6.3 Forecasting and Analysis with Python: So Easy, a Caveman Can Do It

Tuesday, 8 January 2013: 4:00 PM
Room 12B (Austin Convention Center)
Kelton T. Halbert, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK; and W. G. Blumberg

Python is still relatively new to the meteorological community, as evidenced by the youth of the Python Symposium at the annual AMS meetings. However, meteorologists are beginning to realize that Python's ease of learning and open source packages can fill a variety of needs. Python is easy enough that a high school student, the equivalent of a caveman in the world of professional meteorology, has written a package that demonstrates Python's ability to be used in research, forecasting, and education. The package is called the Advanced Weather Interactive Diagnostic System (AWIDS), a play on the well-known AWIPS acronym.The original intent for AWIDS was to be an alternative to the RAP model on Storm Prediction Center's online mesoanalysis page. AWIDS can generate a variety of real time plots of scalar and vector quantities using data from the national METAR network. With only a few additions of code, AWIDS was used in research conducted on data from the Oklahoma Mesonet. The goal of the research was to investigate values of divergence tendency associated with convective initiation in Central Oklahoma. Finally, AWIDS demonstrates its usefulness in education with the ability to easily generate and compare plots, which can aid in demonstrating meteorological relationships and concepts.
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