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Author Topic: WXSIM 2018 Released!  (Read 3804 times)

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Offline Tom Ehrensperger

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WXSIM 2018 Released!
« on: July 26, 2018, 08:58:44 PM »
Hi Everybody!

I've been rather busy lately, but have now finished the new version of WXSIM: Version 2018, Build 1.0.  I'm pasting in details on what's new below.  To get the UPGRADE, use this link: www.wxsim.com/wxsimupg.exe

By the way, when I download it from my site onto my own computer, my McAfee antivirus warns me that it's a very dangerous, or highly suspicious, or some such thing.  I guess that's what I get for not being a big company with widely known software!  Anyway, it should be safe - it's been on my computer all along and I sure as heck didn't put malware in it!!  I'd be curious to know if your antivirus or whatever protection software gives similar messages. 

Anyway, here's what's new!  These were the result of quite a bit of R&D, and are the most significant new output features in quite a while.

(1) Fire weather indices have been added to the output (now under menu option #11).  My research revealed  two widely used and rather sophisticated indices: the Australian Forest Fire Danger Index (FFDI) and the Canadian Fire Weather Index (FWI).  I was able to closely simulate both otf these, with the main difficulty being how to describe fuel moisture (but I found a reasonably accurate way, using WXSIM’s recent precipitation and other data).  Each of these indices has its strengths, so I also provide the output “FWIA”, basically an average of the two, for perhaps the most useful results.  This last figure is also now saved in the .wxf files, so you can view it as either text or graphics in wret.exe.  Also, these indices and related data are displayed in the fire.csv fle, viewable using spreadsheet programs.  More details on these indices can be found in Section XVIII of this manual.
   
(2) At the request of a customer who has a large array of solar panels installed on the roof of his home, I developed algorithms for calculating instantaneous power output and total daily energy produced by the panels.  This was quite a task, as I had to develop algorithms for calculating  both direct and diffuse solar radiation incident on panels of a given area and orientation (in both altitude and azimuth of the perpendicular to the array), as well as modeling the effects of temperature, variation in reflectivity with incident angle, and efficiency of the panels.  The results for his panels are quite good.  The data are exported in two .csv files, viewable in spreadsheet programs.  Use of this feature requires customization by me, and a fee for my time developing a custom file for your particular array.  Please inquire by email ([email protected]) if you are interested in this.

(3) Wet bulb global temperature (WBGT) has been added as an output.  This is a widely used index for heat stress on humans, taking into account not only temperature and humidity (as do the U.S. Heat Index and the Canadian Humidex, already output in WXSIM), but also wind and solar radiation.  The definition of WGFT is 0.7 * TNWB + 0.2 * TG + 0.1 * TA, where TNWB is the “natural wet bulb temperature” – that of a thermometer covered with a white, wet, cloth, and exposed to sun and wind.  With wind speeds above 3 m/s, and no direct sun, this equals the regular (psychrometric) wet bulb temperature.  TG is the “globe temperature” – that of a thermometer in the center of a 15 cm diameter black-painted copper glove, exposed to wind and sun.  TA is the standard (dry bulb, in shade) air temperature.  There are instruments for measuring this directly, but it is very helpful to be able to calculate it from current or predicted standard meteorological data.  A number of researchers have developed models for natural wet bulb or globe temperatures, or both, as described in “Calculating Workplace WBGT from Meteorological Data: A Tool for Climate Change Assessment”, by
Bruno LEMKE and Tord KJELLSTROM.  My algorithms start with essentially the “Bernard” equations for natural wet bulb with wind and known globe temperature, but in the absence of solar radiation.  I then used samples of output the highly accurate, but very complicated Liljegren algorithms to reverse engineer the solar radiation effects on both natural wet bulb and globe temperatures, and also the wind effect on globe temperature.  I made sure that my semi-empirical fits converged to known values in special cases (like at night or with 100% relative humidity).  For solar radiation, I used a mix of 75% direct beam radiation and 25% global (direct and diffuse), to roughly model scattering off of (and perhaps also emission from) clouds and the ground.  For wind speed, I used 60% of the 10 meter value, as the appropriate measurement height is something like 1.2 meters. 

Offline Tom Ehrensperger

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Re: WXSIM 2018 Released!
« Reply #1 on: July 27, 2018, 02:02:12 AM »
Hi Marian,

FWI is a newly calculated item, and won't show up in older forecasts (not sure if that's what you're asking).  By the way, WXSIM is calculating Canadian FWI (or a close approximation of it, as the official algorithm is very complicated, especially regarding fuel moisture), Australian FFDI, and then an average, which I think from the reading I've done may be the best figure overall.  It's that last one (the average) that is now saved in the .wxf files and can be recalled and graphed in wret.exe.  The interpretation of the blended index can be found in manual.doc, in section XVIII.  Please let me know if that answers your question!

