Home About Free Downloads Register Help Videos More Stuff Site Map
GetRealtime Free Hydrologic Program System
Getting Started: Radar Rainfall
and Adjustment
 
Update 11Jul2014

The Big Picture
The NWS creates a geo referenced color coded 1000x1000 pixel PNG image file of the radar reflectivity in dbz every 5 minutes which we automate downloading. Each of the 1000x1000 pixels is roughly 0.6 miles wide and high. We determine which of the pixels is inside our basin and if it is then convert the pixel's color coded dbz to rainfall, then sum and average for the basin 5-minute average rainfall. Based on comparing the pixel at a nearby rain gage we can take that pixel comparison over each hour and adjust each 5-minute average rainfall of our basin. We are saving the 5-minute BASIN AVERAGE RAINFALL values to our database, not each pixel value. Re-read this a few times to be sure you know where you are headed.


STEPS FOR GETTING UP & RUNNING YOUR OWN ADJUSTED RADAR RAINFALL.
All the required Windows softwares are available free on my web Downloads.

The Steps:
1) Finding your nearest radar site (Install GetNexrad).
2) Creating your basin boundary (Install GetMapArea or Google Earth Pro and GoogleKML2Text.exe).
3) Convert basin boundary lat/long to radar pixels.
4) Working with GetAccess, GetRealtime, GetGraphs (Install GetRealtime).
5) Putting the basin boundary to work with GetRealtime.
6) Adding real-time rain gages available free on the web.
7) Adjusting the basin radar rainfall.
8) Add a 4-day NWS QPF basin forecast distributed to 5-minutes.
9) GetGraphs_setup.txt to keep an eye on it all.
10) What could go wrong... does.
11) Some Questions and Answers about automated retrievals.
12) How about basin rainfall-runoff?


Step #0--Think about how you want to install several folders containing the GetRealtime system of files. How about:

C:\MyModels
     \MyProject1
          \GetNexrad
          \GetMapArea
          \GetAccess
          \GetGraphs
          \GetRealtime
     \MyProject2
          \GetNexrad
          \GetMapArea
          \GetAccess
          \GetGraphs
          \GetRealtime

In this example you would install as C:\MyModels\MyProject1\. This will keep several projects and their data organized. You can copy the project folders as needed for new projects without reinstalling the programs.



STEP #1--FINDING NEAREST RADAR SITE (for Conyers, GA):

On my website download page: http://getmyrealtime.com/downloads.aspx

Select the 'Download Full GetNexrad' button, save, and run the setupGetNexrad.exe file to install GetNexrad. You may decide to install GetNexrad as a sub folder in your Sewer Model folder like C:\MyModels\MyProject1\. You can install GetNexrad over and over if you decide you would like to install it somewhere else or for seperate projects.

Tip: On Windows 7 or Windows 8 always run these setups as Administrator. From Windows Explorer I think you right click on the setup.exe file and select Run as administrator.

GetNexrad is not the main program you eventually will be using but is very useful for viewing radar and will become a great tool for watching the approaching storms and plotting your database values at their locations and much much more.

Once GetNexrad is installed, to find the nearest radar fire up GetNexrad.exe, click 'Select Radar From File', and select 'USA_N0Q.png' and an old radar image will load.  Click 'Overlays', 'Create Overlay/Topo' to see where we are. We are headed to Conyers, GA so double click on the state of Georgia and create your overlay again and a map of the Southeast will load and a current radar image (mosaic of several radar sites). Turn on 'Range' by checking the 'Range' check box on the GetNexrad menu and this will display all the radar sites in yellow. Start zooming in on Conyers using the mouse wheel and also dragging the radar image around... so where is Conyers???... Ah, I found it on the Web, very colorful downtown buildings, just east of Atlanta, home of the Dukes of Hazzard. Double click on Conyers and the nearest radar 'FFC' will be selected for you.  Create your overlay again and a new map will be displayed centered on the FFC radar.  Be sure your FFC radar site product is N0Q not the old N0R.

You can zoom and drag the radar around. To start a radar loop, right click the radar image, check the 'Auto updating' and 'Auto delete' check boxes, set the Hours to 0.5, and then click the big 'Update Radar' button and you will be viewing a 1/2 hour loop. 

Close GetNexrad and re-fire it back up and repeat navigating from the USA map, to the regional mosaic, to the actual radar and note how the text in the upper right changes.  This is your current Gifs folder and will be needed in Step #3.  We will be using PNG image files, not GIFs but back in the day, GIFs were all there was.

So now we know FFC is the nearest radar.



STEP #2--CREATING YOUR BASIN BOUNDARY (Installing GetMapArea):

On my website download page select the 'Download Full GetMapArea' button, save, and run the setupGetMapArea.exe file to install. Again, you may decide to install as a sub folder to your Sewer Model (C:\MyModels\MyProject1\) and multiple installations are ok for seperate projects. Remember to Run setups as Administrator.

We will be creating a watershed boundary text file with either a tab or comma delimited latitude and longitude pairs on each line, with 1 title line and at least 8 points on the boundary. If you already have your boundary in GIS and can export a lat,long projection text file like this, then you can skip the rest of this step.
Here is what we are after:

Tallapoosa Lower Main Fork Boundary
-85.57492, 33.31168
-85.58772, 33.30901
-85.60053, 33.31168
-85.61014, 33.31839
-85.61654, 33.31571
-85.62454, 33.32509
....etc, etc....
at least 8 points
tab or comma delimited
either long, lat or lat, long.

And the text file name should contain 'boundary' like:
TallapoosaLowerMainForkBoundary.txt

Fire up GetMapArea.exe, select 'Load/Save Map', 'EPA WATERS KMZ', and this will load Google Earth with the EPA watershed boundaries and stream lines. On Google Earth, select 'View', 'Sidebar' and check Places, Temporary Places, MyWATERS, Streams and also Catchments.

Important Update 8/24/2016:  The following instructions below can alse be done this way.  The free Googe Earth Pro can save its 'Add', 'Polygon' to KML file so you can now use my GoogleKML2Text.exe from the download page to convert Google's KML to text for use by LatLongPixelsFromFile.exe.  You can use GetMapArea to load the EPA Waters hydro units and catchments and then use Googles  'Add', 'Polygon' and save to kml.... Carry on.

