About McIDAS         McIDAS-V        
   Advanced
   

McIDAS-XCD Administrator Information
About New NWS Radar Products

This page contains McIDAS-XCD administrator information about new National Weather Service WSR-88D (Weather Surveillance Radar-1988 Doppler) and TDWR (Terminal Doppler Weather Radar) products available on NOAAPORT. McIDAS-X users looking for information about accessing the new products should go to the McIDAS-X User Information page.

The Overview section below contains information about the products and related announcements from the National Weather Service. The Configuring Your McIDAS-XCD Workstation section below contains instructions for updating your McIDAS-XCD 2010.1 workstation to file the radar products and create the corresponding ADDE datasets.

Overview

Since Feburary 2010, the National Weather Service has been distributing new (previously unavailable) WSR-88D and TDWR radar products via the SBN (Satellite Broadcast Network), RPCCDS (Radar Product Central Collection Dissemination Service ) and NOAAPORT. Ten of the new products are essentially higher resolution versions of older NEXRAD products that have been available on NOAAPORT (and in McIDAS) since January 2001. Seven of the ten older products are scheduled to be sunset (no longer diseminated) on 12 January 2011; the other three will be retained until Feburary 2012.

The initial announcement of the new WSR-88D products and those being replaced are in NWS TIN09-41. A more detailed listing of both the WSR-88D and TDWR products is in the NWS Radar Products page. Finally, the revised sunset dates for the lower-resolution products is in NWS TIN09-41, 28 Sep 2010 Amendment. Note that the amendment indicates that seven of the ten low-res products (with WMO headers N1R, N2R, N3R, N0W, N1V, N2V, N3V) will be sunset on 12 Jan 2011, and due to customer feedback the other three low-res products (N0R, N0Z, N0V) will be retained until February 2012.

The McIDAS updates to support the 41 new WSR-88D and TDWR products include new datasets in the new McIDAS-XCD release (version 2010.1, Dec 2010), as well as McIDAS-X 2010.2 (Dec 2010) updates to the radar servers, new image enhancements (for the EU command), and IMGDISP.CORE additions that make it easy to display the new datasets with the appropriate enhancement, maps and color bar.

Configuring Your McIDAS-XCD Workstation

As noted above, there are 41 new, higher-resolution, radar products (26 WSR-88D products and 15 TDWR products) that have been available since February 2010 via the SBN, RPCCDS and NOAAPORT. There are also 16 older, lower-resolution, radar products that have been available on NOAAPORT (and McIDAS-XCD via the NEXRAD Decoder) since January 2001, ten of which are scheduled to be sunset (no longer diseminated) because of higher-resolution equivalents in the new product set.

Beginning with this McIDAS-XCD 2010.1 Fastrack release, McIDAS-XCD administrators can make the 41 new products are available to users by completing the numbered instructions below (to file the products and create the corresponding ADDE datasets). The 2010.1 release also contains options to keep the 16 older products for the time being (until they are sunset), or remove them. Unless your users have never used the older products, we recommend that you keep them until your users have migrated to the new products.

If you use the default dataset names that are defined via new BATCH files in this 2010.1 release, users can access the new data by three different dataset groups: group TDWR for the TDWR data (15 datasets, e.g., TDWR/BREF1), group WSR for the WSR-88D data (26 datasets, e.g., WSR/BVEL3), and group RADAR for both the TDWR and WSR-88D data (41 datasets, e.g., RADAR/TDWR-BREF1 and RADAR/WSR-BVEL3). Although it is essentially a duplicate of the TDWR and WSR groups, the RADAR group was created because its name is easy to remember and makes it simple for a user to check what radar data is available on the server (by running the command DSINFO I RADAR). As always, these are the default dataset names; you have the option of defining other dataset names and choosing which ones to publicize to your users.

If you are installing McIDAS-XCD for the first time on the workstation, go to the McIDAS-XCD Administrator's Guide's Installing McIDAS-XCD 2010.1 for the First Time and complete its instructions rather than those below. (The first-time instructions include the radar data configuration among its many initial configuration procedures.)

If you are configuring the radar data as part of your McIDAS-XCD 2010.1 installation process (i.e., you were directed to this page from step 7 of these instructions), or after installing McDAS-XCD 2010.1, continue with the instructions below to choose the locations to file the new radar products, create ADDE dataset names for the new products, and choose whether to retain the old products (in the NEXRAD/* datasets).

