Thursday, May 9, 2013

Script: Colorset; Quickly set GrADS color scales to match common scales for Satellite and RADAR images

It can be tough to approximate the color scales often used to plot variables such as RADAR reflectivity or infrared satellite.  This script makes sets the color scales up for a lot of these common settings.

Update (July 2013): Version 1.2: New color scales added:
  • Visible Satellite
  • Cloud top Height (From ucar)
  • Wunderground RADAR reflectivity scales
    • Rain
    • Mix
    • Snow
Update Notes: These new scales help approximate new color scales often encountered.  The visible satellite follows the scaled used by NOAA, when using this scale to plot visible imagery from CLASS, be sure to divide the CLASS data by 175/180.  An image below shows an example of the Wunderground RADAR color scale (used to plot WRF data).

Example of using the Wunderground RADAR reflectivity color scale.


    'colorset type'

The only required input is the desired colorscale.  There are no optional inputs.  A call with no specified scale brings up a short help page.

The following scales are currently available in
  • Water Vapor [C] (ucar): Vapor
  • Color Infrared [C] (ucar): IR1
  • Funktop Infrared [C] (NOAA): Funktop (IR2)
  • AVN IR Scale [C] (NOAA): AVN (IR4)
  • Color Enhanced IR [C] : IR3
  • RADAR Reflectivity [dBZ] : Reflectivity (Rad1)
  • RADAR Radial Velocity [kts] : Velocity (Rad2)
  • RADAR Reflectivity [dBZ] (Wunderground - rain): Wrad1 (Wunder1)
  • RADAR Reflectivity [dBZ] (Wunderground - mix): Wrad1 (Wunder2)
  • RADAR Reflectivity [dBZ] (Wunderground - snow): Wrad3 (Wunder3)
  • Cloud Top Height [KFt] (ucar): CTH (Cloud_Height)
  • Visible Satellite [N/A] (NOAA): Vis (visible)

Example call:

    'colorset IR2'
    'd data'

This call will plot your data on the colorscale of funktop IR.

  •  All satellite IR scales are in degrees Celcius, if your data is in Kelvin, please convert it before using
  • This script currently works best with observational data (Satellite and RADAR), but could be used with model data
  • A greater number of colorscales may be included in the next version, so check back soon.
The following image shows an example of IR satellite data plotted using example: IR satellite images


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