Zoom in on Conyers, GA and when your catchment of interest is displayed, add two Placemarks by 'Add', 'Placemark' and drag one to the lower left portion of the screen and one to the upper right portion of the screen. Copy the latitude and longitude of each placemark to Notepad to be used later for setting the image scale.

This is critical, make sure your Google Earth is oriented directly north by clicking on the 'N' on the navigation icon. Now capture the Google Earth screen to your clip board with Alt*PrtScrn. Close Google Earth and Discard Temporary Places. On the GetMapArea menu select 'Paste from clipboard' and the Google image will be set.... something like this:
 


Right lick the GetMapArea image, select 'Set Scale' and follow the prompts on window caption to click the 1st and 2nd placemarks and select Longitude/Latitude from the scaling options.

Enter the P1 and P2 placemarks long, lats like:
-88.22222,34.22333,-88.01111,34.33333

Hit OK, and following the window caption prompts, Right click for menu, select 'Start Area', and start digitizing your boundary. When finished, Right click for menu and select 'End Area/Line'. Right click on the data box and save the lat, longs to a text file using a file name with 'boundary'in it. Close GetMapArea.

Note: If you have graphic images of your sewer basins you can Alt*PrtScrn them to the clip board and paste them into GetMapArea instead of using Google Earth. You can then determine 2 points near the screen diagonal for setting the lat/long scaling. The X vs Y aspect is not important so long as your image is oriented exactly due north.

We now have our lat/long boundary text file named something like xxxBoundary.txt.



STEP #3--CONVERT BASIN BOUNDARY LAT/LONG TO RADAR PIXELS:

Copy your xxxboundary.txt file of lat/longs from your GetMapArea folder to the ...\GetNexrad\LatLongPixels\ folder. Fire up LatLongPixelsFromFile.exe that is in this folder, select from the menu 'File', 'Open Input File', and select your xxxboundary.txt file.

Next from the menu select, 'Convert', 'LatLong to Pixel'. Your Radar Site Code is 'FFC', your Radar Product Code is 'N0Q' with a zero, not an O, check 'Ridge 2', and enter a 'Datatype_Site_ID' like '-10100'. The Datatype_Site_ID's will be covered later. Select 'OK'. To save your conversion from the menu select 'File', 'Save Conversion'.

Close LatLongPixelsFromFile.exe. We now have a bounday file in radar pixel coordinates named NexradBoundaryFFC-10100Q.txt referenced to a 1000x1000 pixel N0Q radar image. Do not rename this file because its naming convention is important. You may wish to edit the files first line title line to something more appropriate.

The last step in making the boundary file usuable by both GetNexrad.exe and GetRealtime.exe is to create a point file showing all the radar pixels that are within your pixel boundary. To do this copy the file NexradBoundaryFFC-10100Q.txt to the ...\GetNexrad\MyRadarGifs\ folder. This folder is our Gif's folder from Step #1.  You can fire up GetNexrad.exe and look at the upper right hand text box to refresh your memory.  (Note:  After completing Step #5, this Gif folder location will change.)

Fire up GetNexrad.exe and from the menu click 'Select Radar File Image', select 'FFC_N0Q.png' that was created in Step #1. Choose your boundary ID -10100Q xxx from the boundary list by double clicking on it. The screen will go black which is fine, from the menu select 'Creat Point File', select the option 'No Conversion', and hit 'Create File'.

Your basin pixels inside your boundary will be displayed as a small red area. Zoom in on this red area to be sure there are no holes in this red area. From the menu click 'Select Radar File Image', select FFC_N0Q.png again, select your boundary from the list by double clicking again, and this time your boundary will be displayed as a red outline on the radar screen. Zoom in as far as you like to see where your boundary lies.

We now have a basin area on the radar screen ready to start measuring unadjusted radar rainfall. If you start a radar loop going, GetNexrad will display the rainfall accumulations within your boundary. Note that you normally will not be using GetNexrad to create your unadjusted radar rainfall record. The next step is needed for creating and saving the unadjusted radar rainfall using GetRealtime.exe in real-time and for historical studies.



STEP #4--INSTALLING GETREALTIME (GETACCESS, GETREALTIME, GETGRAPHS):

On my website download page select the 'Download Full GetRealtime' button, save, and run the setupGetRealtime.exe file to install. Again, you may decide to install as a sub folder to your Sewer Model and multiple installations are ok for seperate projects. Remember to Run setups as Administrator. My example install folder is C:\MyModels\MyProject1\.

To get a feel for how these 3 exe programs work we will run each and then clear out all the data and then start over for real.

GETACCESS:  Windows XP and below users without MS Access 2003 can download the free runtime support from my web download page.  The runtime support ships with Vista and above.

Fire up GetAccess.exe and a list of example stations will be displayed (maybe). If the list appears then GetAccess connection string to the MS Access database file is correct (fat chance) and you can close GetAccess. If a connection error occurs then click the 'Connection' button and set the connection string to where GetAccess was installed and the 'GetAccessHDB.mdb' file is located.

Your connection string could look like:

Provider=Microsoft.Jet.OLEDB.4.0;Data Source= C:\MyModels\MyProject1\GetAccess\GetAccessHDB.mdb;User Id=admin;Password=;

Then click the 'SITE LIST' button to display the example stations to test your connection. Keep this connection string on Notepad so you can paste it when needed below. If you lose it then fire up GetAccess.exe and hit 'Connection' to copy it. Close GetAccess.

GETREALTIME: Fire up GetRealtime.exe. If you had to change the GetAccess database connection string above, then before retrieving click the 'Select Station from List' button, then click the 'Connection' button and set the connection string to what you set for GetAccess above and be sure to click the 'Save' button after changing the connection string. Set the 'Days' to 7. Click 'Start Realtime Retrieval' button. This will retrieve the past 7 days of daily and hourly values for the 107 stations on the station list and write them to the GetAccess database.  Close GetRealtime. (Note: As of 6/1/2014 Wunderground weather station retrievals are very very very very very S*L*O*W.  So send them a squawk sheet.)

GETGRAPHS: After retrieving the 107 example stations data for the past week we can view the data. If you had to change the connection string above then you will have to change GetGraph's connection also. To change the connection string, open Windows Explorer, find the GetGraphs installed folder (C:\MyModels\Project1\GetGraphs\). Double click on the file 'GetGraphs_setup.txt'. This will open the Notepad editor and you can change the connection string to that used above.

