McIDAS Learning Guide
Version 2015

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Real-time Data Access - Weather Text Products

Weather text data is unique, because it must reside on a McIDAS-X remote server; it cannot reside on the local server.

The first line of text products received by McIDAS contains WMO information about the data being received. An example of this WMO information line is shown below:
Example: FPUS5 KMKE 171245
Format: product origin date
product the product header; includes a two-character WMO product code (FP), a two-character geographic identification code (US), and an optional product ID number between 0 and 99 (5)
origin the station initiating the report (KMKE)
date day of the month (17), hour UTC (12), and minute (45)

Many text products sent by the National Weather Service contain an additional line of information. This AFOS/AWIPS information also indicates product and origin. Examples of the AFOS/AWIPS information lines are shown here:
Examples: ZFPWI or LFPMKE
Format: pppsss
ppp the product header; three-character AFOS/AWIPS product code (ZFP or LFP)
sss the station initiating the report; two or three characters, depending on the AFOS product (WI or MKE)

Using WXTLIST to read weather text products

In this lesson, you will be using the WXTLIST command to read various weather text products.
  1. List the available predefined text products.
    Type:  WXTLIST DIR
    This will produce a listing of all the predefined text products available in the group RTWXTEXT.

  2. List the five most recent Severe Weather Statements, using one of the predefined text products.
    WXTLIST relies on keywords to refine the search for text products. The NUM keyword indicates how many reports you want listed. The WSTN keyword can be used to match the station initiating the report.

  3. List the most recent zone forecast for Madison, Wisconsin.
    The APRO keyword matches the product header. The ASTN keyword matches the station initiating the report. The MATCH keyword looks for any occurrence of the word MADISON in the reports.

Listing raw observational text reports

There are five macro commands that list observations and forecasts: These commands all utilize the functionality of the OBSRPT command.
  1. List the upper air observations for Arizona and New Mexico for the past 24 hours.
    Type:  RAOBRPT AZ NM 24
  2. List the surface hourly observations for the past 12 hours in Phoenix, Arizona.
    Type:  SFCRPT KPHX 12
    This data is all listed in the raw report format. In a later section, you will use the UALIST and SFCLIST commands to quickly list the observed data in a format that is easier to read.

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