NOAA/National Weather Service's Warning Decision Training BranchUnited States Department of Commerce

Current BUFKIT Version

The most recent release of BUFKIT is Version 17. This version was released on August 1, 2017.

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Warning Decision Training Division

Office of Chief Learning Officer

 

Introduction

BUFKIT is a forecast profile visualization and analysis tool kit. It is targeted as a training and forecast tool for the decision makers of the National Weather Service. It is also available to anyone that would like to explore very high vertical and temporal resolution model output for specific point locations.

Overview on Current Version

BUFKIT 17 provides support for the new generation of hourly GFS profiles NCEP made available in July 2017, 15-minute model output, and displaying automatically time-lagged model ensembles (also known as dProg/dT).

  1. 1. Bufkit 17 displays the new generation of GFS profiles by providing all 120 hourly forecast profiles or 180 hours of 3-hour time step profiles.
  2. 2. Bufkit 17 can display very high temporal resolution model output including 15-minute times step profiles.
  3. 3. Bufkit 17 can invoke the dProg/dT mode that automatically displays the past several runs of forecast profiles in an ensemble format.
  4. 4. Bufkit 17 has implemented a new security model better aligned to modern operating systems security models.
  5. 5. Bufkit 17 runs under Windows 7 and above along with Linux (using WINE), and Mac (using WINE).

 

Problem getting Bufkit to run: If you run into errors please e-mail the WDTD webmaster with a description of the problem and its circumstances. We'll try to respond as timely as possible.

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Download and Install

Note: You will need administration privileges to install this package.

  1. 1. If you have a previous version of Bufkit:
  • Back up your Bufget scripts [Optional]. What I do is click the different scripts within Bufget, highlight the script, copy (control-C) and then paste (control-V) them into a text document. Once Bufkit 17 is installed, I copy the scripts in the text document and paste them back into the new version of Bufget.
  • Uninstall the old version of Bufkit. This is Mandatory.

 

  1. 2. Download the Bufkit distribution package. You can download using this link: Bufkit Download.
  2. 3. Unzip the three files in the distribution package. Note the location of the file "Setup.exe".
  3. 4. Run the setup program “Setup.exe”
 

New Bufkit Capabilities:

    1. The new GFS hourly and 3-hourly profiles.

    When displaying new GFS profiles, Bufkit 17 provides the user with an additional button located on the profile display in the upper right corner (just to the left of the "Overview" button). This allows the user to display the forecast in hourly time steps out to 120 hours or 3-hourly time steps out to 180 hours.
     
    Example display where missing data are interpolated in BUFKIT 12

    A GFS forecast profile our to 120 hours with 1 hour time steps

    Example display where missing data are interpolated in BUFKIT 12

    The same profile, after the user clicks the toggle button to display out to 180 hours using 3-hour time steps.


     

    2. High Temporal Resolution (e.g.15-minute time steps.)

    Bufkit 17 support forecast profile time steps less than one hour.
     
    Example of window used to export BUFKIT profiles into AWIPS-2
     

     

     

    3. Automatic time lagged ensembles (dProg/dT)

    The user may toggle this feature on and off using the dProg/dT button on the upper left corner on the profile display. When this feature is active, Bufkit will search for all the recent forecast profiles for that site and model run and automatically create an ensemble showing how the model out has changed over the previous runs.
     
    Example plot of ensemble members with ensemble mean plotted in a different color

    A new hourly GFS overview showing the current and the previous 5 model runs for DCA.

    To make this feature available, you'll have to "archive" the model when you download the profile. This will create the current profile (e.g. gfs_kdca.buf) along with a date/time stamped profile in the archive directory (e.g. 17072812.gfs_kdca.buf). Bufget will automatically do this if you place the "ARCHIVE" tag piror to any downloads:
    Example plot of ensemble members with ensemble mean plotted in a different color

    Bufget can archive forecast profiles and thus enable dProg/dT displays.

     

    4. High Contrast Color Option

    The user may configure the overview Relative Humidity display to use high Contrast colors.
     
    Example display showing SREF profiles available in BUFKIT for archiving

    Checking this High Contrast on the "Set Up" panel will provide for...

    Example display showing SREF profiles available in BUFKIT for archiving

    ... high contrast Relative Humidity backgrounds.


     

    5. Bufkit now displays ptypes 71 (snow) and 58 (rain/drizzle).

    Information on Bufkit 15 and earlier is available at this page.