Cross-sections using gridded NUCAPS data in AWIPS

June 21st, 2022 |
NOAA-20 Day Night Band visible imagery (0.70) along with NUCAPS Sounding Availability points, ca. 19z on 21 June 2022 (Click to enlarge)

Gridded NUCAPS data, available from NOAA-20 data within AWIPS, can be used to construct cross-sections in AWIPS. The image above includes an editable baseline J-J’ (one of 10 different lines that can be used for data in AWIPS) from Minnesota into Indiana, roughly perpendicular to a line of broken cumulus over Wisconsin and Iowa.

Equivalent Potential Temperature along line J-J’ as indicated in imagery above (Click to enlarge)

The cross section of equivalent potential temperature, above, shows very warm temperatures over the southern portions of the cross section, with theta-e values around 350 K. Potential Instability, i.e., theta-e values decreasing with height, is widespread along the cross-section. The broken cloud field in the VIIRS imagery on top eventually did initiate convection, as shown in this radar capture from 0012 UTC on 22 June.


How do you create the cross-sections in AWIPS? Use the Volume Browser, as shown in the screen capture below. Select ‘Cross Section’ (vs. ‘Plan view’, for example) from the choices in the Volume Browser right next to ‘File’, ‘Edit’ and ‘Tools’, then choose ‘GriddedNUCAPS’ under ‘Sources’, and choose the correct Plane — as one of the Specified Lines you have previously moved in AWIPS; then choose the variable (possibilities are shown in the image; I chose Equiv Pot Temp).

Volume Browser presentation while creating Cross-Sections using gridded NUCAPS data (Click to enlarge)

Imagery in this blog was created using a cloud instance of AWIPS from the TOWR-S group within NOAA/NWS. Thank you!

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