The development by NCAR and UNIDATA of a community-wide CF-compliant netCDF format for radial RADAR and LIDAR data

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Wednesday, 26 January 2011: 12:15 PM-1:30 PM
609 (Washington State Convention Center)

During the 1980s, NCAR made use of the Universal Format (UF) for radial (polar- coordinate) RADARradar data. At that time, most radarRADAR data processing was done using FORTRAN. In the 1990s, in order to properly support the Eldora airborne radarRADAR, the DOpoppler RAadar Data Exchange (DORADE) format was developed and has been in extensive use since. Working with DORADE data was aided by the development of a C library for reading and writing the data. However, many researchers are not comfortable with C, which has made handling DORADE data somewhat difficult. At the time DORADE was developed, the network common data dorm (netCDF) was not considered a viable alternative. Since then, however, thate landscape has changed. NetCDF version 4, built on Hierarchical Data Format 5 (HDF5), now supports compression. Furthermore, in the modeling world the development of the Cclimate and Fforecasting (CF) convention has improved data sharing in the meteorological community. The time therefore appears appropriate for the development of a new community data format for radial data, built using netCDF and extending the CF convention. The new so-called CfRadial format was developed at NCAR and UNIniDdATAata during 2010. A proposal has been submitted to the CF community for an extension of CF to include CfRadial. (Seeinformation online at The details of this format, as well as the response from the meteorological community, will be discussed. For additional information, please contact Mike Dixon, NCAR/EOL, NCAR. E (e-mail:
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