Fire up GetGraphs.exe and several graphs of rainfall data should be displayed as well as a web page in the upper right. Some of these example stations and web pages may no longer be available. Click on any graph to continue viewing more data graphs. The reason for a whopping 107 stations is to show examples of most of the retrieval types that can be done. You can refer to these examples for your own GetRealtime_setup.txt file for your future retrievals as we shall see below.

That's it. You now have an idea of where we will be headed. Did you notice that GetAccess, GetRealtime, and GetGraphs each have text file setups, GetAccess_setup.txt, GetRealtime_setup.txt, and GetGraphs_setup.txt. You can view and edit these setups with Notepad or from each program's menu. You will soon see that using Notepad can be the best way for edits.

CLEAR OUT EXAMPLE DATA IN DATABASE: We now want to delete all the example data in the database and add our stations of interest. The database table 'ExampleRsite' has all the stations in our example so you can always look at it in the future but is never used. We will be working with the table 'rsite' instead.

The database tables are inside the MS Access file GetAccessHDB.mdb. We will use GetAccess to execute SQL commands to delete the unwanted example data. Fire up GetAccess.exe and look up at the top for the long text box containing 'SELECT DISTINCT etc.....'. Check the small check box to its left and this long text box can now be edited. Replace what's there with the SQL statement 'DELETE * FROM rday;' and then hit the 'GO' button. The SQL is executed and ALL the contents of table 'rday' are deleted. Repeat with the database tables below:

DELETE * FROM rday;
DELETE * FROM rhour;
DELETE * FROM runit;
DELETE * FROM rdaymax;
DELETE * FROM rdaymin;
DELETE * FROM runitshift;
DELETE * FROM rupdate;
DELETE * FROM rsite;

You are now an SQL certified expert in deletions and not to worry, thats the only SQL you need to know.



STEP #5--PUTTING THE BASIN BOUNDARY TO WORK WITH GETREALTIME:

We had been using GetNexrad to view our boundary and radar images in it's sub folder \MyRadarGifs\. We will no longer be using this GetNexrad subfolder. So copy your Boundary and Point files (NexradBoundaryFFC-10100Q.txt and NexradPointFFC-10100Q.txt) to where your GetRealtime.exe is located (C:\MyModels\MyProject1\GetRealtime\).

Because we will be using GetNexrad to view files in this new location from now on we need to set GetNexrad's default view location to the GetRealtime.exe folder. Fire up GetNexrad.exe, from the USA map double click on Georgia, and again from the regional mosaic double click near Conyers, GA and it will prompt for selecting your boundary so do so. To save this default view with your boundary, right click the radar image and select 'Save Setup'. Just to be sure, check that the FFC radar is displayed.  Note the folder being used now in the upper right text box.  Both GetRealtime and GetNexrad will now be using this as their Gifs folder. Close GetNexrad.

To retrieve radar info for our boundary We need to set the database info for our boundary site in the Access database file. Fire up GetAccess.exe, click 'DB Tables', select the table 'rsite' on the left, check the 'Allow Edit' box on the left and hit 'GO'. We are set to enter our boundary info.

(Quick dataype_site_id tutorial: Our example dsid is -10100 and is made up of datatype 10 for rainfall and site_id 100. Runoff would be 30100, temperature 17100. Use negative dsid's for computed values as opposed to gage values.)

Click the 'Edit Menu' on the left and select 'Add by Datatype' and enter our site_id as 100 and select '10 rainfall, inches' as the datatype and hit 'Add'. Note that we now need to edit the datatype_site_id to a negative value as -10100.

Edit the site_name, parameter_code is 'N0Q-Ridge2', station_id is 'NEXRAD-FFC', and state is 'GA'.

To send this data record to the database click any cell on the bottom row. Now hit the 'Site List' button and you will see your first station listed. Close GetAccess.


UPDATE: You can skip the table Rsite data entry above and go to setting up the GetRealtime_setup.txt file. Then after entering some lines, select a line, Right Click and it will ADD most (BUT NOT ALL) of the needed info to table Rsite.


Now to setup GetRealtime. Fire up GetRealtime.exe, click 'Select Station From List', and you will see all the old info we need to clear... maybe. Click 'Edit w/Notpad'. Turn off Notepad's Word Wrap and maximize the window. Insert a few blank lines below 'Station_ID;...' for inserting our new station. Now scroll down through the old info until you find:

NEXRAD-FWS; -10752; Rainfall; Dallas N0Q Radar at Wundergage; 0

Copy and paste this line directly below the 'Station_ID;...' line and edit it to look like this and add 'END' on the next line:

NEXRAD-FFC; -10100; Rainfall; Conyer Subbasin #1, GA; 0
END

Exit and save Notepad. Note that ';' is not a ',' and is a very important distinction. From the GetRealtime menu click 'Select Station From List' and you will see just the one line for our basin. Click any cell of the line and then click 'OK'. Note that the DSID and Station Name are displayed.

To set the radar source check 'Scheduled Batch' to bring up a menu and check 'Iowa Mesonet Radar...' and then uncheck 'Scheduled Batch'. Check the top 4 'Write..' boxes down through 'Write Unit Values'.

ARE YOU READY!?!?!?! Cross your fingers and click 'Start Realtime Retrieval'...

Whooops... click 'No' to the 'Starting date is newer...' message and recross your fingers and...

VIOLA!!! You should be viewing a radar image. Click 'Next' or 'Continue' to retrieve the past 4 hours of radar. The 5-minute unit values, hourly and daily sums have been written to the database so let's view them.

Close GetRealtime and fire up GetAccess. From the Site List select our only station and click 'PARAMATERS w/data', then click the 'Unit' option from the top of the menu, and then 'GO'... Thar she blows!!!

Congratulations! You are now a Certified Radar Professional (CRP)... not to rain on your parade but those radar values are worthless for the durations we will be using so we now need to adjust them. When you can adjust them, only then will you become a Certified Radar Adjustment Professional aka CRAP'er! You still have some way yet to go before you can sling that coveted title around like a true pro.



