Model Guidance Parameters Page☰ Menu
After choosing the Model and Area from the Model Guidance page, the Model Guidance Parameter Page is displayed. The figure below shows the Model Guidance Parameter Page for the model, GFS, and the area, NAMER.
Shown on the Model Guidance Parameter Page are:
- A back button that returns to the Model Guidance Page.
- A home button that returns to the MAG Home Page
- The available model cycles. The cycles are displayed with the latest cycle as the default, displayed on the right-most cell, and highlighted in red. To view the products from a previous cycle, click on the desired 'mm/dd/yyyy hhUTC' link. That link will turn red, and the page will show all the products generated for that cycle.
- The parameter names (or products) available for the selected Model and Area. The available parameters are grouped into categories. The figure below shows four different categories: Precipitation Parameters, SFC-Layer Parameters, Upper Air Parameters, and Four Panel Charts.
- Radio buttons for selecting the desired image size (large, medium, or small). This choice is not available for every model and area.
Click on one of the parameters to display the available forecast hours for that parameter. The next figure shows the Model Guidance Parameter page after precip_p03 has been selected. (Note that the term product refers to the same thing as parameter.)
The Model Guidance Parameter page adds the following additional information, once a parameter has been selected:
- A button labeled 'Open product description'. Click this button to display information on the parameter (product) that was selected. To close the product description, click the button again (which now says Close product description).
- A row with two 'TIME SELECT' options. These options are used to specify how to view forecast hour images: Single Time selection (one image), or Time Range Selection (user-specified start and ending times of a loop). This feature was added in MAG v3.13, and is described in detail in the next section.
- A table of forecast hours available for the selected parameter (product).
- Pre-defined loop links, 'Loop All', '1 Day', '2 Day', etc.
Forecast hour and pre-defined looping links
The table of forecast hours, and the pre-defined loops are shown as clickable links, or static text that is black or gray:
- A blue, clickable link indicates the image is available. The figure above shows forecast hours 003, 006, ... 192 are available, as well as 'Loop All', '1 Day', '2 Day', through '8 Day'.
- Black text indicates a forecast hour or predefined loop is valid for the model and area, but the model has not completed to the point of making the image for the forecast hour. The image should be available soon. The figure shows forecast hours 195 - 240 are valid times for this product, but they are not yet available. Predefined loops '9 Day' and '10 Day' are also not yet available, since images for those day have not been completed.
- Gray text indicates a forecast hour or predefined loop that is not valid for this product. The figure shows forecast hours 000, 001, 002, 007, 008, ... are not valid for this product, as well as hours 252 - 384, and loops '11 Day', '12 Day', ... '16 Day.
Forecast hours table auto-refresh: If some expected images were not found, then the parameter page will continue to check for them once a minute. Once all expected images are found, then the parameter page will stop checking. Note that if a new cycle starts, the user will need to refresh the page manually to load the new cycle links.
Clicking on a pre-defined loop link will start the loop running. "Loop All" will loop all available images. "1 Day" will loop images from the first available forecast hour through one day. "2 Day" will loop from the first available forecast hour through the second day, etc.
Clicking on a forecast hour link will either display the image for that hour, or select it for user-selected looping, depending on the Time Select mode, which is described in the next section.
Some of the models produce forecast hours and minutes. For these models, forecasts are presented as forecast hour:forecast minute (hhh:mm). The next figure shows the forecast hours table for the HRRR model that produces 4 images per hour for some products. For the selected product in the figure, only one per hour is generated. The figure shows that forecast hour:minute 001:00 through 008:00 are ready, while 009:00 through 015:00 are not yet completed. All of the 15, 30, and 45 minute forecast minutes are not valid.
Time Select Modes
The two TIME SELECT modes are used to specify how to view forecast hour images:
- Single Time Selection: provides the same functionality as previous MAG versions. When a forecast hour is clicked, the image for that forecast hour is displayed. This is the default mode.
- Time Range Selection: provides functionality for the user to select the looping time range, (the start and end forecast hour to use in the loop), and an optional skip number (number of images to skip in the loop).
There is a (?) link next to 'TIME SELECT''. Click on the (?), and information on using the two modes is displayed. To close the help text, click the Close button inside the help text.
Single Time Selection Mode
The figure below shows the Model Guidance Parameter Page with Cycles, Parameters, Time Select, Forecast Hour links, and pre-defined loops links, with the Time Select row circled. 'Single Time Selection' is displayed in red, indicating that the current Time Select mode is Single Time Selection. While in this mode, clicking on a forecast hour link displays the static image for that forecast hour.
Time Range Selection Mode
When in Time Range Selection mode, clicking on the forecast hours sets the start and end hours, which will be used for looping.
To set the Time Select mode to Time Range Selection, click the text 'Time Range Selection'. The text will turn red, and additional controls will appear:, and Skip: , as shown in the figure below.
To set the start hour, click on a forecast hour, for example, 073. The 073 link turns red, and the
button changes to . This indicates a starting hour has been selected.
Then select another forecast hour, for example, 120. The link 120 turns red, as well as all of the links between 073 and 120. The button changes to(See the figure below). Clicking the Time Range Loop button will initiate an image looping page that starts at forecast hour 073 and ends with forecast hour 120, and shows images for all of the hours in between (073, 074, 075, ... 120).
The starting and ending forecast hour settings may be changed by simply clicking another forecast hour. For the previous example, clicking a number less than 073 will reset the starting hour, and clicking a number greater than 120 will reset the ending hour. Clicking in between 016 and 058 will reset either the starting or ending hour, whichever is closer. Also, one can start over by clicking the 'Clear' button, which will deselect all forecast hours. Clicking 'Clear" also sets the skip number (described next) back to zero.
The default skip number is 0 (zero), meaning no forecast hours are skipped when looping. Changing the skip number to 1 directs the looping script to skip every other forecast hour. Setting skip to 2 causes the script to skip 2 images, etc. The table that shows the forecast hours indicates the hours that will be used for Time Range Looping by underlining the number and changing the color to red. The figure below shows what happens when skip number is set to 2. Images included in the loop will be for hours 073, 076, 082, ... 118.
While in Time Range Selection mode, the user can change to another product, and the software will keep the same skip number and loop range selections, if possible, i.e., if the new product has the same forecast hours available.
Note: the pre-defined loops ('Loop All', '1 Day', etc) work the same in either Time Select mode. The starting forecast hour for them is always the first available, then ending hours are pre-determined, and all available hours in between are shown (none skipped).