Tom

Offline PaulyA

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Re: WXSIM 2018 Released!
« Reply #2 on: July 27, 2018, 04:11:13 AM »
Hi Tom and thank you for the updated version!  :)

Forecasts are running here without any problems.  I did, though, eagerly hunt for the fire.csv file, but it doesn't look like one is being created.  I can see the data in lastret.txt and latest.txt, however fire.csv does't seem to be created.

Many thanks

Paul.
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Offline SteveFitz1

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Re: WXSIM 2018 Released!
« Reply #3 on: July 27, 2018, 02:01:48 PM »
Hey Tom,

A few observations about WxSim 2018

1) I ran into a similar issue with my antivirus program (AVAST) when installing. It didn't like the upgrade file, but I got around that.
2) WxSim ran fine.
3) Like others, I have no fire.csv file. Is there something in WxSim that should be checked to get this?
4) I did get both FIRE and WBGT data in lastret.txt by selecting those options in WRET.
5) The FWI forecasts appear to be very good. I've been using a product called FWI Calc for several years. Your new FWI forecast value is right in line with what FWI Calc gives me.
6) One suggestion - can you increase the selection limit for 'Other Data' in WRET to something more than 15? With the addition of Fire Weather Index, I had to uncheck a box because I was previously maxed out.

Great job and thanks for the update.

Steve

Offline Breezy

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Re: WXSIM 2018 Released!
« Reply #4 on: July 27, 2018, 05:19:16 PM »
Hi Tom.

New version has been installed and is running fine. Can't locate the fire.csv file like others have mentioned. Thanks much for your efforts!  =D>

Update 7/29/18: Located the file with name "latestfire.csv" thanks to other users. I had my "blinders" on ... 
« Last Edit: July 30, 2018, 12:13:18 PM by Breezy »
Jeff

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Offline BeaumarisWX

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Re: WXSIM 2018 Released!
« Reply #5 on: July 28, 2018, 01:13:38 AM »
Hi Tom.

New version has been installed and is running fine.

I used the Output Menu #11 which creates the (not fire.csv) but a "latestfire.csv", not had time to cross ref against my FWI-Calc Data as yet.
Question on the above, I normally have "Output Menu #3" selected, If I leave "Output Menu #11" selected for normal use in order to generate/update the "latestfire.csv", will my normal "latest.csv" and other outputs like Plaintext.txt, Lastret.txt etc still contain same outputs as they would have when I had "Output Menu #3" selected.

I also noticed that "Lastret.txt" contains the "FIRE" Column, (which I assume is the Average FFDI/FWI), If "Output Menu #3" is selected, however as I do not use "Lastret.txt" I only use "Latest.csv" which does not contain the FIRE data, is there an intend to add this to "Latest.csv". I suppose dependant on the answer to first question above, this is not an issue and I can use "latestfire.csv" as well as "Latest.csv".

I also noticed "latestshort.csv" (which for some reason I have never used before), contains the following columns/fields :
The "TotPrcp" (same as in 'latest.csv" which we all mostly use in our WxSim Forecast Displays), though I am unsure what the "Precip" data is as I do not see it in any of the other Output Files we normally use.
I also can't determine what it actually is, as it does not seem to correlate with "TotPrcp".



I also agree with Steve's suggestion (posted earlier); I too had to uncheck required output to use the FIRE Data.
6) One suggestion - can you increase the selection limit for 'Other Data' in WRET to something more than 15? With the addition of Fire Weather Index, I had to uncheck a box because I was previously maxed out.

Thanks again for all the great upgrades.

Kind Regards,

 
« Last Edit: July 28, 2018, 01:43:23 AM by hrvistaweather »
Tony

Offline BeaumarisWX

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Re: WXSIM 2018 Released!
« Reply #6 on: July 28, 2018, 03:56:50 AM »
Hi Tom,

One other thing I noticed (never checked this before now).

The Lastret.txt differs slightly from the Latest.csv and latestshort.csv (which are both the same).

I just did some rough checks against TEMP and PTOT, and both differ slightly, attached a rough combined spreadsheet, and example image below (full detail in spready).



just curious if you are aware of these differences or if you know why.


Kind regards,
« Last Edit: July 28, 2018, 04:01:17 AM by hrvistaweather »
Tony

Offline PaulyA

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Re: WXSIM 2018 Released!
« Reply #7 on: July 28, 2018, 08:26:38 AM »
Crikey, I don't know how I missed latestfire.csv, whilst looking for fire.csv!  If I sorted the files by latest date/time, the file is just staring me in the face!
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Offline BeaumarisWX

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Re: WXSIM 2018 Released!
« Reply #8 on: July 28, 2018, 09:17:42 AM »
 :D Hi PaulyA,

Don't worry matey it took me a while (the date sort was how I found it).

