. ENS_VSPRD ( vector_input_arg ) -- Computes the spread (sample standard deviation) of a vector over the members of an ensemble. The result is a scalar field: SQRT{ [1/(N-1)]*SUM[(V-Vavg)*(V-Vavg)] }, where N is number of members, V is vector for a given member, Vavg is the ensemble average vector, and * represents a vector dot product.

  • Export GIF files from NMAP2 and the XW device driver

      The XW driver has been modified to allow the user to "take a picture" of the current frame. There is a new GEMPAK command, GSAVE, that takes the output file name as an argument and saves the frame to the file in the GIF format. This command operates from any GEMPAK text-interface program that draws data to an X Window. Type help from any GEMPAK program to get additional information on this command.

      The export GIF functionality was also added to NMAP2. From the File menu, select "Export to GIF". A popup window appears and allows the user to enter the output file name. When OK is selected, the current frame is saved to the output file. If the output file exists, a file name is constructed that adds a three digit number to the file name. For example, if the file gempak.gif exists and the user attempts to save a new frame to the same name, then the output file will be gempak_001.gif. The next time the same file name is used, the output file will be gempak_002.gif, etc.

      If the user has set the roam factor to larger than the default, then the entire pixmap is saved to the output file, not just the portion that is in view in the window.

  • OA Bounds Blocking

      The objective analysis (OA) programs OABSFC and OABSND have a new parameter OABND. OABND specifies the bounds file(s) to use for 'blocking', that is masking out geographical areas based on bounded areas. Observations within the bounded area are not considered nor are observations whose line-of- sight to an analysis point is 'blocked' by a bounded area. Multiple bound areas may be specified; the default is NULL - no bounds blocking specified. See $GEMHLP/hlx/oabnd.hl2 or type 'phelp oabnd' for additional information.

  • Added New GUESFUN Parameter to OA programs

      A new GEMPAK parameter, GUESFUN, has been added to the objective analysis (OA) programs, OABSFC and OABSND. The new parameter allows the user to specify a different field as a first guess than the analyzed field. For example the 10 meter temperature from a model can now be used as a first guess for the 2 meter temperature analyzed field.

      ***** IMPORTANT PLEASE NOTE: *****

      The previous practice of specifying the forecast hour (time) along with the filename in the GUESS parameter is replaced with this capability. The forecast hour of the model grid MUST now be placed in-line in the new GUESFUN parameter. Therefore, any scripts specifying the forecast time in the GUESS parameter MUST be modified. An example of specifying the forecast hour with the new GUESFUN parameter is :

      	GUESFUN = hght@10%HGHT^f012

      See the GEMPAK help on GUESFUN for additional details.

  • Added Raw Sounding Reports Display to NWX

      Raw sounding reports, e.g., TTAA, TTBB, etc., can now be displayed in NWX. To view raw sounding reports, select "Observed Data", then select "Sounding Data". The tables $GEMTBL/nwx/master.tbl and guidata.tbl have been modified accordingly.

    Additional features of GEMPAK 5.8.4

  • Decode and Display of 12Z GFS Extended MOS Data

      On September 13, 2005, the NWS added extended-range MOS guidance based on the global forecast system (GFS) for the 12Z cycle. The extended range GFS MOS decoder DCXMOS has been modified to process 12Z as well as 00Z data.

  • New Ensemble Diagnostics Added

      The members of an ensemble listed between curly brackets ({}) in GDFILE input may be assigned weights. If no weights are assigned, the members are equally weighted. The weight values range from 0 to 100 and must sum to 100. The weight is prefixed to the name of the member and followed by a "%" which acts as a delimiter between the weight value and the name. If the member name refers to a collection of individual members (e.g., SREF), then the weight value is divided equally among those individual members. These weights can be used in computing ensemble scalar and vector means (ENS_SAVG and ENS_VAVG) and the ensemble percentile funcion (ENS_PRCNTL, see description below), but not spreads. The help for GDFILE provides more information.

