Additional Info





Thunder is good, thunder is impressive; but it is lightning that does the work. (Mark Twain)

The use of COBOL cripples the mind; its teaching should, therefore, be regarded as a criminal offence. (Edsger W. Dijkstra)








This post tagged:



Share

Weather Forecast Data

The National Weather Service publishes a tremendous amount of information at http://www.nws.noaa.gov/. What you may not know is that they also make data available via ftp. There's an experimental project that you might enjoy.

Available Data

See http://www.nws.noaa.gov/ndfd/technical.htm for a listing of what you can get, and http://www.nws.noaa.gov/ndfd/technical.htm for the file names and ftp directories to access. For example, to get temperature forecasts for my area (Massachusetts), I'd get ftp://tgftp.nws.noaa.gov/SL.us008001/ST.expr/DF.gr2/DC.ndfd/AR.neast/ds.temp.bin

That's a packed binary file, and you need the "degrib" program to decode them. Get that from http://www.nws.noaa.gov/mdl/NDFD_GRIB2Decoder/. There are instructions on the web site for compiling a Linux version, but I found that all I needed to do after untarring the download was:

cd ./degrib/src/degrib
cp makefile.linux makefile
make
cp degrib /usr/bin
 

The degrib program is simple to use, but you first need a file containing the latitude and longitude for the point (or points) you are interested in. I used this:

42.06,-71.11
42.07,-71.10
41.48,-71.20
42.25,-73.20
 

which represents two points very near my home, one somewhere in Providence RI, and one at the far western part of Mass. You can look up coordinates at http://www.bcca.org/misc/qiblih/latlong.html; if the longitude is expressed as West, you want to multiply it by -1 for your file. Now to run degrib:

# looking at max temperature file here
degrib ds.maxt.bin -P  -pntFile lat -pntStyle 0
 

That produces this output:

element, unit, refTime, validTime, (42.060000,-71.110000), (42.070000,-71.100000), (41.480000,-71.200000), (42.250000,-73.200000)
MaxT, [F], 200401122100, 200401140000, 38.191, 38.191, 38.191, 29.191
MaxT, [F], 200401122100, 200401150000, 8.452, 8.452, 12.232, 6.292
MaxT, [F], 200401122100, 200401160000, 12.341, 12.341, 16.301, 4.241
MaxT, [F], 200401122100, 200401170000, 9.281, 9.281, 12.341, 5.321
MaxT, [F], 200401122100, 200401180000, 22.177, 22.177, 23.257, 21.277
MaxT, [F], 200401122100, 200401190000, 25.273, 25.273, 28.333, 24.373
MaxT, [F], 200401122100, 200401200000, 30.299, 30.299, 31.199, 28.319
 

That's forecasted temperatures for the 14th through the 20th; I ran this on Jan 12,2004.

Different output formats are available. If you get something like this:

element, unit, refTime, validTime, (42.060000,71.110000), (42.070000,71.100000), (41.480000,71.200000), (42.250000,73.200000)
MaxT, [F], 200401122100, 200401140000, 9999.000, 9999.000, 9999.000, 9999.000
MaxT, [F], 200401122100, 200401150000, 9999.000, 9999.000, 9999.000, 9999.000
MaxT, [F], 200401122100, 200401160000, 9999.000, 9999.000, 9999.000, 9999.000
MaxT, [F], 200401122100, 200401170000, 9999.000, 9999.000, 9999.000, 9999.000
MaxT, [F], 200401122100, 200401180000, 9999.000, 9999.000, 9999.000, 9999.000
MaxT, [F], 200401122100, 200401190000, 9999.000, 9999.000, 9999.000, 9999.000
MaxT, [F], 200401122100, 200401200000, 9999.000, 9999.000, 9999.000, 9999.000
 

it means that you either downloaded the wrong file (the point isn't included in the file you downloaded) or you misentered the points (did you forget to use a minus sign for longitude?).

Have fun. There's lots of other data available; current and historical. Finding it can sometimes be challenging, but just about anything you could ever want to know about weather is there somewhere.



Got something to add? Send me email.





(OLDER) <- More Stuff -> (NEWER)    (NEWEST)   

Printer Friendly Version

-> -> Weather Forecast Data




Increase ad revenue 50-250% with Ezoic


More Articles by

Find me on Google+

© Tony Lawrence




FTP data isn't just in the directory I mentioned above. As I said, it can be hard to figure out where to look. These

http://www.nws.noaa.gov/tg/datahelp.html

http://www.nws.noaa.gov/tg/obsfiles.html

are of some help.

--TonyLawrence




Kerio Samepage


Have you tried Searching this site?

Unix/Linux/Mac OS X support by phone, email or on-site: Support Rates

This is a Unix/Linux resource website. It contains technical articles about Unix, Linux and general computing related subjects, opinion, news, help files, how-to's, tutorials and more.

Contact us