STEP #6--ADDING REAL-TIME RAIN GAGES:

If you don't operate your own real-time rainfall network, then you can use free Wunderground rain gages. I have scouted your county area and found 6 possible Wundergages for use. Four have 15-minute punches which is fine but they all punch around 10 minutes after the hour and that is bad. Airports punch 7 minutes before the hour so that is also bad but some times that's all you got. You could pursuade these 4 Wundergage owners to set their punch on the hour or a minute or 2 later if you let them know how important their sewer connection is (or lack there of). Also, you could take a couple of your old XP boxes from the office and send them home with co-workers to operate Wundergages from their homes with a sawbuck added to their paychecks. But the current 5-minute gages we will use are:

-10201 KGACONYE9 Bridle Creek, GA > 33.647 -84.083 > 774 ft
-10202 KGACONYE3 Quail Run, GA > 33.581 -84.045 > 660 ft

You can copy the above info from each gage site once you figure out how to operate www.wunderground.com's WunderMap. I added the leading -10201 and -10202 as our datatype_site_id's we will be using. I know its a negative value for a gage but we will start with the radar at the gage. For the actual gage record we will use the same but positive dsid's. Wundergages are always being added so you should check each month to see if anything new is available.

If you do operate your own rain gage network then contact me on how to connect them or see my Help web page for Compute-Get.

Adding a rain gage's radar location is much easier than a basin bounday. Fire up

...\GetNexrad\LatLongPixels\LatLongPixels.exe

For the Bridle Creek gage our Radar Site Code is FFC-N0Q, check the Ridge 2 box, LongitudeX is -84.083, LatitudeY is 33.647, and click the 'Convert' button and the conversion to radar pixel x,y is shown. Close the window and you will be prompted 'Do you want to create a single point boundary' so click 'YES'. The next prompt 'Would you like the 4 closest pixels included'click 'NO'. Enter Datatype_Site_ID is -10201. Enter Site Title is 'KGACONYE9 Bridle Creek, GA' and click OK. This time BOTH the boundary file and point file are created for us and we are prompted to 'Copy both files to your Nexrad Radar Gif file directory.' Click OK and repeat using the lat/long for the Quail Run, GA gage info above and close (click NO).

Copy the 4 files just created to our 'Nexrad Radar Gif file directory'. Remember we changed our default gif file directory to GetRealtime.exe's folder:

C:\MyModels\MyProject1\GetRealtime\

Fire up GetNexrad.exe and we can display the location of our basin and both Wundergages at the same time. When prompted for a boundary from the list select 'Show current list values'. The Wundergage locations will be marked with an orange 'X' meaning no data for the past 2 days is available. We haven't downloaded any yet. So cloxe GetNexrad and we will do that.

Like we did in step #5 we need to set the database info for our Wundergage sites in the Access database file. Fire up GetAccess.exe, click 'DB Tables', select the table 'rsite' on the left, check the 'Allow Edit' box on the left and hit 'GO'. We are set to enter our boundary info.

RADAR AT GAGE: -10201 KGACONYE9 Bridle Creek, GA.

Click the 'Edit Menu' on the left and select 'Add by Datatype' and enter our site_id as 201 and select '10 rainfall, inches' as the datatype and hit 'Add'. Note that we now need to edit the datatype_site_id to a negative value as -10201.

The site_name is 'Bridle Creek, GA', parameter_code is 'N0Q-Ridge2', station_id is 'NEXRAD-FFC', and state is 'GA'.

To send this data record to the database click any cell on any other line.

Now for actual Wundergage rainfall record. Click the 'Edit Menu' and repeat above this time the datatype_site_id will be positive 10201, the site_name is 'Bridle Creek, GA', parameter_code is 'dailyrainin', station_id is 'KGACONYE9', and state is 'GA'.

Now repeat for the radar and gage at:
-10202 KGACONYE3 Quail Run, GA

Click on any other data line to send the record to the database. To veryify our sites have been added, click the 'Site List' button and you will see your first three stations listed. Close GetAccess.

Now to setup GetRealtime. Fire up GetRealtime.exe, click 'Select Station From List', and you will see our only boundary line. Click 'Edit w/Notpad'. Turn off Notepad's Word Wrap and maximize the window and edit our data part to look like:

Station_ID; Datatype_Site_ID; Datatype_Name; Site_Name; base1;etc...
NEXRAD-FFC; -10100; Rainfall; Conyer Subbasin #1, GA; 0
NEXRAD-FFC; -10201; Rainfall; Bridle Creek, GA
NEXRAD-FFC; -10202; Rainfall; Quail Run, GA
KGACONYE9; 10201; Rainfall; Bridle Creek, GA
KGACONYE3; 10202; Rainfall; Quail Run, GA
END

Exit and save Notepad.

To set the radar source check 'Scheduled Batch' to bring up a menu and check 'Iowa Mesonet Radar...' and then uncheck 'Scheduled Batch'. Check the top 4 'Write..' boxes down through 'Write Unit Values' and this time we will save our settings so we won't have to do this each run. Click 'Select Station From List' and click 'Save'.

From the GetRealtime menu click 'Select Station From List' and highlight all 5 rows of stations and then click 'OK'. Note that the Station Name is displayed as 'Selected range of stations'. You could run each line one at a time if you don't feel brave or our range bombs out. Now set 'Days' to 1 and click 'Start Realtime Retrieval'.

And.... ???? Hopefully all runs as planned.  If not, exit GetRealtime.exe and restart it and go through just the steps in the paragraph above but 1 station at a time until you get an error message and then sort that out, usually the error is back in GetAccess table 'rsite' or insufficiant data in downloads.



STEP #7--ADJUSTING THE BASIN RADAR RAINFALL:

To adjust our radar rainfall over our basin we will adjust using the ratio:

GAGE_avg / RADAR_avg

So we now need the average of our 2 Wundergages HOURLY and and the average of our 2 radars at the gages HOURLY.

