hurdec - Tropical advisory decoder
hurdec [parameters...] filename
|-h||help||No||Lists basic help information.|
|-df=filename||default||wxp.cfg||Sets the name of the resource file.|
|-na=name||name||the program name||Specifies the name used in resource file parsing.|
|-me=level||message||out2||Specifies level of messages to be displayed
|-fp=path||file_path||the current directory||Specifies location of database files.|
|-dp=path||data_path||the current directory||Specifies the location of the input raw data files.|
|-cp=path||con_path||the current directory||Specifies location of decoded/converted data files|
|-nc=name_conv||name_conv||name.cnv or name_conv file||This sets which name convention file to use.|
|-if=in_file||in_file||trp_dat||Specifies the input file name tag.|
|-cu=[hour]||current||none||This specifies to use current data files.|
|-ho=hour||hour||none||Specifies the exact hour that a data file is valid for.|
|-nh=hours[,skip]||num_hour||Value Generally 0||Specifies the number of hours worth of data to use in the program|
|-pa=param[,param...]||parameter||none||Specifies addition parameters to program.|
|filename (positional)||filename||none||Specify input filename|
The hurdec program parses tropical advisory products in order to generate a wide range of data files containing information on specific hurricanes. The input to the program is raw tropical data file from the TPC (Tropical Prediction Center) and the Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) which can contain any number of products. To simplify the process, it is highly recommended to save the hurricane products (WTxx) in a separate file type as specified by the trp_dat file name tag.
The program parses three types of TPC products:
- ADVISORY -- including intermediates and specials and gets wind speed, pressure and location info.
- FORECAST/ADVISORY -- these are more regularly formatted and are used to get location, speed and pressure and saves the general information on hurricane for later insertion into the storm.html file.
- DISCUSSION -- it parses the forecast track information from this product and saves the track lines for insertion into the storm.html file.
- WARNING - Issued by the JTWC and contains tropical storm and typhoon advisories for the western Pacific.
The output of the program is the following set of files for each active storm:
- track.dat - text based track file including forecasted
track. This is intended for general use and printing.
Date: 24 AUG-04 SEP 1996 Hurricane FRAN ADV LAT LON TIME WIND PR STAT 1 14.40 -25.10 24/03Z 30 1007 TROPICAL DEPRESSION 2 14.80 -26.70 24/09Z 30 1007 TROPICAL DEPRESSION 3 14.50 -29.20 24/15Z 30 1007 TROPICAL DEPRESSION ... 41A 25.70 -73.10 04/00Z 100 963 HURRICANE-3 +12 26.10 -74.50 04/06Z 95 - HURRICANE-2 +24 27.40 -76.40 04/18Z 100 - HURRICANE-3 +36 29.00 -78.10 05/06Z 105 - HURRICANE-3 +48 30.90 -79.80 05/18Z 110 - HURRICANE-3 +72 35.00 -83.00 06/18Z 40 - TROPICAL STORM
- track.raw - this is very similar to the track.dat file but it is formatted as a WXP RAW file for use with mapplt to create tracking charts.
- track.dom - the domain for the entire storm track used by
mapplt to plot tracking chart. This calculates the range of lat and lon
and adds 5 degrees in order to create a plot domain that fully
encompasses the entire track. The output is a full WXP plot domain
specification that can be used by a program like mapplt to create a
mapplt -pd=fi:track.dom track.raw-LINE
Example file contents:
- last.dom - last position of storm used by xsat for
satellite plots. The file is a full WXP plot domain specification so it
can be used by xsat directly:
xsat ... -pd=fi:last.dom
- storm.html - full HTML file for that storm, uses image.list file to insert image snapshots of storm, also inserts segments of latest TPC advisories as described above.
- image.list - this file is a list of images that have been
saved for viewing. This file is NOT created by hurricane but is
used by the program to create links in the storm.html file. The
file is a list of image file names along with a description:
170903i.gif Infrared image of storm east of Bahamas (17Z Sep 03)
- storm.line - single line status listing for storm.
Hurricane FRAN 24 AUG-04 SEP 100 963 3
The program puts these files in directories sorted by storm, region and year. The above files are put in the directories for each storm. The directory structure looks like:
The regions include:
- atlantic - Atlantic storms
- e_pacific - Eastern Pacific
- c_pacific - Central Pacific
- w_pacific - Western Pacific
Finally, the program produces a listing file which is put in each year directory:
- storm.list - list of currently active storm, used for plotting all the data.
This file is only a list of those storms that were active within the period parsed. This list can be used to determine which storms need to be updated on a regular basis. Also, this list can be parsed and new storms added to an overall names file which has all the named storms for a particular year.
Automating the Hurricane Processing
The hurricane program will process each storm that has advisories in the raw tropical files that are in the range specified by num_hour resource. When reprocessing the data, hurdec reads in the track.dat file for every storm that it sees in the raw files to obtain any older advisory information, adding the new advisories onto the end of the file.
There are a couple of scripts that go with the hurdec program. The first is hur_update which runs all the tasks to generate images and HTML pages based on the information generated by hurricane. This script should be run in cron once every 2-4 hours or roughly 10-15 minutes after each advisory in order to get the latest advisories. The script does the following tasks:
- it runs hurricane to process all the latest hurricane information.
- it uses the storm.list file to generate a list of the currently active storms. It updates a names file with each new storm.
- it generates satellite images for each active storm using xsat with the last.dom file. The visible file is sat_vis.gif and the IR file is sat_ir.gif. It also generates a small IR image named sat_ir_s.gif for inclusion into the storm.html file.
- it generates full Atlantic visible, IR and water vapor images on the same projection as the yearly tracking chart.
- it runs the hur_plt script.
- generates a yearly tracking chart based on the names in the names file. When a new storm develops, the hur_update will add its name to this file. You can delete names out of this file when depressions become tropical storms.
- generates storm based tracking charts using mapplt and the track.dom file.
- it generates small track charts for inclusion into the storm.html file.
- it runs hur_html_setup which is a Perl script
that generates a large HTML file for each region and year named index.html.
- it inserts each of the storm.line files for a general storm summary
- it generates a HTML table using all the storm.html files generated by the hurricane program.
When all this is completed, there is an up to date HTML hurricane page with all the tracking charts updated and current satellite images.
hurricane -cu=la -nh=-6
This updates the hurricane files for the last 6 hours. This should be run from cron either by invoking the hurdec program or the hur_update script.
Last updated October 2013