Program Reference




nidsplot - NIDS radar plotting


nidsplot [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 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.
-ip=path image_path the current directory Specifies location of output image files (.gif/,png) from WXP.
-nc=name_conv name_conv name.cnv or name_conv file This sets which name convention file to use.
-if=in_file in_file program specific Specifies the input file name tag.
-of=out_file out_file program specific Specifies the output file name tag.
-cf=filename city_file program specific Specifies the name of the city database file
-mf=filename... map_file wxp.map Specifies the name of the map database file. Multiple maps can be specified along with attributes to describe how to draw the map.
-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
-id=ident[,ident...] identifier None Specifies a station identifier to plot or parse for
-pd=domain plot_domain program dependent, mostly "us" Sets the plotting domain
-va=variable variable none Sets the parameter/variable to be displayed
-sc=type plot_scale 1.0 Specifies a scaling factor for all plotted text, symbols, vectors, etc.
-fm=format format None Specifies the output format of data.
-pa=param[,param...] parameter none Specifies addition parameters to program.
-dr=value[,value...] draw all Specifies which part of the plot is to be drawn.
-la=type label Program defaults Specifies the labels to be plotted around the plot. By default, labels are generated by the program and plotted above and below the plot. This resource overrides these labels.
-fl=font_file[,font_file...] font_list modern.fnt Specifies a list of fonts to use in the plots.
-ct=color_table color_table wxp.clr Specifies the color table to use in the plot. This maps color names to actual RGB color values.
-col=color[:attribute...] color_label white (black on inverse plots) Specifies the text color for labels above and below the plot.
-cod=color[:attribute...] color_data green (for most programs) Specifies the color for plotted data.
-com=color[:attribute...] color_map red (for most programs) Specifies the color for background maps.
-coll=color[:attribute...] color_latlon magenta:st=dsh Specifies the color for lat/lon lines.
color_fill magenta, lmagenta, blue, lblue, cyan, lcyan, green, lgreen, brown, yellow, red, lred, dgray, lgray, white Specifies the colors in the color fill contours.
-de=device[,parameters] device d for display Specifies the output device.
-ti=title title The name of the program or the value of the name resource Specifies the window title.
-ic icon off Specifies whether to open window in iconified mode.
-bg=color background black Specifies the background color of the window.
-ge=widthxheight[+x+y] geometry 640x512 (for windowed plots) Specifies the window and paper geometry.
filename (positional) filename none Specify input filename


This program plots NIDS level 3 radar data.

The NIDS data feed contains many types of images from each WSR-88D radar.  The images are for a single radar site and include the following:

Name Description Type
bref1 Base reflectivity, level 1 radial
bref2 Base reflectivity, level 2 radial
bref3 Base reflectivity, level 3 radial
bref4 Base reflectivity, level 4 radial
lref1 Layer reflectivity, level 1 rastor
lref2 Layer reflectivity, level 2 rastor
lref3 Layer reflectivity, level 3 rastor
cref Composite reflectivity, level 1 rastor, with text
vel1 Base velocity, level 1 radial
vel2 Base velocity, level 2 radial
vel3 Base velocity, level 3 radial
vel4 Base velocity, level 4 radial
srmv1 Storm relative mean velocity, level 1 radial
srmv2 Storm relative mean velocity, level 2 radial
tops Echo tops rastor
vil Vertical integrated liquid rastor
pre1 1 hour precipitation total rastor
pret Storm total precipitation rastor
prea Digital precipitation array rastor, 1/40th LFM grid
vad Vertical azimuth display winds aloft time cross section

To access these files, it is recommended to use the above names as file name extensions such as 9707241255.bref1. Then allot the name convention to use a extension (%e) and use nids_bref1 for the input file type. The input resource must be set to nids in order for rad to know that the data are in NIDS format.

After the file type is determined, the program will prompt for the input file name. This can be entered via the command line or using the current resource. To generate a loop, the num_hour resource can be specified. This will tell the program to loop through this number of hours.

The program will then display the image and overlay a map. If no plot domain is specified, the image is plotted in a polar stereographic projection sized so the image fits the window. A plot domain can be specified to remap the image for overlay.  The remap will only work with polar stereographic and lat/lon projections.

The default image colors are dependent on the image type:

This can be changed using the color_fill resource.

Storm Attributes Plotting

The composite reflectivity product contains the storm attributes table.  By default, only the reflectivity plot is displayed.  If the variable resource is specified, attributes will be plotted over the reflectivity.  The possible variables are:

Internal Variables
Variable Description and units Plots
id Storm ID text
tvs Tornado Vortex Signature (TVS) value=1, text=TVS
meso Mesocyclone value=1,text=MESO
posh Probability of severe hail. value=prob,
prob>75, text=*,
prob>50, text=X
poh Probability of hail. same as posh
hsize Hail size in inches value
dbzm Maximum Dbz value value
dbzht Height of max. Dbz value
top Echo tops in 100s ft value
dir Direction of movement value
spd Speed of movement in knots value
mvmt Direction and speed of movement value0=dir, value1=spd
Type Description
Red triangle Tornado Vortex Signature (TVS)
Yellow circle Mesocyclone
Green * > 75% Hail
Green x > 50% Hail
Wind barb Cell movement
Text UL Storm ID
Text UR Echo tops

These parameters can be accessed by name if they have not been redefined in the nids.var file.


   rad -cu=la -re=mw -va=all -de=d

This plots a radar summary overlaid with a composite of MDR data including watch boxes.

   rad -if=nowrad -cu=la -re=40,-90,.4 -mf=fi:map_cnty -de=d

This will plot the latest NOWRad MASTER sector for a location in Illinois and overlay it with a county map.

   rad -if=nids_bref1 -cu=la -de=d

This will plot the latest BREF1 NIDS image. The file name convention uses the "bref1" as the extension (%e) in naming the file.  

   rad -if=nids_cref -cu=la -de=d -va=comp

This will plot the latest composite reflectivity image overlaid with the composite storm attributes.



Last updated November 2013