Let start with the GetRealtime.exe setup first. Fire up GetRealtime.exe and click 'Select Station From List', click 'Edit w/Notpad', and scroll down until you find:

COMPUTE-Hour; 10035; Rainfall; Average Las Vegas Rainfall; 0; 0; (P1+P2+P3)/3
and
COMPUTE-Hour; 31752; Ratio; Dallas Wundergage / Radar Ratio; 0; 0.05, 1.0, 3; P1/P2

Copy and paste these to our data area and edit the last 3 lines as:

Station_ID; Datatype_Site_ID; Datatype_Name; Site_Name; base1;etc...
NEXRAD-FFC; -10100; Rainfall; Conyer Subbasin #1, GA; 0
NEXRAD-FFC; -10201; Rainfall; Bridle Creek, GA
NEXRAD-FFC; -10202; Rainfall; Quail Run, GA
KGACONYE9; 10201; Rainfall; Bridle Creek, GA
KGACONYE3; 10202; Rainfall; Quail Run, GA
COMPUTE-Hour; 10301; Avg Rainfall; Avg of Wundergages; 0; 0; (P1+P2)/N
COMPUTE-Hour; -10301; Avg Rainfall; Avg of Radars; 0; 0; (P1+P2)/N
COMPUTE-Hour; 31301; Ratio; G/R Ratio at Wundergages ; 0; 0.02, 1.0, 3; P1/P2
END

Close Notepad and save. Fire up GetAccess.exe add these 2 avg rainfall records to table rsite:
(remember how from above.)

For the Wundergage average:
The dsid is '10301', site_name is 'Gage Avg Conyers, GA', parameter_code is '10201,10202', station_id is 'COMPUTE', and state is 'GA'.

For the radar avg at the gages:
The dsid is '-10301', site_name is 'Radar Avg Conyers, GA', parameter_code is '-10201,-10202', station_id is 'COMPUTE', and state is 'GA'.

For the datatype 31 ratio record:
The dsid is '-31301', site_name is 'G/R Ratio Conyers, GA', parameter_code is '10301,-10301', station_id is 'COMPUTE', and state is 'GA'.

Click off last edit to send record to the database and hit Site List to see what you got. You can run GetRealtime.exe to view your averages and ratios... if any.

*** Here is a tip to verify what is being averaged and ratioed. If you run GetRealtime on just one station at a time you can view a text file 'computeIn.txt' with Excel and verify the computations by hand. ***

Now we have hourly ratios that we can apply to our basin 5-minute rainfall. So add the basin radar rainfall adjustments as the last line:

Station_ID; Datatype_Site_ID; Datatype_Name; Site_Name; base1;etc...
NEXRAD-FFC; -10100; Rainfall; Conyer Subbasin #1, GA; 0
NEXRAD-FFC; -10201; Rainfall; Bridle Creek, GA
NEXRAD-FFC; -10202; Rainfall; Quail Run, GA
KGACONYE9; 10201; Rainfall; Bridle Creek, GA
KGACONYE3; 10202; Rainfall; Quail Run, GA
COMPUTE-Hour; 10301; Avg Rainfall; Avg of Wundergages; 0; 0; (P1+P2)/N
COMPUTE-Hour; -10301; Avg Rainfall; Avg of Radars; 0; 0; (P1+P2)/N
COMPUTE-Hour; 31301; Ratio; G/R Ratio at Wundergages ; 0; 0.02, 1.0, 3; P1/P2
COMPUTE-unit; -11100; Adj Rain; Conyer Subbasin #1, GA; 0; -1, 1.0,0.3,1.5; P1*P2
END

For the GetAccess adjusted radar record in table rsite:
The dsid is '-11100', site_name is 'Conyer Subbasin #1, GA', parameter_code is '31301,-10100', station_id is 'COMPUTE', and state is 'GA'.

You can view what the ratio and adjust parameters are usig GetRealtime's Wizard  by selecting the Ratio line and clicking Wizard and use the mouse hover tooltips and refer to Help for more discussion on these parameters.



STEP #8--ADD A 4-DAY NWS QPF BASIN FORECAST:

So for our last step and to tidy things up, edit your GetRealtime_setup.txt to look like this (the '*' means skip this line):

Station_ID; Datatype_Site_ID; Datatype_Name; Site_Name; base1;etc...
******; ******; ******; *****Forecasts*****
FORECAST-NWS; -11100; Forcast Rain; Conyer Subbasin #1, GA; 0; 33.67,-84.02,2
******; ******; ******; *****FFC RADAR*******
NEXRAD-FFC; -10100; Rainfall; Conyer Subbasin #1, GA; 0
NEXRAD-FFC; -10201; Rainfall; Bridle Creek, GA
NEXRAD-FFC; -10202; Rainfall; Quail Run, GA
******; ******; ******; *****Wundergages*******
KGACONYE9; 10201; Rainfall; Bridle Creek, GA
KGACONYE3; 10202; Rainfall; Quail Run, GA
******; ******; ******; *****Ratios*******
COMPUTE-Hour; 10301; Avg Rainfall; Avg of Wundergages; 0; 0; (P1+P2)/N
COMPUTE-Hour; -10301; Avg Rainfall; Avg of Radars; 0; 0; (P1+P2)/N
COMPUTE-Hour; 31301; Ratio; G/R Ratio at Wundergages ; 0; 0.02, 1.0, 3; P1/P2
******; ******; ******; *****Adjusted Rainfall*******
COMPUTE-unit; -11100; Adj Rain; Conyer Subbasin #1, GA; 0; -1, 1.0,0.3,1.5; P1*P2
END

The forecast is the same dsid as the adjusted radar and radar will overwrite the forecast as it comes in. It could be different, but if you are to use the forecast for runoff computations you probably want the same dsid.

GetAccess table rsite:


You may want to get 24 hours of radar for the sites for yesterday using the 'History' button and 'OK' on the dates. Once GetAccess has a few more hours of radar to adjust, the adjusted rainfall will run fine. You do not have to get the past 24 hours ever again unless you want to.

When it is raining you can run JUST THE RADAR every 30 minutes with 'Batch'. You may have to turn off your PC's hibernation or power settings. You can then run everything once or twice a day to see how things are going.

If the Wundergages are downloading real slow it is because Wunderground was recently sold to The Weather Channel and they have been working on 'improving' their website experience. So sometimes the downloads are fast and somedays they take quite a while.

So there you have it. But now that you have the adjusted basin rainfall, why not do your buddies in the Streets and Roads Department a favor and tell them how much flooding to expect from your basin... 4 days in advance!!!



I forgot about GetGraphs.exe used to display your data and to show the rainfall IDF depths and frequencies. For that here is an example GetGraphs_setup.txt that you can start with.