      A new ensemble function, ENS_PRCNTL, has been added to compute the value of a function associated with a given percentile of occurrence within a weighted ensemble. The percentile may be specified as a constant or as a parameter or function that is valued between 0 and 100. For example if the value of 50 is specified, then the median of a diagnostic over ensemble members can be computed. The help for GPARM has more information on ENS_PRCNTL.

      A new ensemble function, ENS_MODE, is now available to estimate the mode, the most frequently occurring value, in a weighted ensemble. This function will usually find the dominant mode closest to the mean. Secondary modes are ignored. An iterative trisection algorithm is used that takes into account the weights of the members.

      New ensemble functions to calculate the maximum, minimum and range for a scalar diagnostic field over the range of ensembles have been developed. These functions are ENS_SMAX, ENS_SMIN and ENS_SRNG, respectively. See the GPARM help for additional details.

  • OABSFC updated to permit user control over the naming of the output analyzed grids.

      GDATTIM may now be used to override the default values provided by DATTIM; GFUNC may now be used to override PARMS; GLEVEL and GVCORD may now be used to override '0' and 'SFC', respectively. See the help file for OABSFC for more information and restrictions.

      **** Important Please Note ****

      Existing scripts may be inadvertently affected by this change. Specifically, the values for GDATTIM, GFUNC, GLEVEL, and GVCORD set by other scripts will now affect the output of OABSFC. Therefore, these parameters MUST be set to blank in existing scripts to ensure that OABSFC continues to operate as before this release.

  • New parameters for NSHARP

      New sounding diagnostics have been added to NSHARP. This development was done in collaboration with the OPC.

      The current modifications include three main changes: 1) Page 2 of the diagnostic panel is now the new "OPC Low Level Stability" page, 2) this page details three measures of atmospheric stability with calculations and relevant layer data, and 3) the mixing heights from the various OPC calculations are now shown graphically on the SKEWT display.

      The new OPC diagnostics are measures of low level atmospheric stability. The simplest of these is the temperature gradient between the 975 hPa level and the surface, which is negative under mixed conditions. A basic measure of the surface mixing height is the height of the lowest temperature inversion; this level is drawn on the SKEWT display as a solid yellow line. Two alternate measures of the mixing height are calculated using either a layer-based or surface-based lapse rate. The threshold criterion for the mixing level is 85% of the dry adiabatic lapse rate (as in BUFKIT). The layer-based calculated height is shown as a dotted cyan line on the SKEWT graph, and the surface-based height is shown as a dashed magenta line.

      The new mixing height lines are fully dynamic and will automatically be redrawn when looping or manually altering the data profile.

  • Program GDTSER Missing Data Checking

      GDTSER plots time series of the grid data. In previous releases, if a data gap exceeds twice the minimum data interval, the plotting function did not connect the segments between the points even though the data exists. This posed problems for grid data such as GFS when forecast hours change from 3h to 12h after F180. The connecting segments abruptly stopped at the temporal discontinuity point. This release removes the data gap checking mechanism so grid fields are connected at each data point as long as the data exist.

  • Notable Table Updates

      The zone table $GEMTBL/stns/zones.tbl has been updated in accordance with NWS changes distributed in May and June, 2005.

      The spcwatch.tbl has been updated according to the October 25, 2005 implementation of new anchor points.

      Sfmetar_sa.tbl has many additions for US and Canadian stations as needed to keep pace with datastream changes.

  • Configuration Management Changes

      The N-AWIPS directory topology has been modified by to conform to the UNIX paradigm for operating system (os) specific programs, includes, and object libraries. In other words, the bin, include and lib directories for a specific os will have a COMMON root path. This change makes the inclusion of external libraries and packages more straight forward by allowing the use of supplied configure scripts rather than individual package tree configurations.

