92nd American Meteorological Society Annual Meeting (January 22-26, 2012)

Monday, 23 January 2012
Integration of the Interactive Data Viewer Into An Operational Weather Forecasting System
Hall E (New Orleans Convention Center )
Keith R. Searight, NCAR, Boulder, CO; and H. Soh, H. H. Fisher, and J. C. Knievel

Since the late 1990s, NCAR and the U.S. Army Test and Evaluation Command (ATEC) have collaborated on Four-Dimensional Weather (4DWX), an operational system that analyzes and predicts weather using numerical weather prediction (NWP) models, including the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model. Weather observations and model forecasts in 4DWX are available to end users using a combination of static or quickly derived images and in-depth data exploration via a full featured visualizer. Feature-rich, third-party meteorological visualization tools have become increasing available and NCAR recently embarked on a path to provide linkages between such tools and operational model outputs as an alternative to developing and maintaining home-grown visualization solutions.

The Integrated Data Viewer (IDV) from UCAR's Unidata Program Center is a freely available Java-based software framework for analyzing and visualizing meteorological and other geoscience data. It has comprehensive meteorological features and data support, is a mature tool with large user community, supports many data formats, and has a plug n' play architecture that make it easy to customize and extend. To support the operational forecasting needs for in-depth analysis in 4DWX, NCAR has integrated IDV into 4DWX in two ways: 1) by developing an IDV plugin to create customized displays and to provide access to observations stored in a relational database and, 2) by using a Thredds Data Server (TDS) to provide IDV direct access to model forecasts, satellite images, and radar data. In addition to exploring the technologies and engineering approaches employed in integrating IDV into 4DWX, examples of the benefits of using IDV to the operational forecaster are detailed.

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