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20040209: Unidata-Wisconsin content upgrade and input on floaters (cont.)

>From: "Market, Patrick S." <address@hidden>
>Organization: University of Missouri-Columbia
>Keywords: 200402091429.i19ETWp1015025 ldm-mcidas

Hi Pat,

>I would like to address your questions in order.  

This makes it easy on me ;-)

>First, is it possible for someone there to upgrade our LDM-McIDAS
>version such that we may get the twice-hourly satellite images?  I still
>lack adequate support and am in the middle of the semester.

Yes, I can do this for you.  It is likely, however, that the reason you
are not decoding the half-hourly images is not due to you having an
older ldm-mcidas release, but, rather, because of either or both of two

- you are not requesting all of the imagery from your upstream IDD

- your ~ldm/etc/pqact.conf entries are setup to decode only the
  images that come in between H+00 to H+15

The latter is most likely the cause of your not decoding the new
twice-per-hour imagery.  The fix is quick and simple, and it is
something I would change if/when given logon info after I have
determined that you have enough disk space to handle all of the new
imagery.  If you want me to logon to your machine and tweek your
ldm-mcidas decoding of UNIWISC imagery, please send the login
information for your 'ldm' and 'mcidas' users to my private email
address, address@hidden, -- WITHOUT mentioning the host or
accounts for which the passwords are valid.  Alternatively, you can
call me and give me the login information over the phone

>Secondly, while I agree with the idea of ceasing the radar floater, I am
>not certain that I like the idea of ridding ourselves of the GOES
>floater.  This has been a valuable resource in the past for students who
>are learning (in particular) to forecast/nowcast severe weather.
>Additionally, the views of wave clouds over the Appalachian Mountains,
>sea-breeze convection, outflow boundaries, and the like are
>unparalleled.  I am not aware of any comparable imagery online (I try
>the floater first).  Of course I like the "ownership" that UNIDATA
>provides, freeing me from the bondage of what others may choose to
>provide online; this allows me to *manipulate data*, and not view
>static, rasterized images.  Still, whether or not those images exist
>online should not interfere with the excellent service that UNIDATA
>already provides.  Lastly, I believe that one reason more people have
>not been requesting changes from Millersville is that there are a good
>many who are unaware of the service.  For a while, I thought we could no
>longer make requests, and I am a Millersville alum (a recent
>conversation in Seattle cleared that one up for me...)

Your last point is a good one.  If the floater service is continued, we
should make an effort to reeducate users about what the floaters are
intended for, and how their location and wavelength channel and
location/coverage can be requested by community members.  It is all too
easy for those of us who have been around for a long time to forget
that our community is continually evolving by the addition of new
blood.  Thanks for reminding us of the realities!

>Again, I may be
>wrong here, but where is it broadcast or spotlighted that one may
>request to have a 1-km floater parked over their area of interest for a
>day or more?  

On the my.unidata pages on Data:

Unidata HomePage

there is a paragraph that explains the existence of the floater and
the ability to request its positioning:

Available Remotely-Sensed Data:

    * Satellite: Unidata distributes a tailored set of satellite data
    prepared especially for it at the Space Science and Engineering
    Center [SSEC] at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The contents
    of this stream are chosen by participants in the Unidata community
    through polls and discussions managed by the Unidata Users
    Committee. As part of this regular set of products, Unidata
    provides two "special" images that may vary daily. These give
    community members an opportunity to take a closer
    (higher-resolution) look at interesting weather events or at images
    in support of research projects. Managing the content of the
    floater data streams is handled by volunteer (currently
    Millersville University) sites. On any given day, individuals who
    wish to look at a particular geographical area may send a request
    to the floater-info mailing list.

The last sentence is the operative one.

>Thanks for entertaining this letter.

Thank you for giving us your feedback.  Your comments in full will
be relayed to the Unidata Users Committee.

One last question:  what Unidata display/analysis package(s) do you

If you use McIDAS, you have access to a set of cooperating community
server sites that make available access to the high resolution VIS
imagery that is broadcast in NOAAPORT and made available through the
IDD NIMAGE feed.  The VIS imagery provides the same resolution that the
floater VIS images do (1 km), so the end user can look at virually
anwhere in the continental US, Puerto Rico, Alaska, and Hawaii at the
same resolution offered in the floaters.  At the same time, the IR
channels that are sent in the UNIWISC datastream are at the highest
resolution available:  4 km for all GOES-East IR imager channels, and 4
km for all IR channels on GOES-West except for the water vapor which is
available at 8 km.  The other thing about McIDAS and other ADDE-enabled
applications like the IDV is that you can not only look at higher
resolution imagery hosted on remote machines, you can copy any sector
you want down to your local machine and then use it in whatever application
you are most comfortable with.  I can provide more details on this
if you are interested.


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>From address@hidden Mon Feb  9 17:16:01 2004


In response to your last question, we primarily use GEMPAK/GARP and are
beginning use of the IDV.  I was a GEMPAK as well as PC-McIDAS person
through Millersville and kept at it with McIDAS-X throughout my SLU
years.  However, without adequate system support here, we are in a sort
of fall-back mode.  For example, I am just keeping up with GEMPAK/GARP,
and recently stopped requesting ACARS data for N-SHARP because I just
didn't have the time to figure out MADIS and download and install it.
I'd like to offer McIDAS/McADDE but have found it too cumbersome to keep
both balls in the air.  

That's the 25 cent version.


Dr. Patrick S. Market
Dept. of Soil, Environ. & Atmospheric Sci.
University of Missouri-Columbia
Columbia, MO  65211
Voice: 573-882-1496

NOTE: All email exchanges with Unidata User Support are recorded in the Unidata inquiry tracking system and then made publicly available through the web. If you do not want to have your interactions made available in this way, you must let us know in each email you send to us.