      The Gemenviron and Gemenviron.profile configurations have been modified to conform to the new tree structure. Specifically, $GEMEXE is redefined from $NAWIPS/bin/$NA_OS to $NAWIPS/os/$NA_OS/bin, while platform independent scripts and utilities will be found under $NAWIPS/bin.

      All external libraries needed by N-AWIPS have been moved to sub-directories under $NAWIPS/extlibs. The sub-directories include:

      • AODT, CREWSS, GAMET, GPC, JasPer, melBUFR, NDFD, netCDF, PNG, xml2, xslt, zlib, rsl, and BZIP2.

      **** Important Please Note ****

      Sites which develop local applications and utilities may need to check any path names used for executable and build environments especially if the Gemenviron and Makeinc.common files are not used.

  • Unidata distribution specific change

      The speedpatch modification developed by SUNY-Albany has been rolled in to the Unidata distribution. No further changes are necessary.

  • nmap_kiosk program added for automatically switching NMAP loop frames

      A new program nmap_kiosk has been added to facilitate the use of NMAP2 in a kiosk setting. NMAP2 provides up to 16 loop frames, and has autoupdate features for loops containing imagery as a dominant source. Typically, switching between loops is done either through the selection widget, or the keyboard hot "F" keys.

      To enable the loops to be cycled at specified intervals, the nmap_kiosk program is provided to provide the keyboard hotkey input. A script $NAWIPS/bin/run_kiosk.csh is provided to facilitate use.

      User defined parameters in the script are the first loop frame and last loop frame to iterate through, and the sleep time in between each loop change. The script calls the X11 utility xwininfo to allow the user to click on the desired NMAP2 invocation to run in kiosk mode.

    Additional features of GEMPAK 5.9.1

  • Removed Restrictions on Model Selections

      Previously, NMAP had restrictions on the number of models, groups and products that could be accessed by the "Data Source" GUI. These limits have been removed.

  • Upgrades to METAR Decoder for WMO Code Form Changes

      Modifications were made to the DCMETR decoder to handle changes to the WMO code form effective Nov. 2, 2005: allow "NDV" (no directional variation) to be appended to the 4-digit visibility value; allow "NCD" (no clouds detected) to be used for sky cover for automated systems; allow "COR" immediately preceding the station id to denote a correction.

  • Increase Number of METAR Specials Saved per Hour

      The number of METAR special reports which can be stored per hour (as text strings) in the GEMPAK file created by DCMETR has been increased from a maximum of 6 to a maximum of 30. Anywhere from 15 specials (at between 81 and 160 characters each) to 30 specials (at less than or equal to 80 characters each) can now be stored for a station for a given hour. The actual number stored depends on the aggregate report length of all the specials for the station at the time. The specials may be viewed with SFLIST (SFPARM=SPCL) or NWX (Observed Data/Surface Hourlies).

  • New GRIB2 Program Available

      A new program, GDGRIB2, is available that converts GEMPAK grids to GRIB edition 2 format. GDGRIB2 converts an existing GEMPAK grid or writes out any grid diagnostic to the GRIB2 file. In addition, a horizontal interpolation is invoked, when necessary, to store the GRIB2 formatted data points on any user specified grid. For information on available parameters and example usage, type "help gdgrib2" in any GEMPAK program.

  • New Logical Grid Diagnostics

      A new set of logical grid diagnostics have been developed to support the new ensemble probability function (ENS_PROB). A set of arithmetic logical functions has been added to provide for multivariate relative frequency (probability) estimations from ensembles. One-sided inequalities LT, LE, GT, and GE have two arguments, S1 and S2, and evaluate, respectively, S1S2, and S1>=S2. A true evaluation is assigned the value 1.0, a false evaluation is assigned 0. Two-sided inequalities GTLT, GELT, GTLE, and GELE have three arguments, S1, S2, and S3, and evaluate, respectively, S2 A new set of functions (AND, OR, EOR) allows for logical combinations of arithmetic logical evaluations. These functions take two or more operators. The AND evaluates to 1 (true) if all of its arguments are nonzero; OR evaluates to 1 (true) if at least one of its arguments is nonzero; and EOR evaluates to 1 (true) if exactly one of it arguments is nonzero and all the others are zero. These functions return 0 if the evaluation is false.