Open your GetGraphs_setup.txt and completely delete everything and then pase the below and save.  Fire up GetGraphs.exe and you can view the pages and titles.  Close GetGraphs and open the GetGraphs_setup.txt with Notepad and start replacing the first OR both first and second dsid's with your dsid's.  You always have to have the 12 lines for each page.  And don't forget the connection string from above.

Days = 3 ; End Day +4
Plot Unit Values = False
Include Daily Max/Min = False
Big Current Value = True
Auto Paging = False, 10 Font Name = Tahoma, Tahoma
Database Connection String= Provider=Microsoft.Jet.OLEDB.4.0;Data Source= C:\MyModels\MyProject1\GetAccess\GetAccessHDB.mdb;User Id=admin;Password=;
Owner ID=

Page; graph; dsidnumber; parametername; stationname; hrmarker; daymarker; logyscale; backcolor;back2color; hrcolor; daycolor; highwatch; lowwatch; watchcount; series2; frequencies & routings>>
1 ;Intellicast; 10 ; 10 ;-1
1 ;-1 ;Web Screen;http://images.intellicast.com/WxImages/RadarLoop/usa_None_anim.gif; 0 ; 0 ; 0 ; 0
2 ;
3 ;
4 ;
5 ;
6 ;
7 ;
8 ;
9 ;
10 ;
11 ;
12 ;
2 ;Nashville Wundergages and Radar at Gage; 8 ; 9 ;-1
1 ; 10811 ,-10811 ;Rainfall;OFF KTNNASHV31 Rand Lake; 1 ; 2 ; 0 ; 9941427 ; 65535 ; 16711680 ; 255 ;;;; 2
2 ; 10812 ,-10812 ;Rainfall;OFF KTNNASHV42 Forest Hills & Radar; 1 ; 2 ; 0 ; 9941427 ; 65535 ; 16711680 ; 255 ;;;; 2
3 ; 10813 ,-10813 ;Rainfall;KTNANTIO2 Antioch & Radar; 1 ; 2 ; 0 ; 9941427 ; 9941427 ; 16711680 ; 255 ;;;; 2
4 ; 10814 ,-10814 ;Rainfall;KTNNASHV1 Bellevue & Radar; 1 ; 2 ; 0 ; 9941427 ; 15194567 ; 16711680 ; 255 ;;;; 2
5 ; 10816 ,-10816 ;Rainfall;OFF KTNNASHV24 Oak Hill & Radar; 1 ; 2 ; 0 ; 9941427 ; 65535 ; 16711680 ; 255 ;;;; 2
6 ; 10817 ,-10817 ;Rainfall;KTNNASHV39 North & Radar; 1 ; 2 ; 0 ; 9941427 ; 9941427 ; 16711680 ; 255 ;;;; 2
7 ; 10815 ,-10815 ;Rainfall;AVG Gage & Radar; 0 ; 2 ; 0 ; 9941427 ; 15194567 ; 16711680 ; 255 ;;;; 2
8 ; 31815 ;Ratio;Gage/radar Ratio; 1 ; 2 ; 0 ; 9941427 ; 15194567 ; 16711680 ; 255 ;;;; 0
9 ; 10816 , 11816 ;Rainfall;Gage & Adjusted Radar Oak Hill; 1 ; 2 ; 0 ; 7053526 ; 11184810 ; 16711680 ; 255 ;;;; 2
10 ;
11 ;
12 ;
3 ;Nashville Gage and Adjusted Radar at Gage; 8 ; 9 ;-1
1 ; 10811 , 11811 ;Rainfall;Gage & Adjusted Radar Rand Lake; 1 ; 2 ; 0 ; 7053526 ; 11184810 ; 16711680 ; 255 ;;;; 2
2 ; 10812 , 11812 ;Rainfall;Gage & Adjusted Radar Forest Hills; 1 ; 2 ; 0 ; 7053526 ; 11184810 ; 16711680 ; 255 ;;;; 2
3 ; 10813 , 11813 ;Rainfall;Gage & Adjusted Radar Antioch; 1 ; 2 ; 0 ; 7053526 ; 11184810 ; 16711680 ; 255 ;;;; 2
4 ; 10814 , 11814 ;Rainfall;Gage & Adjusted Radar Bellevue; 1 ; 2 ; 0 ; 7053526 ; 11184810 ; 16711680 ; 255 ;;;; 2
5 ;
6 ;
7 ;
8 ;
9 ;
10 ;
11 ;
12 ;
 4 ;Nashville Runoff Browns Creek Lumped and Combined Subs; 8 ; 9 ;-1
1 ; 11801 ,-10801 ;Rainfall;Adjust & UnAdj Browns Basin; 0 ; 3 ; 0 ; 9164968 ; 9941427 ; 16711680 ; 255 ;;;; 2
2 ; 30801 , 1800 ;Runoff;Browns Creek nr Nashville, TN; 0 ; 3 ; 0 ; 9164968 ; 9941427 ; 16711680 ; 255 ;;;; 0
3 ; 1805 , 1800 ;Runoff;Combined Subs & USGS Browns Subs; 0 ; 3 ; 0 ; 9164968 ; 9941427 ; 16711680 ; 255 ;;;; 0 ; 1 ; 3.17396 ; 0.1261391 ;-0.2556
4 ; 30802 ;Runoff;Runoff Browns Sub 1; 0 ; 3 ; 0 ; 9164968 ; 9941427 ; 16711680 ; 255 ;;;; 0
5 ; 30803 ;Runoff;Runoff Browns Sub 2; 0 ; 3 ; 0 ; 9164968 ; 9941427 ; 16711680 ; 255 ;;;; 0
6 ; 30804 ;Runoff;Runoff Browns Sub 3; 0 ; 3 ; 0 ; 9164968 ; 9941427 ; 16711680 ; 255 ;;;; 0
7 ;
8 ;
9 ;
10 ;
11 ;
12 ;
5 ;Rainfall Frequencies--NOAA Atlas 14; 10 ; 9 ;-1
1 ; 11801 ;Rainfall Frequency (and Depth);Browns Cr Adjusted Radar; 1 ; 1 ; 0 ; 9882730 ; 9684176 ; 16711680 ; 255 ;;;; 0 ;-2
2 ;-1 ;Web Screen;http://ftpcontent2.worldnow.com/wtvf/NC5wx/skycam/images/skycam_south/skycam_south.jpg; 0 ; 0 ; 63 ; 0
3 ;
4 ;
5 ;
6 ;
7 ;
8 ;
9 ;
10 ;
11 ;
12 ;
6 ;Nexrad; 10 ; 10 ;-1
1 ;-1 ;Web Screen;C:\VBget\GetXmore\GetNexrad\GetNexrad_windowOHX.png; 0 ; 8 ; 45 ; 0
2 ;
3 ;
4 ;
5 ;
6 ;
7 ;
8 ;
9 ;
10 ;
11 ;
12 ;

Note that on page 4, the ending... ; 1 ; 3.17396 ; 0.1261391 ;-0.2556
That's for displaying the Pearson Type III annual exceedance probability of the graphs max value.  You can remove it.

