Program Reference




upadec - Upper air data decoder


upadec [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
  • file information - mess
  • station information - out3a
  • not in database - out3c
  • bad date information - out3c
  • decoded report - out4a
  • raw data and format - 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.
-if=in_file in_file program specific Specifies the input file name tag.
-ou=output output wxp
  • wxp - WXP ASCII converted file.
  • cdf - NetCDF binary converted file..
-of=out_file out_file upa_cvt Specifies the output file name tag.
-cf=filename city_file program specific 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.
-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
-pa=param[,param...] parameter none Specifies addition parameters to program.
filename (positional) filename none Specify input filename


The intent of the upper air conversion process is to collate the 6 types of upper air reports into one report for ease of use. The six products include:

The program will first prompt the user for the input raw data file. This file should contain the upper air reports for a given time. 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 upa_dat tag but this can be changed with the resrc:in_file resource. If the data stretches over an hour, the resrc:num_hour resource can be specified to search over multiple files.

Once the input file is determined, the program determines the decode time from the filename specified or that of the current resource. If decode time is different from that of the specified file, the decode_hour resource must be specified. This resource can also be used to set decode time range limits which is useful if decoding data from off times such as 90 after the hour.

The program will then read in the upa.cty database file in order to generate a database of upper air stations. When one of the above products is found, it is decoded and the resulting information placed into the database entry for that station. When all the data files have been searched and decoded, the output is saved to a converted file. The station data is saved with its 3 or 4 letter ICAO identifier for consistency with the other data types. The name convention is determined from the upa_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.

The conversion process is silent. By default, none of the output is displayed to the screen as an attempt to speed up the conversion process. A list of decoded stations can be displayed is the out3 message level is set:

Station not in database: 76805
Saving stations...
STA:   BRW WMO: 70026 LAT:   71.30 LON: -156.78
STA:   OTZ WMO: 70133 LAT:   66.87 LON: -162.63
STA:   OME WMO: 70200 LAT:   64.50 LON: -165.43
STA:   BET WMO: 70219 LAT:   60.78 LON: -161.80
STA:   FAI WMO: 70261 LAT:   64.82 LON: -147.87
STA:   ANC WMO: 70273 LAT:   61.17 LON: -150.02

Any stations that were in the data file but not decoded are also listed. It is recommended that these stations be added to the database.

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.

NOTE: upadec must be run before any upper air plotting and gridding programs may be run.




Last updated October 2013