      Three additional logical functions are added: EQ (S1,S2,S3) evaluates |S1-S2| <= S3, NE (S1,S2,S3) evaluates |S1-S2| > S3, and NOT (S) evaluates S==0. If the evaluation is true the function assigns 1; otherwise 0.

      See help on GPARM for additional details.

  • Multi-variate Ensemble Probability

      A new ensemble function, ENS_PROB, is provided to perform weighted relative frequency of occurrence calculations using the new suite of logical functions (AND, OR, EOR, NOT, LT, LE, GT, GE, GTLT, GELT, GTLE, GELE, EQ, NE). This function performs a weighted average of the 1 or 0 valued outputs of the logical evaluation for each ensemble member. The resulting value lies on the interval [0,1] and can be taken as an estimate of probability. For example to compute the ensemble probability of the wind speed exceeding 10 m/s AND the temperature less than 0 C enter the following:


      See help on GPARM for additional details.

  • New Grid Diagnostic Utility Functions

      Four new grid diagnostic functions have been added: 1) IGPT - computes I grid index values with respect to the reference grid (determined by the first GDFILE entry or GDOUTF); 2) JGPT - computes the J grid index values with respect to the reference grid; 3) SGMX (S) - computes the maximum of scalar argument S and returns a grid with this value at every point; 4) SGMN (S) - like SGMX, except that it computes the minimum.

  • Add Saved Procedures to NTRANS

      NTRANS now has the ability to save procedures in NTRANS similar to NMAP2. This functionality allows the user to save settings for models, groups and panel location for multi panel display. A new drop down menu (Procedures) has been added to the NTRANS top menu bar with the options to restore or save a procedure file.

      The NTRANS Procedure File (NPF) stores the number of rows and columns that are displayed for a multi-panel display. It also contains information about each panel. This information includes the metafile source name with the model cycle date and time replaced with a [cycle_date] and [cycle_hour], respectively. The column and row location of the panel, the group name, and whether the source was used to set the valid time for the animation are also saved within the file.

      When a user loads a .npf file, the text strings [cycle_date] and [cycle_hour] within the source name are replaced with the latest available cycle date and hour for that model source. The model used to set the valid time (if done at all) is loaded first with the remaining models loading at the matching times and time intervals.

    Additional features of GEMPAK 5.9.2

  • Capability to Save Specific Cycle Time for SPFs in NMAP2

      A new panel has been added to the "Save To SPF File" GUI titled "Save Source Timestamp As:'. To save the loaded cycle time to the SPF, click the "Constant" radio button. The "Latest" radio button which is the default saves the cycle time as a template as in previous releases. Thus, if this button is selected, the current cycle is selected upon restoring the SPF.

  • Wind Speed Color Coding Added to Ensemble Cyclone Display

      The plotting of ensemble cyclone tracks in NMAP2 and GPMAP has been enhanced to allow the user to color-code the tracks according to the maximum surface wind in knots at each forecast point.

  • Maximum Number of File Name Template Characters Increased

      The number of characters in FILE TEMPLATE field of the table $GEMTBL/config/datatype.tbl was increased from 25 to 48 in order to allow the ability to read data files with long names (for example, grid files from the high resolution WRF sectors).

  • Enhanced Gaussian Weighted Filter Diagnostic

      The GWFS (Gaussian weighted filter) diagnostic function has been changed to specify a larger footprint for the weighted averaging, allowing for reductions at wavelengths up to 200 delta grid units.

  • New Program GDPLOT3

      A new program, GDPLOT3, has been added to incorporate the functionality from GPTEXT, GPBOX, GPANOT into GDPLOT2. The program is linked with various drivers including TIFF. This program was developed to support efficient WAFS graphics generation on the CCS.

