DISPLAY COMPONENTS
Toolbox

The toolbox is designed to hold controls and features which are not suited to the main menu, and for which the user needs rapid access. There are three main panels: the control panel, the fronts panel, and the scripting panel. Each will be described below.

 

 WORKCHART TAB

Active level. This controls the current level. It should be set to Surface except when viewing upper air data.

Time selection. This controls how the valid time for surface data and upper air data are chosen.  Digital Atmosphere will choose the most popular time rounded to the time quantity selected.  So if all data is valid for 1600 UTC except for one observation valid at 1533 UTC, the latter observation will be included if a "1 hour" rounding is selected, and discarded if "20 minutes" is selected.  If you wish to override time selection, you can choose "manual" to be prompted for a time each time you generate a product, or you can choose a specific numerical time.

Data plot crowding. Controls how many station plots appear on the map when you select Data > Data plots. Slide to the left for fewer station plots, or slide to the right for more (or click All, which sets the slider to 100%).

Clock.  Shows the local date/time (LOC) and the Greenwich Mean Time date/time (UTC). These are taken from your Windows time settings. If they look erroneous, it is not a problem in Digital Atmosphere. From your Windows start bar, go to Start > Settings > Control Panel > Date Time and make sure the correct time is set and the correct time zone is shown.

GRIB. This panel allows you to import and view GRIB data. Click Import to choose a file to view. Make sure either plot or contour are selected, and choose Select Field to view the desired GRIB field.

 

 FRONTS TAB

View fronts.  Displays whatever frontal bulletin currently resides in the QUEUE.FRT file. This bulletin may be imported from the Internet (see "using original sources of data" below) or may be created by the user (see "create" and "making your own maps" below).

Start new overlay.  Erases any drawings in progress or that may have been done earlier, and starts a new overlay.

Enable drawing mode.  When enabled, command inputs are taken from the mouse while on the workchart and lines or features are drawn.

Isopleth.  When pressed, any line being drawn terminates and further drawing is begun using an isopleth (a thin black line).

Cold front.  When pressed, any line being drawn terminates and further drawing is begun using a cold front.

Warm front.  When pressed, any line being drawn terminates and further drawing is begun using a warm front.

Stationary front.  When pressed, any line being drawn terminates and further drawing is begun using a stationary front.

Occluded front.  When pressed, any line being drawn terminates and further drawing is begun using an occluded front.

Trough.  When pressed, any line being drawn terminates and further drawing is begun using a trough.

Low.  When pressed, any line being drawn terminates.  Any click on the workchart will produce a low pressure area.

High.  When pressed, any line being drawn terminates.  Any click on the workchart will produce a high pressure area.

Text.  When pressed, any line being drawn terminates.  You will be prompted for text and allowed to place it on the workchart.

Suspend highs/lows.  Highs and lows are omitted from the map.

 

 HELPFUL TIPS

Drawing a front. So that the barbs point the correct way, as you draw the line cold air must always be on your right side (except when drawing warm fronts); the easiest way to remember this rule is to always start from the center of a low pressure area and work your way to higher pressure. Simply set the cursor on the first point, choose "__ front", then move along the front and right-click Frontal depiction tools > Add front point at each point to define 3 or more points along the front. The front will be drawn as you go along, and will be smoothed automatically as a spline.

Drawing highs and lows. Simply right-click on the map and choose Frontal Depiction Tools > Add high/low to mark the position of a high or low pressure area. You will be prompted for a central pressure in millibars. You can leave this blank if you wish not to specify one.

 

 

 

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 SCRIPTING TAB

This panel is meant for advanced users who want the ability to script or to construct elaborate analysis commands.  See the Appendix under Scheduler Scripting and Analysis Scripting for full details.

Scheduler command. Enter a single script command manually (see the section in the Appendix for more information). It will be executed immediately.

Scheduler: Run. Immediately executes a selected script file.

Scheduler: Create. Creates a new script file. This is basically a plaintext editor that loads and saves the file with a script extension.

Scheduler is off/on. Turns the scheduler on and off. Turn it on for the scheduler to take effect. It will trigger the execution of script files at the times you select.

Scheduler display window. Shows the current schedule that will be executed if you turn the scheduler on. The first four digits are the UTC time at which the script will be executed. Following this is the script file that will be executed at that time.

UTC time readout. Displays the current UTC time so you can see whether a script might execute soon.

Analysis command. Advanced users may type in an analysis command here (or paste it from a text editor). When you press the <ENTER> key, the command will be executed. See the Appendix for help on building an analysis command script.