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Interactive Cloud Height Algorithm and GOES Sounder Point Retrievals in AWIPS


Dan Bikos

Dan Lindsey

Larry Hinson

Fred Mosher



Archived Training





This is a two part session on two different topics.

Part 1 deals with the Interactive Cloud Height Algorithm in AWIPS. This feature allows users to obtain a cloud height estimate based on infrared satellite (channel 4) brightness temperatures. Either a nearby raob or a model forecast sounding is used to obtain the cloud height from the retrieved brightness temperature. In order to properly use this tool, the user needs to understand the numbers and letters which are part of the algorithm output.

Topics covered include:

  • How the algorithm works
  • What the numbers in AWIPS really mean
  • Knowing when the cloud height estimate may be in error

Part 2 deals with GOES Sounder Point Retrievals in AWIPS. Derived Product Imagery (DPI) (precipitable water, lifted index, etc) has been available in AWIPS for awhile, but the point retrievals are relatively new. Viewing the sounder data in this fashion requires caution – this is what Part 2 of this teletraining session will focus on.

Topics covered include:

  • Understanding how the soundings are generated
  • How to plot the soundings in AWIPS
  • Limitations to the sounder point retrievals

Training Session Options

NOAA/NWS students – to begin the training, use the web-based videoYouTube video, or audio playback options below (if present for this session). Certificates of completion for NOAA/NWS employees can be obtained by accessing the session via the Commerce Learn Center

  1. Audio playback (recommended for low-bandwidth users) – This is an audio playback version in the form of a downloadable VISITview and can be taken at anytime.

    Create a directory to download the audio playback file (24 MB) from the following link:

    After extracting the files into that directory click on either the visitplay.bat or visitauto.bat file to start the lesson. If both files are present, use visitauto.bat

References/Additional Links

  • Talking points are available for this lesson and may be printed out to easily review the session in detail at any time.

Part 1:

  • “Development of interactive cloud height and skew-T diagram algorithms for AWIPS”, by Larry Hinson and Fred Mosher (AWC)

Part 2:

This course is Basic

There are no prerequisites


Dan Bikos

Page Contact

Bernie Connell


Unless otherwise noted, all content on the CIRA RAMMB: VISIT, SHyMet and VLab webpages are released under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.