Program Reference




mdrdec - MDR radar data conversion program


mdrdec [parameters...] filename


Command Line Resource Default Description
-h help No Lists basic help information.
-df=filename default wxp.cfg Sets the name of the resource file.
-na=name name mdrdec Specifies the name used in resource file parsing.
-me=level message out2 Specifies level of messages to be displayed
  • file information - mess
  • decoded output -out3a
  • MDR information and status - out3c
  • not in database - out3c
  • primary MDR information - out4a
  • echo data - out4c
-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.
-in=input input program specific Specifies the type of the input data.
-if=in_file in_file mdr_dat Specifies the input file name tag.
-of=out_file out_file mdr_cvt Specifies the output file name tag.
-ou=output output wxp Specifies what type of output file is to be created:
  • wxp - WXP ASCII converted file.
  • cdf - NetCDF binary converted file.
-cf=filename city_file rad.cty Specifies the name of the city database file
-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.
-pa=param[,param...] parameter none Specifies addition parameters to program.
filename (positional) filename none Specify input filename


The intent of the radar data conversion process is to decode MDR (Manually Digitized Radar) data for future plotting and to create a national radar summary based on radar site echo information.

The program decodes the MDR data for the following information:

Then using the rad.cty file to determine the location of the radar site, a radar summary of the continental United States is constructed from the MDR echo data. This summary lies on a 120 (east-west) by 90 (north-south) grid that is then saved into the output converted file in a format compatible with the radar summary display program. The additional decoded data is saved to the output file for annotating the radar summary.

The radcvt program will first prompt the user for the input raw data file. This file should contain the MDR (SDUS) reports for a given time. It is recommended that these files be split up on hourly boundaries since this type of data is reported once an hour. The user may specify the input file either via the command line of through the resrc:current resource. The input naming convention is specified by the mdr_dat tag but this can be changed with the resrc:in_file resource.

Once the input file is determined, the program determines the decode time from the filename specified or that of the current resource. Once the input file is set, the output converted file is opened for output. The name convention is determined from the mdr_cvt file convention tag. If the converted file exists, the user will be prompted whether to overwrite, append or use the existing file. The append option leaves the current data in the converted file and adds the new station data onto the end of the file. If the use option is specified, the converted file is not modified and the surface data conversion program exits.

There are two types of output data file types available. The ASCII wxp Flat file data type saves all available information in a columnar format which may be edited with a standard text editor. The netCDF data format is a binary format which may be produced by specifying cdf for the output file type.




Last updated October 2013