WTOOLS

Displays WRF grid related data in Google Earth and changes WRF landuse categories and soil type categories.


Both the program and the website are a work in progress. Please let me know how I can improve either one. This is not part of my regular job, so do be patient.

I have created a set of programs, two so far, that can be used to view and change WRF related information. The programs are written in Java, which should make them more portable and which removes the requirement of making them compilable on multiple operating systems. The programs are described below separately, but they are all in a single Java jar file. The programs use a Java NetCDF library, so you will need to download that too.

Download: wtools-1.0.3.jar
Release date: 2016-07-22
See below for details about each release.

You also need to download the Java NetCDF library from the Unidata site and put in the same folder as the wtools jar file: ftp://ftp.unidata.ucar.edu/pub/netcdf-java/v4.2/netcdfAll-4.2.jar

To run any of the programs, assuming you have a recent version of Java, just type:  java -jar wtools-1.0.1.jar
That will start a simple screen that has buttons to launch whichever program you want.

Here are the documentation links:

WrfGridInfo documentation: wrfGridInfo.pdf
As of 2011-06-21

KmlToWrf documentation: KmlToWrf.pdf
As of 2011-06-18

The documentation will be updated periodically as I think of more things to say about the programs, and of course if the programs change.

If they make a new release of the NetCDF library and I haven't changed my program and this website to point to it, you may be able to download the new release but give it the old name, which my programs expect.
I used Java version 1.6 update 20, but version 1.5 may also work; I don't recall using any of the new features added in version 1.6.



Program WrfGridInfo

Primary purpose: display WRF grid cells, landuse categories, and soil type categories from geo_em.d* files within Google Earth.

This program reads WRF output containing grid related information and writes a KML format file that can be read and displayed by Google Earth. It can read the data from several of the files produced by WPS or WRF, but is meant to read the geo_em.d* files produced by geogrid.exe. Since it can be used to view relative grid placement by showing the domain borders and each cell within it, WrfGridInfo can be used iteratively to make manual adjustments to the namelist.wps file.

It also shows the land use category and soil type category assigned to each cell as colored squares in Google Earth. That can help determine whether appropriate categories were interpolated and assigned from the WPS  data sets. The colored squares are semi-transparent so the high resolution imagery in Google Earth can show through them. All the cells having a particular category are grouped together, so their display can be turned on or off as a group.

Additionally, grid cells can be represented as flat topped polygons based on the terrain height at the center of the cells, or as sloped topped polygons based on heights at the staggered U and V points. These representations can help the user determine whether appropraitely detailed terrain data was used by geogrid.exe to calculate the heights. If so, about half of the cell will be above the surface as rendered in Google Earth and about half below. If coarse resolution data was provided to geogrid.exe, cells will not follow the terrain very closely.

The data can be also read from met_em.d* and wrfinput_d* files. If the needed fields are within them, it can read and display the first time step data from wrfout_d* files too.

WrfGridInfo documentation: wrfGridInfo.pdf



Program KmlToWrf

Primary purpose: change WRF landuse categories or soil type categories in geo_em.d* files.

This program reads points (placemarks), lines (paths), and polygons from KML files that were generated in Google Earth and saved in KML or KMZ files and uses those geometries to change land use categories or soil type categories in files produced by WPS.



Release Notes

Release 1.0.3
Date: 2016-07-22
Better tolerance of changes to KML specifications; added categories to USGS land use types.

Release 1.0.2
Date: Not released

Release 1.0.1
Date: 2011-06-26
Added some additional error checking and removed some debugging output.

Release 1.0.0
Date: 2011-06-18
First public release of the programs.