TIM Notes 28-29 Jun 04

Action items are presented in bold text.

Presentations open in another window, so you can read the notes while reviewing the slides.

28 June

Present: Mark Wheeler, Lowell Schaffert, Charlotte Johnson, Chuck Fain, Pete Conant, Stephen Cocks, Carol Adams, Susan Williams, Joe Wakefield, Herb Grote, Phil McDonald.

What's new - Joe

  • FSL RSA progress since September meeting.

    (Dave Sautter and Brian Bartram joined the meeting at this point.)

  • NWS AWIPS changes since OB1.

    (Tim Wilfong and Phil Wildhagen arrived at this time.)

    Tabular text - Xiangbao

  • Steve said tabular text does not work on CCTV - it's fuzzy. He will check to see if using large font addresses the problem.
  • Can we get both sides of the towers? Lowell explained that only the windward side is sent to AWIPS - an algorithm in the ingest system decides which one to send. Steve will revisit the issue of seeing both sets of instruments. Lowell suggested a possible solution of adding a text view of the data in the ingest system - not in AWIPS.
  • Levels listed in the tabular text are still wrong. Steve will provide the actual levels. (We know 12 and 54; there's still a question about some of the higher levels.)
  • If a subset of data are selected from the Scale pull-down, the label should so indicate.
  • WR folks would like to do areas (North Base/South Base). FSL will do so when provided with a list or map by WR.
  • Mark noted that FSL's sample data for tall towers are incorrect. Towers 2, 6, and 110 go only to 200'.

    (Mike Schmeiser and Don Coleman came in during this discussion.)

  • ER will check performance of tabular text.
  • Chuck pointed out the importance of having the LWOs at these meetings. We all tried...
  • FSL will post field mill tabular text examples on the Web for review by LWOs.

    Archive server GUI - Susan

  • Lowell wanted to make it clear that this archive server is a stand-alone system and is not related to the general RSA archive. It records only the data from the AWIPS data disks.
  • Mark suggested adding a 9400 MB option to anticipate future hardware.
  • Users want to eliminate the option of deleting the tar files after burning.
  • Steve asks if we need to remove files to make space.
  • Steve: Will selecting "archive" slow down my AWIPS? Lowell and Susan answer No, as it's a separate server.
  • Mark suggests compressing the seven-day-old data automatically, before overwriting it.
  • AX system needs to include a cleanup function to remove cases that are not of interest. Also, the case limit still needs to be determined.
  • Mike (and others) wants a visual indication that we're viewing archived data - e.g., with a label or color change in the frame title.
  • Mark asked about a ticking clock. Lowell notes that WES (NWS' playback system) was specifically excluded from RSA, in favor of the replay on office workstation option.

    AS2.1 - Lowell

  • MARSS and other systems are on AS2.1 now. Only AWIPS (data server, workstations, model cluster) remains on 7.3. Our task calls for converting these in Mod 3 of the MOU.
  • Mark: Will Informix run on 2.1?
  • The compute nodes on the model cluster will not run AS2.1, so they will have to be replaced.

    29 June

    Present: Chuck, Mark, Steve, Don, Mike, Phil W., Pete, Dave, Lowell, Charlotte, Brian, Carol, Tim, Joe, John, Steve Albers.

    LAPS - John and Steve

    (Depending on your browser, you may wish to adjust the width of the window to view John & Steve's presentation.)

  • Steve C.: Isn't the 1 km domain too small? Has this been discussed? John responded that the 1.1 km grid uses the 3.3 for boundary conditions, which in turn uses the 10 km for its boundary. Lowell noted that, yes, it was not only discussed, but was a requirement. Mike believes that the 1km grid is more important on the west coast due to terrain. Steve hopes that the domain size can be increased - perhaps this can happen with the model cluster upgrade. Tim and Lowell point out that the hardware was speced to meet the requirement. John suggests that running dry is an option that would allow using a bigger domain.
  • John noted that FSL looks at the results every day - sometimes it's a disaster, but usually the 1 km is good, especially for sea breeze. Once convection starts, all bets are off - can't resolve gust fronts with instrumentation. FSL is looking for feedback, once the users get their hands on it routinely.
  • Steve: Will it be easy to configure the model once it's delivered? Forecast length, resolution, grid location... John says, yes, this is all in namelists - a couple of days of training will allow a local site administrator to change these at will.
  • With improvements to NCEP models, it may be possible to eliminate the 10 km domain and expand the other two a bit.
  • Steve asks about radars - all FL radars? John says Yes, from SBN (Level III data). Can accommodate Level II when they become available.
  • Steve A. discusses the local data sources. He notes that our RSA LAPS page shows the cold temps near the Cape which is a result of using the synthetic data - it illustrates that we are ingesting and using the data.
  • Lowell asks Pete about the status of the 50MHz profiler at ER. Vaisala is to be on site 19 Jul to install a unit upgrade. Expect it to be fully back on line for testing by the end of October. Interface to RSA should be available in August.
  • Steve (A.) pointed out the double entry for lowest data level. Joe will check the synthetic data for duplicate 15m report. [Found and removed 7 Jul. JSW]
  • Steve will contact Mike Schmeiser re getting an account to dial in for AMPS data.
  • Steve C. says when it rains, minisodar data get bad. Mike says they see it, too, when it rains.

    MM5 - John

    (Note that this is the same presentation as above. MM5 starts on Slide 10.)