The above GetGraphs_stetup.txt can display the following pages for ideas on where you want to go:
Page 1:


Page 2:


Page 3:


Page 4:


Page 5:


Page 6:


Here is what your GetGraphs_setup.txt might look like for the dsid's above:

Days = 4 ; End Day +4
Plot Unit Values = False
Include Daily Max/Min = False
Big Current Value = True
Auto Paging = False, 10
Font Name = Tahoma, Tahoma
Database Connection String= Microsoft.Jet.OLEDB.4.0;Data Source=C:\Program Files (x86)\GetRealtime\GetAccess\GetAccessHDB.mdb;User Id=admin;Password=;
Owner ID=

Page; graph; dsidnumber; parametername; stationname; hrmarker; daymarker; logyscale; backcolor;back2color; hrcolor; daycolor; highwatch; lowwatch; watchcount; series2; frequencies & routings>>
1 ;Intellicast; 10 ; 10 ;-1
1 ;-1;WebScreen;http://images.intellicast.com/WxImages/RadarLoop/csg_None_anim.gif; 0 ; 0 ; 0 ; 0
2 ;
3 ;
 4 ;
5 ;
6 ;
7 ;
8 ;
9 ;
10 ;
11 ;
12 ;
2 ;Wundergages (blue) and Radar (pink) at Gage; 8 ; 9 ;-1
1 ; 10201 ,-10201 ;Rainfall;Bridle Creek Gage & Radar; 1 ; 3 ; 0 ; 9941427 ; 9941427 ; 16711680 ; 255 ;;;; 2
2 ; 10202 ,-10202 ;Rainfall;OFF Quail Run Gage & Radar; 1 ; 3 ; 0 ; 9941427 ; 65535 ; 16711680 ; 255 ;;;; 2
3 ; 10301 ,-10301 ;Rainfall;AVG Gage & Radar; 0 ; 3 ; 0 ; 9941427 ; 15194567 ; 16711680 ; 255 ;;;; 2
4 ; 31301 ;Ratio;Gage/Radar Ratio; 1 ; 3 ; 0 ; 9941427 ; 15194567 ; 16711680 ; 255 ;;;; 0
5 ;
6 ;
7 ;
8 ;
9 ;
10 ;
11 ;
12 ;
3 ;Adjusted Basin Avg Rainfall (blue) and Radar (pink); 12 ; 10 ;-1
1 ;-11100 ,-10100 ;Rainfall;Bridle Creek Gage & Radar; 1 ; 2 ; 0 ; 9941427 ; 9941427 ; 16711680 ; 255 ;;;; 2
2 ;
3 ;
4 ;
5 ;
6 ;
7 ;
8 ;
9 ;
10 ;
11 ;
12 ;


WHAT COULD GO WRONG... does...

You may want to get 24 hours of radar for the sites for yesterday using the 'History' button and 'OK' on the dates. Once GetAccess has a few more hours of radar to adjust, the adjusted rainfall will run fine. You do not have to get the past 24 hours ever again unless you want to. When it is raining you can run JUST THE RADAR every 30 minutes with 'Batch'. You may have to turn off your PC's hibernation or power settings.  You can turn off the PC screenn. You can then run everything once or twice a day to see how things are going.

If the Wundergages are downloading real slow it is because Wunderground was recently sold to The Weather Channel and they have been working on 'improving' their website experience. So sometimes the downloads are fast and somedays they take quite a while.

Question: "Where do I find the gage adjusted radar rainfall results for the subbasin?"
Answer:--Here is how I usually find my data. Using GetRealtime.exe, click 'Select Station From List', and click on the station line you want to view the data for. Then up above click 'GetAccess' and it will load GetAccess and put you in the table 'rsite' on your dsid. From here click 'SITE LIST', then 'PARAMETERS w/DATA', and remembering your dsid, click on that parameter and click 'GO'...try viewing options at the top 'Day', 'Hour', and 'Unit' to see whats in tables 'rday', 'rhour', and 'runit'.

Question: "Also, what are the units under the “value” column? Feet or inches?"
Answer:--For a handy list of datatypes and units, from GetRealtime, click 'Select Station From List', and click on 'Datatypes' and you will see rainfall is in inches.

Question: "Also, the numbers in the values column seem to be feet. For example, when I review one of the wundergages (in GetAccess) I need to multiply by 12 to get the numbers to match up."
Answer:--What table are your viewing in GetAccess? Days, Hours, or Units? There are 12 five minute unit values in an hour if that helps. What numbers are you matching up for a Wundergage daily, or...?  Or some idiot told you to use rsite paramater_code 'HourlyPrecipIn'. Always use rsite paramater_code 'dailyrainin' for Wundergages (except airports).  Sorry about that.  I have fixed that dumbness above.

Question: "When I view the results for a particular day/time I am seeing values in -11100 when there are no values in the -10100 which does not seem correct."
Answer:--Remember you have 2 GetRealtime setup lines writing to -11100, Forecasts and Adjusted Rainfall. So future days with no radar is to be expected and will be over written as radar is retrieved.

Question: "when I try to retrieve the adj rainfall for station -111000 and it shows -999999"
Answer:--The -999999 means there were not enough input values to write a daily value. Your GetRealtime screen shows Count=0, no values were retrieved for the computation.

Ok here's what you do when you have a problem. Look at the input files GetRealtime.exe is using. Select and run just that one line for -11100 Adjusted Rainfall with GetRealtime.exe. With Windows Explorer right click the file in the GetRealtime.exe folder named 'computeIn.txt' and open with Excel. You will see a column of ratios and a column of rainfall as inputs. If not, you have problems. ;-)

Run the line: COMPUTE-Hour; 31301; Ratio;....
Look at file 'computIn.txt'. Are their 2 columns of input to compute ratios?

