Use of Workstations atMet ireann (Irish Meteorological Service)
(James Hamilton -- Met ireann)
Various Applications .
Xcharts display NWP products and observationsTV graphicsWeb graphics [www and intranet]GIS system [climatology division]Newspaper graphicsInteractive editor for input to road-ice modelPlans for point-forecast data-base and associated editor
Xcharts is An X-Application for the display of NWP products developed at Met ireann (Irish Meteorological Service). It can display NWP data from Hirlam, ECMWF, UKMO and DWD. Also ocean wave models.It can also display satellite data, observations, ascents and cross-sections. It supports animation.It can be used via a command interface, a GUI or a scripting language.
OVERVIEW OF XCHARTSHardware and Software Systems Runs on SGI Workstation or Linux PC [RedHat] Can display on X-terminal [e.g. PC] Written in C / Fortran-77 / X / MotifEvolved from earlier system called CHARTS  Display of NWP Products Command Driven Interface Charts generated as needed All possible charts allowed
CHARTS : Command driven interactive system Application Used by forecasters to display NWP productsHardware DEC-2050 Mainframe, Graphics VDU [VT-340] Hardcopy Unit [Canon laser printer]Software Command processor / Interactive Interrogation system User friendly command recognition / AbbreviationExample COMMAND : Plot 3day ecmwf surface pressure
Migration of CHARTS to XCHARTS [X-Windows]Hardware and Software SGI-workstation or Linux-PC System uses X-Windows / Motif Fortran-77 / C Code is written directly [no 4GL]Use of Windows / Icons / Menus Command Processor is retained Button clicks generate CHARTS commands Command line option still available [seldom used] Script files use CHARTS command language
Design of USER INTERFACE for XCHARTSWorkstation for Forecasters Display : NWP Output / Observations / Satellites Command line and menu buttons Compatible with CHARTS Use of script filesDesign of user Interface Multiple Mouse Clicks for selection e.g. Parm=geo, Level=500mb, Model=Hirlam, PLOT Button clicks generate CHARTS commands Uses defaults for all parameters / remembers previous selections
Other Features of the USER INTERFACE
Short-Cut Buttons Reduce number of Button clicks Just two clicks to change : Model / Forecast / Level
Specifying a Chart for Plotting System remembers previous settings Only need to specify parameters which have changed User can request illegal / non-existent charts [e.g. 5-day Hirlam]
MAIN FEATURES of XCHARTSTypes of Data NWP Output from Hirlam, ECMWF, UKMO, DWD Observations [Surface / Upper-Air] : de-cluttering PDUS Satellite data from METEOSAT [PolarStereographic Plot]Basic design Features All possible charts allows : generated as needed Derived products [e.g. Vorticity, Stability indices] Latitude/longitude zoom ; Solid shading ; Animation Vertical cross sections [generated as needed] Overlay of satellite data [including ZAMG SATREP options]
OTHER FEATURES OF XCHARTS - I
Difference Charts / Thickness Charts All possible difference / thickness charts supported Charts are generated as needed [via subtraction]Tephigram Plot User can select station via WMO-number or from mapSATREP products Vorticity, Divergence, Advection, Frontal parameters etc. SATREP report from ZAMG
OTHER FEATURES OF XCHARTS - II
Thresholding of Data Allows user to set upper / lower thresholds e.g. Plot of NWP output when temperatures are Negative e.g. Plot of NWP output when winds are above 100ktsHardcopy Option Hardcopy is done by generating PostScript files PostScript format can be vector or bitmap Files can be saved as PostScript or as EPS
OPERATIONAL USE of XCHARTSUsed at Three Sites Met ireann HQ in Dublin Shannon Airport [200Km from Dublin] HQ of RTE [Irish TV station] in DublinData Formats GRIB for NWP ; BUFR for ObservationsData Sources Data is shared via nfs in Dublin HQ Data is broadcast to Shannon / RTE and stored locally
OVERVIEW of XCHARTS Based on earlier command driven system [CHARTS] GUI Interface generates commands Command-language used for scripts Display NWP / Observations / METEOSAT Fields contoured on-the-fly Derived fields calculated on-the-fly Cross-sections Animation etc..
Met ireann XCHARTS Display System -- SummarySTRENGTHS User Friendly Very fast Access to many models Large amount of information on single display [up to 9 charts possible]LIMITATIONS Multiple overlays can be confusing Unable to toggle on/off overlays No on-screen analysis No production capability
SAMPLE PLOTS PRODUCED via XCHARTS
The following slides show some examples of the type of chart which can be produced via XCHARTS ...
OTHER GRAPHICS SYSTEMS at MET-IREANNGIS System used by Climatology ArcView vs 3.2 on Windows NT-2000TV-graphics system Weather-ONE Metacast System on SGI-IRIXExternal Website External Website [www.met.ie] contains selection of chartsInternal Website [Intranet] Internal Website has many pre-calculated NWP products Satellite and Radar animations ; Observation plots etc.
Sample Met ireann INTERNAL Web Pages
The following slides show some examples of the type of web pages available internally at Met ireann ...
Sample Met ireann EXTERNAL Web Pages
The following slides show some examples of the type of web pages available on the Met ireann web site www.met.ie
Production of High-Quality Output for Newspapers
Program runs automaticallyScattered data is interpolated to a regular gridData on regular grid is contouredContour lines stored as list of (x,y) coordinatesLabels stored as (x,y) coordinates and text stringJava program converts the coordinates to eps or png
Graphics Editor for Input to Road-Ice Model
Road-ice model predicts road conditions [Vaisala]Input is time-series forecast for each stationTemperature, dew-point, wind-speed, cloud, rainfallInput data based on Hirlam or ECMWF model runForecaster edits input for each station [as required]
PLANS for the FUTURECHALLENGES DisplayYES ModificationNO [Roadice program is a start] Automatic ProductionNO [Some, but not integrated]NEED Time-Series Point Database being developed [Hirlam/MOS] Time-Series Editor planned [will be based on road-ice editor] Improved Automatic Production facilities [e.g. for newspapers]TWO SEPARATE COMPONENTS Editing of Data / Automatic production of products
OTHER POSSIBILITIESDEVELOP SYSTEM Needs lots of resources Further develop newspaper system [in Java] Further develop Road-ice editor as Time-series editorPURCHASE SYSTEM Cost considerations i.e. expensive May not have full flexibility needed for our applicationsCO-OPERATION Co-operate with another Met service to develop / extend system
Command line charts generated on the fly. The original charts program only generated displays through command line input. The command processor was retained with the migration of charts to X-Windows, but displays could now be generated by buttons(icons), menus and scripts. Up to 9 charts on a single plot or page. (plot options 1, 4, 6, 9). An overlay of several pages can be generated by using scripts. Each page in turn can be viewed by clicking on the arrow button however, you can not retrace your steps. Selection of data soursesAllows selection of several fields, both raw NWP data and Derived products. Meteosat images can be used as background for the overlay of all types of charts. However, the main disadvantage is that the satellite image can not be toggled on and off. A 500mb geop chart overlayed on a visible satellite. Satellite image displayed on a PolarStereographic plot.Colour coding of 500 mb windsAnimations of multiple fields can easily be generated in time steps as low as 3 hours. This is the Forecasters Home page containing numerous links, including links to various viewers, such as satellite and radarRadar Viewer allows various resolutions, individual or composite displays plus animationsSatellite Viewer satellite/area selected from side menu. Animations of Meteosat images.To display the maximum amount of data on screen forecaster uses several sessions of explorer running in small windows screen can become very cluttered.