  • New XML Library Routines

      Three new public library routines have been added to the cgemlib/xml library. These provide some basic query functionality that can be applied generically to xml documents. Additional use of XML use within GEMPAK is being developed for future releases.
    Unidata Specific Additions

  • Updated Level II radar routines for additional VCPs and ORDA product IDs

      The RSL library package used for Level II plotting has been upgraded to version 1.34 which adds several VCPs in addition to changes necessary for new ORDA deployment.

  • New program GDCSV

      A new program GDCSV has been created to create a comma separated output of data values at grid and lat/lon point locations. This program can be used to output location of maximas found using the HIGH and LOWS functions, as well as all other functions.

  • Ability to read NetCDF format radar composites from NSSL

      Added the ability to display revised NetCDF formats for 2-D and 3-D radar mosaics which will be available from NSSL in the near future.

  • Added CINS grid calculation
  • Additional features of GEMPAK 5.9.3

  • Time Matching Rules

      The capability to change the time matching rules for each dominant data source type has been added to NMAP2. A time matching field has been added as the tenth column in $GEMTBL/config/datatype.tbl. The time matching rules are as follows:
      1. exact only
      2. closest before or equal
      3. closest after or equal
      4. closest before or after

  • Display Flash Flood Watches in NMAP2 and GPMAP

      The Flash Flood and Areal Flood watches are now displayable using NMAP2 and GPMAP in the same manner as winter storm watches. The option is available to display the watch time, the watch county/zone name, the immediate cause of the flood, and whether to display the outline of the watch county/zone.

  • Enhancement of Tropical Storm and Radial Wind Forecasts

      The display of tropical storm location and radial wind forecasts has been enhanced in NMAP2 and GPMAP for datatype MIS C/HRCN. The storm forecasts can now be plotted every six hours from 00 to 96, and at 120 hours. The data plotted at 00, 12, 24, 36, 48, 72, 96, and120 hours are decoded from the Tropical Cyclone Forecast Advisory. The storm locations at all other forecast hours are calcula ted using a linear interpolation from the previous and subsequent decoded forecast hour, and the wind radii ranges are assigned the values from the previous decoded forecast hour. In addition, the valid time is now plotted at every sto rm forecast displayed, when the Time flag is set.

  • New Layer Diagnostics

      The Layer Max/Min function computes the maximum or minimum of a scalar quantity over the specified levels. The functio n can also compute the value of an output grid where the max or min of the input grid occurs. The syntax for the function is:

              LYR_MXMN ( ARGIN & FLDOUT [ & ARGOUT ] [ | LEVELS ] )

      FLDOUT controls what grid values are returned to the user. If FLDOUT is MXVAL or MNVAL, then the values are the maxim um or minimum values of grid specified by ARGIN. If FLDOUT is MXOUT or MNOUT, then values are from the grid specifie d by ARGOUT at the same level as the maximum or minimum of ARGIN. LEVELS is a list of individual levels or a range. S ee the help for GFUNC for examples.

      The Layer Value on an Isosurface function computes the value of a function on a specified isosurface of a second funct ion. The function finds the isosurface by either searching the levels from the bottom or from the top. It will also re turn values associated with the Nth isosurface. The syntax for the function is:


      FVALU is the grid that is interpolated to the isosurface. FISFC is the grid that represents the isosurface. VISFC is t he threshold applied to FISFC. This can be a grid or a constant value. N is the occurrence number of the isosurfaces. If N is positive, the search is conducted starting at the bottom. A negative N starts the search at the top level. GR ADFLAG is a function to specify whether the data is increasing or decreasing across the threshold during the search. L EVELS is a list of individual levels or a range. See the help for GFUNC for examples.