  • Steve asks about the utility of SST climatology. Dave and Lowell say Eta grids are due in a month, including SST.
  • John notes that Schultz II microphysics allows convection to start with subsaturated grid boxes. This produces a much more gentle initiation of convection tan most physics packages.
  • Verification of precip using Schultz µphysics shows significant skill score improvements. John notes in particular that MM5+ outperforms Eta in the 0-3 and 0-6h periods. At 0-12h, Eta nearly catches up - it just doesn't spin up precipitation quickly.
  • Re the 41 sigma levels, Steve asks about instability with closely packed near-sfc layers. John says one has to make sure the time step is short enough to avoid having vertical motions cross layers. The current 30 seconds works.
  • Mark notes that running LAPS more often than once per hour has proven effective at JAX and SMG.
  • John shows how long it takes to run the models. The 1 km is slow. Tim wonders why we run out to 24h at all. There are many trade-offs to consider.
  • Latest version is 2.1, delivered to LM 7/03. Lowell says it has not been installed at WR.
  • Mark asks if one of the old (replaced) compute nodes could be used to run the verification? Lowell says a) don't expect them to be available and b) AS2.1 won't run on 'em.
  • Steve needs to provide input to developers for what should be in the verification package.
  • Steve will get the model-availability deficiencies to Jackie. (Clay says some things aren't available on AWIPS, or not on the right scales.)

    Briefing Tool - Herb

  • Herb said that he is in the process of testing a major revision of the tool for Homeland Security work, but there are no plans at the moment to put that in RSA.
  • Steve notes that Johnny and Clay have actually used the Tool to create some briefings and have some feedback to provide.
  • Can LWOs develop templates? Herb says it can be done and he's done some training at both Ranges. It's mostly HTML and is documented in the Briefing Tool User's Guide, Section 4.1.2.
  • Mark: BT has reduced data availability vice AWIPS. Will we get the rest of the models, e.g.? Herb says no, he does not intend to duplicate AWIPS.
  • Chuck again notes that we need to get LWOs and FSL folks together to figure out what's needed for templates.

    ORPG Build 6 - Darien

  • The 88D ROC is making Build 6 available on Linux, so we'll skip Builds 4 and 5 for RSA.
  • A concern is that the T1 between KMLB and the Cape ORPG may not support the data needs of both AWIPS display and MM5, in particular with future VCPs (faster volumes). Tihs is post Build 6.
  • The AMU needs radar data, too. How?

    3-d Lightning - Phil

    MarySue Schultz and Susan Williams joined the group for this session.

  • Phil provided a handout summarizing the changes since September, to wit:
  • The display retains 30 minutes of data, or on the order of 1M events. At about 20 bytes per, the application needs about 20MB memory for its data. Adding graphics, 3-d likes to have about 100MB available. Phil notes that he concentrated more on ease of understanding the code rather than trying to make it more memory efficient. He mentioned several ways that the application could be made more responsive - use hardware rendering; trim out parts of VIS5D that are not needed; reduce the redundant plotting of events that are effectively collocated. (None of these is planned.)
  • Discussion focuses on what to do when zoomed in. Johnny had requested something to indicate where other events are happening, possibly by piling them on the perimeter or just tagging the perimeter. Phil's suggestion on the handout of using hatching and a split histogram is generally deemed acceptable.

    General Discussion

  • Mark: There are still times when the system gets slow, particularly with the Briefing Tool. Discussion notes recent network reconfigurations and problems that Lowell believes have been solved. Chuck suggests that someone(s) from FSL needs to visit the Ranges to work directly with the users on this issue. Lowell argues that we need a repeatable scenario. Mark will solicit "slowdown scenarios" from LWOs.
  • Mark: Can we hook a one-head AMU machine to the operations network? This would allow AMU user to view radar and local model data.
  • Joe: What about FSL's local data access? Lowell says the EDS is running, but no data go there because any arriving data would be forwarded to the AMU, which presently gets data from the FTP server. This was logged as a PR in January (?) and is not on the to-be-resolved schedule yet.
  • Don reviewed some DRs. Lowell noted that OB1 will be installed at WR soon. Problems without a ready solution (or already fixed in OB1 include:
  • Joe asked Lowell why AS2.1 is being used, when it's been superseded by ES3.0. The answer is that the SPO directed LM to use 2.1.
  • Steve wants time series labels to stick with "round" numbers like :00 and :05 rather than go to 3 minutes or 11 minutes, etc.

    Schedule and Tasks - Dave and Joe

  • Mod 3 of the FSL-LM MOU includes tasks for ingest/display (Work Element A) and analysis/model (Work Element B). From Element A:
    1. Merge with AWIPS OB3. NWS will begin fielding OB4 in September. In light of this, we combine this with Item 5.
    2. Stage ORPG Build 4. As noted earlier, ORPG Build 6 will run on Linux. This task is combined with Item 7.
    3. Stage RedHat Enterprise AS2.1. FSL plans to complete this on their development systems by the end of September. LM expects to have the new compute nodes for the model available by mid August.
      Related to this topic, there was an extended discussion of sustainment. Tim pointed out that end users need to advocate (with the SLRSC SPO in Colorado Springs) that RSA be kept up in sync with NWS. The three-year hardware refreshment plan that NWS is on saves money by avoiding maintenance costs. In addition, keeping in sync allows RSA to leverage all of the work done by NWS in developing AWIPS and ORPG.
    4. Field Mill tabular display. Work will start mid July, with completion in December. An intermediate version lacking the timer will probably be included in the initial OB4 delivery.
    5. Merge with AWIPS OB4. This work will start in July and be completed by the end of September.
    6. Briefing Tool enhancements. Herb expects to complete the tasks on his list by the end of December.
    7. Stage ORPG Build 5. FSL could stage ORPG Build 6 by mid August, but the RDA won't support Build 6 until September, says Darien. This will be delivered with OB4.
  • As for Work Element B, John plans to deliver new versions of LAPS/MM5 in July 04 and January 05.
    Notes by Joe Wakefield
    updated 6 Jul 04