Sunday, 13 January 2002
FOUS_Extractor: An AWIPS Application Producing Data Similar to the FRH Bulletins
Direct model output on the Forecast U.S (FOUS, or FRH) bulletins from NCEP has been an important tool for National Weather Service forecasters for the past 20 years, giving them a quick look at a subset of meteorological data from a forecast model for a particular location in or near their forecast area. With the implementation of the Advanced Weather Interpretation and Processing System (AWIPS), NWS forecasters now have a platform containing all available current weather and forecast model data, and the tools necessary to manipulate that data into any desired format. From this comes an AWIPS local application, developed at the National Weather Service in Sterling, Virginia, called FOUS Extractor. FOUS Extractor was written in Tcl/Tk and Perl, and accesses the netCDF model files on the AWIPS system. This application was developed as a way to mimic the FOUS Bulletins from NCEP, producing a set of meteorological variables for a particular point or location. However, because the model grids and the necessary programming software reside on the system, this application gives the forecaster access to a much larger subset of weather variables, and the capability to produce “FOUS” data for any site in the country from any of the available forecast models.
When the FOUS Extractor application is executed, the user will see a set of buttons along the left side where various model sets can be selected. The user can then define a point by inputing either a latitude/longitude pair or a station ID. A variety of meteorological data (including winds, temperatures, thickness values, and stability indices) from that model for that location are then computed and displayed in a text box on the right side of the program window.