Here then is the next update of NLradar Because the program might become interesting for people outside of the Netherlands and Flanders, I write the description of the update now in English. It is now available for both Windows (64-bits) and Linux, in contrast to only Windows from before. The links to the installers are given below.
The main changes are:
- There are multiple changes that increase the plotting speed significantly. Looping through time, switching from scan and panning and zooming are all much faster now. One of the changes is that data gets now stored in memory (as 8- or 16-bit unsigned integer) after it has been read from a file, up to a maximum amount that can be specified by yourself.
- Users can now specifiy the structure of the directory in which the radar data is stored. An example of this is shown in the image below. It is a very important update for people that want to use a structure that is different from the fixed structure that I used in the previous versions. An example of how you can specify the structure is shown in the first image below.
- An addition to the previous change: It is possible to specify multiple directory structures per radar (see example below), and if you do so, then you can switch with the keyboard shortcut SHIFT+E between those directory structures. It is necessary to specify multiple directory structures when data for one radar is spread over more than 2 datasets.
- Two new data formats can be read, which are the Rainbow3 format delivered by the KMI, and Belgocontrol's hdf5 format for data from Zaventem.
- A menu item 'Extra' has been added which includes 3 widgets. In the first widget you can select which data you want to move from the folders for 'Current' data to those for 'Archived' data. In the second you can change the structure of a directory in which you have saved radar data (which you will likely not need, but it is at least useful for myself for testing purposes). In the third you can delete stored 'volume attributes' from a file that contains them. These volume attributes include for example the elevation (scan angle) for each scan in the radar volume, which is used internally, and these attributes are stored because of time efficiency. If something goes wrong with this however (which will result in incorrect plots), then you can remove those stored attributes here, without having to remove the complete file.
- The scaling of the program under resizing has been improved. In addition to that, the settings include now an extra tab ‘Main’, at which you can modify the space occupied by the titles and color bars, and the font sizes of the titles, color bar labels and color bar ticks.
Next to these 7 main changes, there have been implemented numerous minor changes and bug fixes that I don't mention here.
Important: The program must be run as an administrator, because it must be able to place files in the folder NLradar/Generated_files.
For Linux there is not really an installer, but a .rar file that contains the program folder, the executable and the required files. Creating an installer for Linux appeared to be too much work. You should unpack the .rar file at the desired location, and then run NLradar by running the executable 'nlr' in the folder NLradar/Python_files.
Here is a (pretty long) video in which I show radar data for some interesting convective situations. The dates are 2014-08-08, 2014-01-03, 2014-06-09 (night and evening) and 2013-10-20. Below the video I have added a few static images.
The sources of the radar data are: Belgocontrol (Zaventem), KMI (Jabbeke and Wideumont) and KNMI (De Bilt, Den Helder and Herwijnen).
Tornadic supercell at August 8, 2014. Although this image is somewhat suggestive of the presence of a tornado, I did not find evidence that this was already the case here. At the time of the next radar image, from 1 hour later, this supercell produced however a tornado in Manhay.
And this is a radar image of another tornadic supercell at that day, that was located closer to the radar in Zaventem. It produced a tornado near Glimes and Jauchelette around the time of this image.
A strong quasi-linear convective system that passed over the radar in Zaventem at January 3, 2014, with a pronounced mesovortex.
The supercell that produced hailstones up to about 7 cm in and around Antwerp.
The storm that produced a weak tornado near Gits/Hooglede in West-Flanders. The reflectivity pattern is not clear, but a velocity couplet is visible, and a region of low CC values is visible in the same area, which suggests that the radar detects lofted debris.