LROSE Blaze Quick Start

Follow these steps to get up and running quickly with LROSE, and then continue through the documentation for more details about LROSE software.

A Basic LROSE Workflow

This quick start guide covers a basic LROSE analysis workflow:

  1. Print data header from a NEXRAD file using RadxPrint.
  2. Convert Level II data to CfRadial format using RadxConvert.
  3. Display the data in CfRadial format using Hawkeye.
  4. Perform coordinate transformations from the polar grid to a Cartesian grid using Radx2Grid.
  • The following tutorial highlights how to perform the basic commands which can be used as ‘building blocks’ for more complex workflows. See the rest of the documentation for more details.


  • Complete the free registration and follow the install instructions

Get some data

  • A sample NEXRAD level II file is available here for use with this quick start guide

If you have your own data, just replace the filename in all the subsequent examples with your data

Open a terminal on Mac or Linux, and change the directory to where your data resides

cd /path/to/my/data

Inspect the data

LROSE can handle 24 radar and lidar formats (and counting). To see if your data works with LROSE, first use RadxPrint to print the metadata.

The following instructions assume you are using the Virtual Toolbox and the sample NEXRAD file. For native apps installed in your executable path, just drop ‘lrose – ‘ or replace with the absolute path to the location where the binaries are installed. If you are using your own data, replace the name of the file.

lrose -- RadxPrint -f $PWD/Level2_KAMX_20161006_1906.ar2v

If the program returns ‘File format not recognized’ then it is not a file format that LROSE currently supports. Otherwise, you should see text output with all the metadata from your file.

Convert the data to CfRadial

The LROSE workflow relies on the CfRadial format for all subsequent display and analysis. Use RadxConvert to convert your file(s) to CfRadial. It will work on any file that is recognized by RadxPrint from the first step through the Radx engine backend.

lrose -- RadxConvert -f $PWD/Level2_KAMX_20161006_1906.ar2v -outdir $PWD/output

Display the data in HawkEye

HawkEye is a next generation data display that will eventually include editing capabilities. Use HawkEye to view the CfRadial files generated by RadxConvert:

lrose -- HawkEye -f $PWD/output/20161006/*

Grid the data into Cartesian space

A common first step for working with NEXRAD data is to interpolate the data from its native radial coordinate to a regular grid. Radx2Grid can grid ground-based and some airborne lidar and radar data in spherical and Cartesian space. While there are many options for Radx2Grid, a basic gridding technique can be accomplished simply:

lrose -- Radx2Grid -f $PWD/output/20161006/* -outdir $PWD/grid

Quick Start Complete!

If you have successfully run the previous steps then you should now have a Cartesian gridded NetCDF file to use for further analysis called in the grid’ subdirectory. From here, you can read in the CfRadial or gridded netCDF file using Julia, Python, or other programming language for further analysis. Continue with the documentation to find out more about LROSE and the many options and parameters available in the LROSE-Blaze software suite.

Jupyter Notebook Starter Kit

  • All of the following steps are available in Jupyter Notebook tutorials in Julia and Python. You can clone the notebook or download the whole starter kit with input and expected output files.