10.3.2 FKey Menu Exercises
In the McIDAS Basics exercises, you were typing commands
to create plots and contours. In this exercise, you will use the
Unidata F Key Menu to create plots and displays.
The following exercises are designed to introduce you to the functionality
and flexibility of the Unidata F Key Menu system.
- Start up McIDAS with 17 frames.
Edit your .mcidasrc file and add a line -f 17 to start
your sessions with 17 frames.
- Type: mcidas
- Start up the menu.
- Type: MCMENU UNIDATA.MNU
- Display a loop of the GOES-East Infrared images earth centered over
Washington, D.C. (DCA) with a blowup factor of 2.
- Display the latest Educational Floater image with an area centered
load at line 350 and element 432 using a blow down factor of 2.
Point Source Data
- Determine the time of the latest available surface data. Is the
data current on your system?
- Plot a surface map of temperatures over Colorado using the latest
- Plot a 500 mb station model plot over the U.S. for 00 UTC today.
Overlay 500 mb height contours for the same time on the plot.
- Determine the time of the latest available Early Domestic Product (NGM)
grids on your system. Is the data current?
- Change the default background map to a North American map in
CONFormal projection with latitude/longitude lines.
- Put up a loop of the latest NGM Sea Level Pressure contours. Overlay
the 1000-500 mb thickness contours using DASHed lines. Overlay the
contours of precipitation on the loop.
- Plot the available upper air stations for 00 UTC today over the U.S.
- Choose a station ID from the map above. Use the MSL command to find
the 3 or 4 letter ID for that station.
- Plot a 00 UTC Skew-T diagram for that station using the 3 or 4 letter
- Overlay the 12 UTC sounding using the station ID number.
- Plot a meteorogram for a station of your choosing. If you don't
know a 4 letter station ID, plot a map of the available stations for
- Plot a Multiple Station 8-hour Space-Time Graph from LaGuardia
Airport, New York (KLGA) to Dulles International, Virginia (KIAD).
- List out the latest decoded surface observations for the
state of Colorado.
- List today's decoded observations for Denver (KDEN).
- List the decoded upper air data for Green Bay, Wisconsin for
either 00 or 12 today. Use the MSL command to find the station ID.
- List out the raw (undecoded) upper air sounding for Green Bay for
the same time.
- Display the state forecast for Alabama. Display the forecast
discussion for Colorado.
Changing Menu System Parameters
- Change the output frame for profiler data to be frame 1. Plot
a cross section of profiler data for Platteville, Colorado.
- Change the data bar for images to be displayed HORizontally instead
of VERtically. Display the latest GOES-West Infrared image on frame 6.
How do you know that it is on frame 6?
- Change the default background map to be a North American CONFormal
projection TOPOgraphic image earth centered at 40° N and 98 ° W
with no change in resolution and no latitude/longitude lines.
- Overlay the NGM 500 mb 12 hr forecast Geopotential heights on the
new background map.
- Change the list of current data plot types to surface (ISFC),
ship (ISHP), upper air (IRAB) and NGM MOS (FO14). Plot a map of
the current data availability for these data types.
- Reset the default Menu Strings without changing the newly defined
- Display a cross section of potential temperature and wind speed
through the Global Model (MRF) output on a line from 10° N to 80° N
along longitude 104° W. Overlay the 500 mb heights from the Global
Model grids on the map in the upper right corner of the cross section
- Display the latest GOES-East/West Water Vapor Composite.
- overlay lightning data using the FRAME time
- change the data interval to be 1 hour for lightning data
- overlay the lightning data again using the frame time. Were there
any more flashes plotted?
- Press Alt K to turn the image off so you can see the plots more
clearly. Notice that there is a K listed on the status line in
the switches area. Press Alt K again to turn the image back on.
- Turn the graphics off and on using the Alt W toggle.
- Erase the graphics in the frame. Use the EB option in the menu to
change the contrast stretch of the image in the frame. End the EB
command and restore the default enhancement to the frame.
- Display a loop of GOES-East images. Overlay fronts on each frame of
the loop using the times associated with each frame. Overlay negative
lighting flashes on the loop as well.