- Indicates paper has been withdrawn from meeting
- Indicates an Award Winner
Wednesday, 7 January 2015
Arturo Diaz, Texas A&M International University, Laredo, TX; and K. Tobin

The Center for Earth and Environmental Studies (CEES) at Texas A&M International University (TAMIU) has a long history of conducting hydrometeorology research that is now supported by Unidata. A Main activity associated with this initiative includes Development a web-based application for the dissemination of METAR data in Texas obtained through an LDM interface. A server running CentOS operating system is connected to the Unidata LDM feed to download Metar files on a continuous basis. The server has a SAMBA share located in another server running Windows Server 2012. The LDM account has a scheduled task that copies new Metar files every 2 hours to the Windows share. A custom program was created using Visual Basic to extract data from the metar files and convert it into a more human readable format. In our case, the program is desiged to search in all Metar files for data reported by stations located in Texas. An input list was created that contains all stations in Texas that report hourly. Some stations in Texas were eliminated because during testing phases we discovered some stations have big gaps of data. The program uses the input list to check all Metar files that are copied by the CentOS server and extracts the report from each station, decodes the weather elements of the report (temperature, dew point, wind speed and barometric pressure) and writes to an individual spreadsheet for each station. The program is setup as a scheduled task that updates the spreadsheets every two hours after the new Metar files have been copied from the CentOS server. A GIS model was built using ArcMap 10.2 in Model Builder that converts the previously created spreadsheets into GIS tables that can be used to query data based on a date field. This is also scheduled to run and update the tables every two hours. The Windows server also runs ArcGIS Server software to host GIS web applications. One application was created using ESRI's Flex Viewer (http://geo02.tamiu.edu/applications/metar_data) to expose the weather tables to the public to extract data. The application has a geoprocessing task that allows the user to enter an ICAO code, which identifies each station reporting Metar data and a range of dates to query the tables. The task is configured to extract the data from the GIS tables and it creates an excel file containing the desired data. The user is then prompted with the ability to save the file to their machine.