International MODIS/AIRS Processing Package

 MODIS Direct Broadcast (DB) Cooperative Institute for Meterological Satellite Studies (CIMSS) Regional Assimilation System (DBCRAS) Numerical Weather Prediction Software v1.0 release

   This is the first release of software that produces 48 km Numerical Weather Prediction (NWP) 72 hour forecast fields, using MODIS IMAPP Level 2 Total Precipitable Water (TPW), Cloud Top Pressure and Cloud Fraction as part of the assimilation to improve the depiction of clouds and moisture in the model. A version of CRAS that assimilates geostationary satellite products has been in use by some US National Weather Service forecasters for the last 2 years. Of most interest is the improved cloud and moisture physics that allow realistic depictions of forecast infrared satellite imagery.

The installation of the software begins with a one time set-up to define the domain centered on your DB antenna site. The forecast can then be executed twice per day at the synoptic times of 00 and 12 UTC. This execution can begin either by typing in a unix shell script manually, or by using the unix utility cron scheduler. The output is meteorological parameters, including forecast satellite imagery of water vapor (6.7 micron) and IR window (11 micron) brightness temperatures, at 48 km resolution every 3 hours out to 72 hours.

This is a linux only release and requires a reliable and efficient internet connection. Approximately 500MB of dynamic ancillary data must be downloaded from the IMAPP ancillary data ftp site per DBCRAS model execution. It requires ~250MB of memory. The output file is in grib2 format, the WMO standard for grids. Product animations are created automatically using McIDAS-X (see below) and ImageMagick. If you do not have ImageMagick installed, then the software will still create individual static product images for each forecast time period.

McIDAS-X binaries are included as part of the release that will automatically create forecast product images and animations upon completion of the model run. This software cannot be redistributed or repackaged without authorization from SSEC (please contact the McIDAS Help Desk).  Example forecast field animations images that were created by this imaging software using the automated script included with the release can be viewed from this ftp site.

Also included as part of this release, are instructions (Displaying_DBCRAS_In_McIDAS-V.pdf) on how to visualize the DBCRAS output grib2 files using McIDAS-V, a free, open source, visualization and data analysis software package that is the next generation in SSEC's 35-year history of sophisticated McIDAS software packages. McIDAS-V displays weather satellite (including hyperspectral) and other geophysical data in 2- and 3-dimensions. More information about McIDAS-V can be found at the McIDAS-V web site:

Finally, more details about the release, including installation instructions and CRAS model references can be found in the DBCRAS README file at the download site.