Metview 4 & Magics++—answering new challenges of increasing volumes of data

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Monday, 18 January 2010: 1:45 PM
B218 (GWCC)
Stephan Siemen, ECMWF, Reading, Berks., United Kingdom

The mission of ECMWF's Graphics Section is to develop and support software to assist analysts and researchers, inside and outside ECMWF, in their daily work to assess forecast model input and output. To do so it is necessary to manipulate and visualise various forms of meteorological and statistical data. The two main software packages developed are the Magics++ library to generate meteorological plots and the Metview UNIX workstation/batch system to post-process meteorological data.

In recent years we have seen the need for researchers to analyse larger amounts of data and information. The main reasons for this lie in higher model resolutions, larger ensemble sets (e.g. TIGGE) and the increasing amount of satellite observations.

These challenges were an essential driving force in the development of Magics++ and Metview 4. Much work in Magics++ was invested to find the right combinations of resolution and processing speed in the processing and display of raw data, contours and other geographical information. The Graphics Section also works closely with other software/data providers at ECMWF (Grib_API, Mars, ODB) to make more efficient use of their facilities.

Metview is the main tool to graphically analyse/process incoming observations, analysis and model output at ECMWF. With Metview 4 new facilities will be provided to analyse standard data formats (Grib, NetCDF, Bufr), monitor observation data (ODB, ODA) and allow powerful on screen analysis of data and forecasts through new zooming, magnification and data query facilities.

As a further source of data/information we have started adding functionality to work with OGC standards. The first steps have been to add modules to convert data from the (Metview) Geopoints format into KML and to read maps through WMS. The fundamental service-oriented design of Metview has been retained because it was found to be well suited for future developments. Metview's powerful Macro language has so far been preserved but is currently undergoing a review to adapt it for future requirements in operational use and ECMWF's web re-engineering project.