Note: These instructions are an abbreviated version of those in the Configuring the Default ADDE Datasets page in the McIDAS-XCD Administrator's Guide. See it for additional details, including notes about the last command below (BATCH XCDADDE.BAT) and a for full listing of the default ADDE dataset names.

  1. As user oper, run the script below from the ~oper/mcidas directory to make a backup copy of the ~oper/mcidas/data/NEXRID.CFG file then replace it with a new version of the file. The new version contains two new variables, named WSRFILE= and TDWRFILE=, that replace the DIRFILE= variable (which is no longer used).

    Type: sh ./xcd2010.1.sh install radar

    The backup copy of the file is named NEXRID.CFG_yyyymmdd (where yyyymmdd is the current date, e.g., 20101223).

  2. As user oper, compare the previous and new versions of file NEXRID.CFG (e.g., diff NEXRID.CFG_20101223 NEXRID.CFG) then edit NEXRID.CFG and re-add your local changes and set the values for variables WSRFILE= and TDWRFILE= to be the fully expanded paths to the directories that will store the WSR-88D and TDWR data, respectively. Note that the directories that you specify must already exist (if necessary, use the mkdir command to create them).

  3. As user mcadde, run the commands below from a McIDAS-X session to create McIDAS strings named WSRDATA and TDWRDATA that contain the fully expanded paths to the directories that will store the WSR-88D and TDWR data, respectively. These are the same directories that you specified for the values of WSRFILE= and TDWRFILE= in step 2 above.
  4. Type: TE WSRDATA "/wsr_data_directory_path
    Type: TE TDWRDATA "/tdwr_data_directory_path

    Example: TE WSRDATA "/home/oper/xcd_data/wsr
    Example: TE TDWRDATA "/home/oper/xcd_data/tdwr

  5. As user mcadde, run the command below from a McIDAS-X session to create the real-time ADDE datasets listed in the tables below. Running this batch file (XCDADDE.BAT) creates all of the default datasets for the existing groups RTGRIDS, RTGRIB2, RTPTSRC, RTWXTEXT, plus those in new groups RADAR, TDWR and WSR. It will therefore overwrite any locally-created datasets with names matching those in the batch file. Thus, we recommend that you make a backup copy of the file ~mcadde/mcidas/data/RESOLV.SRV before running the command below.

    Type: BATCH XCDADDE.BAT

    After completing this step you have datasets for both the new radar data (in RADAR/*, TDWR/* and WSR/*) as well as the old radar data (in NEXRAD/*). Complete the next step to either retain the NEXRAD/* datasets or to discard them.

  6. Decide whether you will keep the old NEXRAD/* datasets available for the time being (until they are sunset), or remove them now. Unless your users have never used the older products, we recommend that you keep them until your users have migrated to the new products. At that time (or after the products are sunset), you can remove the old datasets.

    If you want to keep the old NEXRAD/* datasets available:
    As user mcadde, run the command below from a McIDAS-X session to remake the datasets so they will find the products in their new location (which was defined in the WSRDATA string set in step 3 above).

    Type: BATCH KEEPNEXR.BAT

    If you want to remove the old NEXRAD/* datasets now:
    As user mcadde, run the command below from a McIDAS-X session to delete the datasets.

    Type: BATCH RMNEXRADDE.BAT

This concludes the instructions for configuring your McIDAS-XCD 2010.1 workstation to file the radar products and create the corresponding ADDE datasets. If you completed these instructions as part of the McIDAS-XCD 2010.1 installation procedure, return to McIDAS-XCD Fastrack Version 2010.1 Software and Instructions page and proceed to step 8.

Once you've installed McIDAS-XCD 2010.1 (including the instructions above) and verified that the new radar products are available in the RADAR/*, TDWR/* and WSR/* datasets, we recommend that you notify your users about the availability of the new data, and direct them to the McIDAS-X User Information page for information about accessing and using the new products. If you decided to retain the old NEXRAD/* datasets (in step 5 above), you can also use the same notice to tell the users about the need to migrate from the old NEXRAD/* datasets to the new datasets (RADAR/*, TDWR/* and WSR/*), as well as your planned schedule for removing the NEXRAD/* datasets.

McIDAS Home