Run the line: COMPUTE-Hour; 10301; Avg Rainfall; Avg of Wundergages;...
Look at file 'computIn.txt'. Are their 2 columns of input to compute averages?

Run radar average...
Look at 'computIn.txt'.

Wundergage retrievals as input will be in 'wonderin.txt' and forecasts in 'forecast.txt'. I think you will figure this out before I can help but when all else fails,  send me your GetRealtime_setup.txt file. Also send me a screen capture of your GetAccess table 'rsite'.

If things still do not run...  Download my zipped working setup.  Unzip to 'C:\'  and see where you went wrong.

Start making retrievals and watch your GetGraphs.  Try History and Selected Staions and All Satations and Scheduled Batch or what ever to get farmiliar with things.  You can't break it.

Now read the full manuals for GetRealtime Help:
http://getmyrealtime.com/help.aspx
and GetNexrad Help:
http://getmyrealtime.com/GetNexradHelp.aspx
And then automate just your radar retrievals. You are now a Certified Radar Adjuster Proffessional.

Qusestions and Answers on automated Scheduled Batch:
(try 30 minutes between retrievals, Iowa Mesonet for starts)

"When I stop a scheduled run and then restart, how far back does it go to get radar?"
--It goes back to the last time is was updated or 4 hours, which ever is LESS. Meaning it will only look back 4 hours. You have to use History to go back more than 4 hours.

"Is it likely to miss any and under what circumstances of time."
--I have only missed radar when the radar site goes down. MXX was down for over a day on Jun 28 but it did not rain during this outage. During mega events like Nashville you can count on the Wundergages going down and maybe only airports being up along with the radar... so act accordingly.

"How long a stop will miss how much radar?"
--You can stop radar up to 4 hours before restarting and not lose radar. If down longer than 4 hours then check your rain gages and run any period with rain. To do this, look at your hourly rainfall gage record and start 3 hours prior to the start of rain and 1 hour after to make sure you catch it all.

"But doing that meant that I had to stop the scheduled run while I went to fixing the history (now 5 days back)."
--No you dont. You could just start up GetRealtime.exe again and do the history. Just make sure you are not writing radar at the same time. Or stop it like you did, which is what I would do.

"When I restarted the scheduled run, it looks like it lost 15 hours of data prior to the restart."
--I think the MXX radar was down. When viewing radar with GetNexrad and the radar is down and you are zoomed in, then you will just see blank radar. If you zoom out (reset), you will see the Red on Black Radar is down message. You can view the radar site message with 'Radar Status Message'. Looks like MXX was down again today if you check the message.

You can also 'View Error Log' from maximized screen GetRealtime.exe.
You will see... "No new radar since 06/28 07:05"
and after 4 hours.... "MXX ... radar down MXX "

"I’ve been seeing a lot of rain gage drop outs. These can be for short periods like an hour or so. Unfortunately, they seem to happen when several of the other gages are reporting rainfall and the radar shows that these gages should be also but they just have no data—not even zeros. So I would like to be able to down those gages just for the short term until they start reporting again. I am guessing that GetRealtime doesn’t do that automatically. Can it notice that there are missing readings at a gage?"

--Using GetGraphs you can see the last reported value's time on each graph for series 1 (not 2) so always make the gages series 1 and radar series 2.  If a gage is down or slow reporting, then the gage average will not include that gage, but the radar average will. Hopefully using averages will make little difference with several rain gages. You can then use GetGraph's 'Gage Off/On' and then 'Setup', 'Save all to GetGraphs_setup.txt' to not use that rain gage in BOTH the gage and radar averages.

I really need to think about an easy fix for slow reporters. But I think inaccurate gage reporting is a bigger problem and these problem gages should just be eliminated. I look at the gage and radar plots in GetGraphs and check that all the radars are plotting either above the gages or all are below the gages. If you see one that is not like the others then that gage is a candidate for turning off.  It's a good idea to include a professional rain gage like the USGS evan if not near your location as a check on how gage and radar should relate over time (don't include in your adjustments).  Believe it or not, UNadjusted NEXRAD radar accumulations (bias) over time will be either dead on or a simple factor off, just not for hourly events where runoff needs it.  Lots of more info on my Charlotte study link below.

"For that matter, what happens to the radar reading when a gage is turned off in GetGraphs?"
--BOTH the turned off gage and its radar are not included in the GetRealtime averages.

"In order to get the radar to turn off when the gage is turned off, it seems like we should be getting individual adjustments for each gage and then averaging those."
--Say one gage has 1" and another has 0.15". The ratio at the 1" gage is 1.0 and the ratio at the 0.15" gage is 5.0. The average ratio would be 3.0., NOT GOOD! But the gages average is 0.575" and radars average is .515" so the G/R ratio is 1.12, that's GOOD!

And I would reboot my system every Friday morning just to be safe and free up any stuff computers like to do on their own whims to crash your work.  You can also use the Windows' Event Viewer in Administrative Tools in the Control Panel to check on bad actors like hard disk failures and other warnings.

Now for converting your Adjusted Radar Rainfall to Runoff, try my runoff cookbook.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Additional page links about ET, Runoff, and Nexrad Radar help and comparisons:

Radar Rainfall Ajustment, Charlotte, NC
List of How To Videos on Youtube
Help Page for GetNexrad.exe
Nexrad Rainfall to Tipping Bucket Comparison (how I got started)
Nexrad Rainfall-Runoff Comparison Las Vegas Valley, NV w/ runoff setup & radar adjustment
Nexrad Rainfall-Runoff Comparison San Jouqin Valley, CA w/snowmelt and radar adjustment
Nexrad Snowfall Comparisons in western central Sierras, CA
Nexrad Rainfall-Runoff Comparison Beech Mtn, NC w/snowmelt and radar adjustment
ET and Radar Rainfall along the Lower Colorado River, AZ-CA

 

 

 WEBSITE MAP


                          
WU  USGS  USBR    NWS    GoC  USCS  CWRD  COE


More Free Downloads

 

Comments/Questions

Contact Me
© Copyright 2009-2014 Carson, Reproduction permitted with attribution.
Label

 

 

 
Home About Free Downloads Register Help Videos More Stuff Site Map