    Unidata Specific Additions

  • Improved GRIB2 decoding

      Dcgrib2 decoding of GRIB2 format products has been modified to use the native product packing for storage in GEMPAK grid files. This change allows the decoder to work more efficiently by not having to unpack and then repack the data using GRIB1 bit packing, and the resulant GEMPAK grid files are smaller. GRIB1 format messages will be decoded into GEMPAK grid files as before. All user programs which intend to read the GRIB2 decoded products written by v5.9.3 dcgrib2 should be updated to the new library version when the decoder is installed.

  • Change of $MODEL/eta directory name to $MODEL/nam

      The NAM grid files are now expected to be located in the directory named $MODEL/nam as configured in $GEMTBL/config/datatype.tbl. The supplied $GEMTBL/grid/gribkey.tbl file used by dcgrib2 (through the the LDM pqact actions provided with this release) has been updated to coincide with this location. User programs which use the NAM data set templates will be unaffected. A legacy copy of datatype.tbl using $MODEL/eta directory names is available as $GEMTBL/config/datatype.tbl.eta.

  • Added new Polar Orbiter product identifiers in GINI code

      Satellite platform numbers have been added for the NESDIS products to be added to NOAAPORT.

    Notification of a significant change planned to be implemented in the N-AWIPS 5.9.4 release

    The grid diagnostic libraries and associated INCLUDE files have been converted from FORTRAN to the _C_ programming language. These libraries are DG, DF, DV, DL, DE, PD and the INCLUDE file _DGCMN.CMN_. This implementation is part of a larger effort to eliminate current grid size limitations within GEMPAK grid applications. In N-AWIPS 5.9.4, the grid limit will be raised to 750K points. Future efforts will target the goal of eliminating ALL grid size limitations within ALL GEMPAK applications and libraries.

    The overall functionality of grid diagnostic libraries has not changed. Users of GEMPAK programs that employ these libraries (such as GDPLOT2) should not see any calculation differences between the new code (v5.9.4) and previous versions. In addition, the performance of these libraries has not changed. The N-AWIPS team has conducted an extensive set of regression tests for the converted libraries in our development environment to ensure the integrity and performance of the system.


    As part of this conversion, we have eliminated several dg library routines that have not been used by the operational baseline applications for over a year. These routines will no longer be supported in version 5.9.4. If you have your own applications that use the dg library, please see the migration document that lists the eliminated dg routines and describes how to replace them with the supported routines. In addition, the gd library has been modified for more efficient management of grid files. If your applications require modifications, they can be made with the 5.9.3 baseline.

    Note: An example program illustrating grid access is available here: newgrid_example.tar.gz.

    Additional features of GEMPAK 5.9.4

  • GEMLIB Grid library routines converted to "C". See note above for porting instructions.

  • Capability to Plot Different Text Sizes Around Station Model Added to SFMAP

      The capability to assign different text sizes to data plotted around a station model has been added to program SFMAP. The text sizes are presented to the program by including them in the SFPARM parameter. The text size and line width for plotting a data type are appended to the data type parameter separated by colons. For mor information, see the help SFPARM.

  • Capability to Plot Filtered Data Values for SFMAP

      Users of SFMAP are now able to take a single data type culled by the filter and plot their values in columns along the edge of a chart. The columns (up to 4) consist of the station ID followed by the data value. Edge plotting is controlled by the new LSTPRM parameter string that specifies the data type, the location of the column origin, and a list of plotting specifications that is identical in order and function to the parameter string for TEXT.
    Unidata Specific Additions

  • Dcgrib2

    • Added %ens% ensemble member template for GRIB2 file output.

      In order to provide flexibility in decoded output. The following environment variables may be used to configure the decoder:

      • ENSEXT : Environmental variable for adding ensemble extensions to parameter nam If ENSEXT is not set, use of PDSEXT parameter name extensions defaults to yes for grib1 and no for grib2. If ENSEXT is set, and equal to 1, then the extension will be added to parameter names. If ENSEXT is set, and not equal to 1, the PDS extension will not be added to parameter names.

