Skip Navigation Linkwww.nws.noaa.gov 
NOAA logo - Click to go to the NOAA homepage National Weather Service   NWS logo - Click to go to the NWS homepage
Hydrology Laboratory
Search   

Special Announcement

The Office of Hydrologic Development maintains historical hydrologic data up to September 30, 2005.

Description of Radar Location Data


This information is the geographic location, description and usage status for NEXRAD radar data used in the particular RFC's NEXRAD precipitation processing system.

The radar location data is unloaded from a database table into an ASCII flat file once a month for each River Forecast Center. Files from 1994-2004 are compressed using either the UNIX compress or gzip utility. The files are named "radarloc_mmyyyy_RFCID.[gz][Z]" where mm is a two-digit month, yy is a four-digit year, and RFCID is a two character identifier for the RFC. For example, radarloc_021997_AB.gz is a file of radar location data from ABRFC from February 1997. Files from 2005 and later are also tar'd. In the tar file is one radar location file which is gzip'd. The tar filename is "radarloc_mmyyyy_RFCID.tar". The file inside the tar file is named "radarloc_mmddyyyy_RFCID.gz".

In older files there are 6 fields in every record of the radar location file. Each field is separated by a pipe "|" delimiter. These fields are laid out as follow:


		Field 1;  char(3);       Radar ID
		Field 2;  char(20);      Description
		Field 3;  smallfloat;    Radar longitude (decimal degrees)
		Field 4;  smallfloat;    Radar latitude  (decimal degrees)
		Field 5;  char(2);       State code
		Field 6;  char(1);       Status code
					   u=radar to be used
					   n=radar not to be used
            

In newer files there are 10 fields in every record of the radar location file. Each field is separated by a pipe "|" deliminter. These fields are laid out as follow:


                Field 1;  char(3);     Radar ID
                Field 2;  char(20);    Description
                Field 3;  char(1);     Radar ID prefix
                Field 4;  smallint;    Radar number
                Field 5;  char(2);     State
                Field 6;  float;       Radar latitude  (decimal degrees)
                Field 7;  float;       Radar longitude (decimal degrees)
                Field 8;  float;       Tower Height
                Field 9;  char(1);     Use Radar Code (T/F)
            

To use the information from the radar location file, you must first uncompress the file using the UNIX gunzip utility or an equivalent utility. The files from January 2005 are also tarred, so you will need to extract the file from the tar file before you uncompress it. The files for May 2005 and later are sorted by the Use Radar Code and Radar ID. The files from before May 2005 are not, they will need to be sorted by the Use Radar Code (in descending order) and the Radar ID to match up with the radars in the MPE files. Only radars that are in use (either a U or T code) are in the MPE files.



Main Link Categories:
Home | OHD

National Weather Service
Hydrologic Data Systems Branch
ohd.webmaster@noaa.gov
Page last modified: March 23, 2006

Disclaimer Privacy Policy