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

Tuesday, 24 January 2012: 11:15 AM
SHARPPY: A Python Implementation of the Skew-T/Hodograph Analysis and Research Program
Room 346/347 (New Orleans Convention Center )
Patrick T. Marsh, NOAA/NSSL & OU/CIMMS/SoM, Norman, OK; and J. A. Hart

Currently there is no standard software package for computing thermodynamic and kinematic parameters from atmospheric soundings making comparisons between values from different groups extremely difficult. One remedy to this problem is for the creation of a community supported software package that is easy to implement across a wide range of needs. The de facto gold standard in sounding analysis is the Skew-T and Hodograph analysis is the Skew-T/Hodograph Analysis and Research Program (SHARP). This software package was written, and continues to be updated, by operational forecasters, in particular, those at the NOAA Storm Prediction Center. This program allows users to visualize and query atmospheric soundings from both observations and model data in a quick and visually appealing manner. Unfortunately, SHARP utilizes several GEMPAK routines which makes compiling, let alone installing and using, a non-trivial task.

Beginning in Spring of 2011, a rewrite of SHARP began with the intent to provide most, if not all, of the functionality of SHARP in a cross-platform, non-GEMPAK dependent software package. Python was chosen for the rewrite for several reasons, including 1) ease and speed of development, 2) the growing meteorological Python community, and 3) the addition of a Python console in the forthcoming AWIPS II NOAA National Weather Service workstations.

An alpha version of this Python rewrite of SHARP, called SHARPPY, was utilized in this year's NOAA National Severe Storms Laboratory and NOAA Storm Prediction Center Hazardous Weather Testbed Experimental Forecast Program. SHARPPY was used to compute thermodynamic information from 1146 model points, for 18 members of the 4-km Center for the Analysis and Prediction of Storms' Storm Scale Ensemble, for all 36 forecast hours. This talk highlights the current status of SHARPPY, how SHARPPY was used in the Hazardous Weather Testbed in 2011, and a general roadmap forward to establishing community supported sounding analysis software package.

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