      • MDMETH : Environmental variable for backward compatibility when decoding GRIB2 Default storage method uses GRIB2 packing (MDGRB2) for grib2 data, which is not backward compatible with older GEMPAK distributions. If environmental variable MDMETH=MDGDEC, use backward compatibility - which will be much slower for GRIB2 decoding, and result in output files which may be much larger. See release notes with 5.9.3 regarding GRIB2 data packing by dcgrib2.

  • Added MSG (Meteosat second generation (eg Meteosat 8) ) navigation.

  • Maximum grid size for calculations has been increased from 400,000 to 750,000 points. The largest grid which may be stored is currently set to 1,679,940 points (based on NCWD bulletins).

  • Added USPLN lightning data decoder DCUSPLN.

    Additional features of GEMPAK 5.10.1

  • Contour labeling enhanced to support text strings.

  • New ensemble probability functions ENS_CPRB and ENS_CVA.

  • New daylight savings time rules for 2007.

  • Increased maximum grid sizes. Maximum grid size limit has been eliminated from several programs.

    Unidata Specific Additions

  • Included NCEP bufr unblocking and reblocking utility cwordsh

      BUFR sounding files posted on the NCEP ftp server are blocked on a big endian (byte order) machine. To use these files with NAMSND on a little endian OS, the files must be unblocked and reblocked. Information on this utility is available here.

      To use the utility to unblock and reblock the data for little endian machines:

      1. Unblock the the BUFR file. Select "unblk", enter the existing BUFR file, and provide a name for the unblocked BUFR file.
      2. Reblock the BUFR file. Select "block", enter the unblocked BUFR file, and provide a name for the reblocked BUFR file.

      A test script $NAWIPS/unidata/programs/cwordsh/reblock.csh in the source distribution to unblock and reblock as sample data file, and then convert to GEMPAK format using NAMSND.

  • Added grid function RELI(tmpc,dwpc) function to compute Relative Humidity with respect to ice. This function utilizes the WMO standard Goff-Gratch equations.

    Additional features of GEMPAK 5.10.2

  • Multiple Locator Displays Added to NMAP2

      NMAP2 now supports multiple, simultaneous locator displays. For example, the latitude/longitude, county and NEXRAD identifier can be displayed simultaneously as the cursor is moved. The GUI has a new widget that specifies the position. When the mouse is in the main drawing area, the second, third,... readouts will appear if they are ON; when the mouse leaves the drawing area, those readouts (except the first one) will disappear.

  • Advanced Dvorak Technique Version 7.2

      The latest version of the UW-CIMSS's Advanced Dvorak Technique (ADT) v7.2 has been incorporated into NMAP2 and standalone utility program aodt. NMAP2 AODT pulldown "Operational" refers to version 6.4 and "Experimental" indicates version 7.2. For more information about AODT, see Weather and Forecasting, vol 22, number 2 pp 287-298.

  • Contour Labeling Enhancement

      A new feature has been added to GEMPAK contour drawing routines that enables users to specify the number of digits that appear in the integer portion of contour labels. This option is invoked by supplying a fourth substring in the CINT parameter string that controls the length of the label. Nothing to right of the decimal point, whether in normal or scientific notation, is affected by this option.

    Unidata specific updates

  • DCSUOMI updated to handle new (modified) Suominet NetCDF file CDL (Csu.*nc products). Updated corresponding LDM pqact.conf entry.

  • GDRADR updated to remove LLMXTG maximum grid size dependency.
  • Garp updated to conform to new gempak library contour label parameters in function calls (fixes previous dumps on various systems).
  • Updated pqact patterns and tables for SREF products.
  • New programs GD2IMG and IMG2GD developed to convert gridded data to image format and image to grid.