Tom, I did some rough checks against my FWI-Calcs and looking good, I will be scripting a compare in time (when it permits) to look at wxsim-ffdi/fwi/avg against actual FWI-Calc (which also produces FFDI / GFDI / FWI etc.) will be interesting to look back on.

I wanted to do a real quick visualisation of the outputs so here that is, only rough don't envisage using this long term, will have tables/charts better setup with relevant target levels etc.

https://southfranklinweather.com/weather/charts_Combined_Fire_Forecast.php Note: Currently not live updated.

Kind regards,
Tony

Offline broadstairs

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Re: WXSIM 2018 Released!
« Reply #9 on: July 28, 2018, 12:05:20 PM »
Installed here, seems OK will monitor today to make sure.

Stuart

Offline SteveFitz1

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Re: WXSIM 2018 Released!
« Reply #10 on: July 28, 2018, 01:31:46 PM »
Tom,

A new issue popped up overnight with WxSim 2018. When AutoLearn (WRET) ran, it gives me a message "No Fire Weather in Older Forecasts". It waits for a response to continue. Since this was running at 3AM, I didn't respond until I got on my system this morning. I'm not sure what the purpose of this message is, it is very distracting. Is there any way to turn it off so it doesn't impact my daily AutoLearn run?

Thanks,

Steve

Offline Breezy

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Re: WXSIM 2018 Released!
« Reply #11 on: July 29, 2018, 01:18:50 PM »
Hi Tom,

Concur with Steve's comment ...

Quote
A new issue popped up overnight with WxSim 2018. When AutoLearn (WRET) ran, it gives me a message "No Fire Weather in Older Forecasts". It waits for a response to continue. Since this was running at 3AM, I didn't respond until I got on my system this morning. I'm not sure what the purpose of this message is, it is very distracting. Is there any way to turn it off so it doesn't impact my daily AutoLearn run?    #-o

Can you please incorporate a "fix" for this issue? 

Thank you.   :)
Jeff

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Offline Tom Ehrensperger

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Re: WXSIM 2018 Released!
« Reply #12 on: July 29, 2018, 08:50:34 PM »
Thanks for the feedback!  I'll check on that message about no fire data in old forecasts.  It's true, but it's not good for it to stop wret.exe if the program is busy doing old comparisons (like for autolearn).  Meanwhile, try unchecking the fire weather box in wret.exe (if in fact you'd checked it).  Oh, and it IS latestfire.csv, not fire.csv!!

I'll check on these things.

A little background on the FWI (Canadian) and FFDI 9Australian).  The FWI is rather difficult to calculate directly, as there are all kinds of conditions, "if's", etc.  However, I found a VERY extensive study (from Australia - don't recall the link at the moment) comparing the two, not only in terms of utility and accuracy, but also in how to (sort of) convert one into the other.  The FFDI is more straightforward to compute (though it still has pretty much the same inputs), so I actually am computing FFDI and coming up with FWI from that, using the relations found in the study, BUT I actually went further and used some additional data in the study, to alter the weightings of the different factors.  So, with the same input, the sort of "fake" FWI should be very close to correct values.  A caveat there, though, is that the study used Australian sites, so I wouldn't be surprised if this "FWI" is a bit off from the real one ... in Canada (it's probably almost perfect in Australia).  Actually, the toughest part was to incorporate something about fuel moisture.  The FWI has very complicated rules for that.  I approximated these (and a similar drought index in FFDI) as best I could, using recent precipitation and other climate data from WXSIM.  That's a pretty significant part of the calculation.

Thanks for the feedback!

Tom

Offline Tom Ehrensperger

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Re: WXSIM 2018 Released!
« Reply #13 on: July 29, 2018, 09:37:47 PM »
I think I've got a fix for the wret.exe message about no fire data (which was stalling the program if you had that box checked, and it was looking at older forecasts, as is the case when using autolearn, for example).  I simply deleted the"error" message, and set the fire weather index to zero for any older forecasts, for which it was never computed or saved.  I haven't tested this much, but it should be fine ... please let me know!

Just use

www.wxsim.com/wxsimupg.exe

The program looks the same, as I didn't change any version numbers.

I also note the inquiry about increasing the number of columns in lastret.txt.  That can be done, and I'm considering it.  First, though, does anyone know if that would "break" existing scripts which read it?

Thanks!

Tom

Offline BeaumarisWX

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Re: WXSIM 2018 Released!
« Reply #14 on: July 30, 2018, 03:12:48 AM »
Hi Tom,

Just some additional feedback : I run AutoLearn at 03:00 each morning as well and after 2 nights now I have not seen any pop up message "No Fire Weather in Older Forecasts" (no issues and has use same season looking back 2 years checked since that feature was implemented ages ago).

I would be interested though, on your thoughts regards my other few questions posted earlier, if you can find the time.

Kind Regards,
Tony