New service: GFS plots

There are several sources for weather maps in the word wide web. Thanks to the open data policy of the United States the output of GFS (Global Forecast System) from NCAR is freely available for download in the internet. So everyone can use these data to produce own weather maps with the desired variables and in the desired style. Of course, one must have some knowledge of how to read the data and work it up to plots. During the last days i started to write some scripts that make it possible to auto-produce plots and upload these to this web project. At the moment there are only some plots available, but there is going to be a lot more soon. I’d appreciate any comments and suggestions on how to improve this service.
Notice that the GFS data is direct model output. I can not guarantee that the data is correct or that the scripts are free of errors.

At the moment there are 6 different plots available for the European region:

2 meter temperature + sea level pressure
filename structure: t2m_ZZz_FC.png

500hPa pressure surface: temperature and height [in gpm] + sea level pressure
filename structure: 500hpa_ZZz_FC.png

850hPa pressure surface: temperature and height [in gpm] + sea level pressure
filename structure: 850hpa_ZZz_FC.png

water equivalent of accumulated snow + sea level pressure [in l/m2]
filename structure: totsnow_ZZz_FC.png

precipitable water [in l/m2] + sea level pressure
filename structure: pwat_ZZz_FC.png

convective available potential energy (CAPE) [in J/kg] + sea level pressure
filename structure: cape_ZZz_FC.png

It is planned to provide daily maps for the 06z run.
The plots can be found via http://www.meteo-blog.net/gfs/YYYY-MM-DD/filename_structure

Replace YYYY with the current year, MM with the current month, DD with the current date. Example: 2012-01-10 for the 10th January in 2012.
Replace ZZ with the current model run. For example 06 for the 06z run. At the moment only the 06z run is available on a (near) daily basis. Replace FC with the forecast-interval. Within the first 72 hours plots are available every 3 hours, afterwards the frequency is reduced to one plot every 6 hours.

An overview of available plots can be found when not declaring a specific filename. To get an overview of all available plots of the newest plots just open http://www.meteo-blog.net/gfs/latest/ in your web browser. Plots are available online for a minimum of 14 days. So it is possible to verify the GFS model runs later on.

When a new model run gets online you will also find an information on our twitter account. Follow @meteoblog and never miss any updates.
I’m also going to inform you about all major updates concerning this service (e.g. new forecast plot types) in the GFS-section of this blog.

Feel free to ask any questions here or contact us via email, facebook or twitter e.g. in case of errors or missing plots.



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