For this page:
THE NERC MST RADAR FACILITY AT ABERYSTWYTH
FILE FORMAT FOR SURFACE METEOROLOGICAL DATA
The files contain time series of surface meterological parameters (i.e. of air temperature, pressure and relative humidity, and of rainfall and downwelling shortwave radiation) recorded at 10 minute intervals at the NERC MST radar site.
Click here to find out about the contents of other files.
Data are available from 25th July 2000 to the present. There are a number of gaps in the dataset owing to instrument problems and down-time for maintenance. Refer to Instrument performance weblog.
File naming convention:
For data up to, and including, 12th April 2005:
For data after 12th April 2005:
Click here for the background to the file naming convention.
File location: /badc/mst/data/surface-met/
Click here for the location of other files.
For data up to, and including, 12th April 2005: YYYY
For data after 12th April 2005: YYYY/MM
Click here for a further explanation.
Click here for an overview of the different file formats used with the NERC MST Radar Facility dataset.
Data for dates up to, and including, 12th April 2005 are written in non-standard format ASCII files. Since the structure of these files is broadly similar to that used for data after 12th April 2005 (NASA-Ames files with a File Format Index of 1001), the earlier file format is described below with reference to the newer one. Eventually the data from the older files will be rewritten in the new format. For a complete description of the NASA-Ames file formats, consult the Gaines and Hipskind  document. Only those aspects of the file which are essential for reading the data are described below.
The surface meteorological data file for 1st June 2005 will be used as an example. Text in green represents actual file contents. Text in red is for explanatory purposes only.
Data reading loop
After reading the above mentioned lines, wind forward to line (nr_header_lines + 1) where the data begin. Since the number of header lines may change from file to file, it is important to read nr_header_lines from line 1 rather than assuming that it is always 93. The data can be read with a simple loop structure of the form (shown here in Fortran syntax):
do data_line_nr = 1,nr_data_lines read_data_line end doReading the data line
The data lines contain 11 values: the first independent variable (time) followed by the 10 primary variables (all floating point numbers). The first 3 data lines from the file for 1st June 2005 are shown by way of example:
0.0 11.41 11.41 11.89 9999.9 0.8310 0.0 -1.4 0.000 14.15 12.65 600.0 11.23 11.23 11.34 9999.9 0.8470 0.0 -0.7 0.000 14.16 12.50 1200.0 11.24 11.25 11.30 9999.9 0.8560 0.0 -0.3 0.000 14.16 12.42
Non-standard file format for dates up to, and including, 12th April 2005
The older files contain a subset of the information contained within the newer files. Refer to the product desriptions given above for the for the newer files. The files contain considerably less header information - confined to the first 3 lines. Note that the order of the data products differs to that used for the newer files. The first 6 lines of the file for 1st June 2003 (sd030601) are shown below in green.
Surface data for Capel Dewi Lat. 52.40 Long. -4.00 Date 2003/06/01 Time(Z) Temp. Rad(KJ) Hum(%) mB Rain(mm) 00:10 12.99 -0.2 80.9 1004 0.0 00:20 12.97 -0.2 80.9 1004 0.0 00:30 12.92 -0.2 80.8 1004 0.0
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Last updated 1st February 2006