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20010907: McIDAS; SFCMG and off-hours reports

>From: Christian Page <address@hidden>
>Organization: Universite du Quebec a Montreal
>Keywords: 200109060800.f8680j120055 McIDAS-X SFCMG


re: new version of SFCMG
>It does exactly what I wanted. It is also very interesting because
>special obs are almost always important because they are emitted when
>significant changes in the weather conditions are observed, at least in
>Canada and US, so that we don't miss precip or other events in the
>meteogram.  Thanks a lot for the very quick fix!

You are welcome.

>A short comment on UNIT=M in sfcmg. When using UNIT=M, wind units are
>in m/s instead of knots. We almost never use m/s for winds, but all the
>other variables are with the correct unit. Why m/s was chosen for

This appears to be a mistake in labeling.  The wind barb values don't
change when specifying the UNIT=M keyword, and knots _is_ the unit for
winds regardless of convention used.  I will submit this as a bug (and
probably fix it myself).

>In Canada and western Europe, we use temps in C, cloud heights
>in meters, winds in knots or km/h, pressure in hPa (=mb), but never the
>wind in m/s.

If the wind values were listed, then I could see someone making a case
for them being reported in m/s (not a great case, mind you).  Since
the winds are depicted using wind barbs, they must be in knots since
the wind barb representation is defined in knots.  Gusts should be in
knots also.

I also agree with you about labeling the pressure with hPa instead
of mb (even though they are exactly equivalent units), especially
if one selects UNIT=M.

>Is it possible to use either knots or km/h as the output
>for winds? Also, the pressure units maybe should be in hPa in the

I think that the legend should be changed to be kts.  I will make
this change and update the mcupdate.tar.Z file in the unix/780/bugfix
directory.  At the same time, I made the change in pressure units
from mb to hPa when UNIT=M

>Also, when using UNIT=M, the units are on the right, not on the left.

I never notice this until you told me.

>Is it possible to reverse the position to have them on the left

I will chat with SSEC about this.  I find the switching of label placement
distracting as well, but it fits their overall method of putting "American"
units on the left and "Metric" units on the right.

I stuck a new mcupdate.tar.Z out in unix/780/bugfix for you to grab.
Let me know additional feedback about SFCMG after you play with the
new version.


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