    Additional features of GEMPAK 5.10.3

  • Option to Save Reference Time for NMAP SPF Access Added
      An option has been added to allow the NMAP2 time line reference time to be saved to Stored Procedure Files (SPFs) for later access such as case studies. A new button called "Save Reference Time" has been added to the "Save To SPF File". If this button is clicked, then the reference time is saved to the SPF. When the SPF is restored, the reference time will be used to set the time line for the dominant data type, accordingly.

  • Option To Categorize Models in NMAP2 Selection GUI Added
      A new feature has been added to NMAP2 grid data selection that allows models to be grouped under user-defined categories. No database changes, or changes to the $GEMTBL/nmap/mod_res.tbl are required. A new table, $GEMTBL/nmap/grid_cat.tbl specifies the mapping between user defined grid category names and models. The table has two columns. The first specifies the user specified grid category name and the second column specifies the models that will appear under that category in the NMAP "Data Source", " GRID" entry. For example, say the table includes two categories, Global, and Regional, with gfs; ecwf; ukmet, and nam;ruc;ngm entries, respectively. When "GRID" is selected in the "Data Source" GUI, Global and Regional appear as entries in the scroll window under GRID. If Global is selected, then the gfs, ecwf and ukmet appear in the scroll window under Global. If Regional is selected, then the nam, ruc and ngm entries appear in the scroll window. Note that a third category under the GRID called "Others" is automatically generated to include all other models in mod_res table that were not specified as entries in the grid_cat.tbl. If the grid_cat.tbl does not exist or all of its entries are commented out, then NMAP model selection using the "Data Source" GUI remains the same as previous versions of NMAP2.

    Unidata specific updates

  • Added support for reading Unidata UNIWISC data stream AREA files in compressed format.
      The $NAWIPS/ldm/etc/templates/pqact.gempak_images pattern actions for LDM have been updated to replace the PIPE actions, which relied on the LDM-MCIDAS decoder pnga2area, with FILE actions. Alternate PIPE actions are provided in the $NAWIPS/ldm/etc/templates/pqact.gempak_images.old file. Since older versions of GEMPAK display programs will not be able to read the AREA files compressed for Unidata's IDD transmission, sites should upgrade all workstations before changing to the new patterns.

  • Added choice of g77 or gfortran compiler for Linux. To build from source using gfortran, you must have gfortran 4.1+. The gfortran 4.0.2 compiler tested did not handle BYTE types. To select the compiler to use, uncomment the desired compiler in Gemenviron and/or Gemenviron.profile. USE_GFORTRAN is set by default.

    Additional features of GEMPAK 5.10.4

  • Decode and Display Warnings by Polygon
  • TAF decoder now stores files based on cycle time
  • Time binning for satellite scatterometer winds
  • JASON Altimetry data
  • DCGRIB2 updated to determine GRIB2 grid definition numbers for the @@@ template from $GEMTBL/grid/grdnav.tbl.

    Additional features of GEMPAK 5.11.1

  • Added RADAR Level II build 10.0 capability for super-resolution products.

    More information can be found in the release notes here under the NMAP2 Help "What's New" section.

    Notification to retire 5 legacy programs with 5.11.2 in February, 2008

    NCEP developers have provided notification for retirement of five legacy GEMPAK GD programs. They are: GDCNTR, GDSTREAM, GDWIND, GDMAP and GDPLOT. The functionality of each of these programs is fully incorporated into GDPLOT2. In addition, GDPLOT2 provides additional capabilities beyond the capabilities provided by these individual programs. Minimal changes are needed to go from the legacy program parameter settings to GDPLOT2 parameter settings.

    The plan is to retire these five programs one year from February, 2007. That is, they will not be included with 5.11.2 in February, 2008.

    Additional features of GEMPAK 5.11.4

  • TWDR and level II radar can now be displayed in its native 250m resolution
  • GUI selection of ensembles in NMAP
  • TAF decoder modified to decode the forecast hour up to 30 instead of 24
  • Grid diagnostics
  • More information can be found in the release notes here under the NMAP2 Help "What's New" section.