RadxConvert allows you to convert data stored in one format to a different format.

## Supported Lidar and Radar Data Formats¶

CfRadial-2 (WMO) (in development) Yes Yes
BUFR (in development) Yes(partial) No
CFARR Yes No
D23R Yes No
DOE ARM netCDF (precedes CfRadial) Yes No
EEC-Edge Yes(partial) No
Foray-1 netCDF - NCAR/EOL Yes Yes
GAMIC Yes No
Gematronik Rainbow Yes No
HSRL (Lidar) Yes No
HRD (Hurricane Research Division) Yes No
Leosphere (LIDAR ASCII format) Yes No
MDV radial - NCAR/RAL Yes Yes
NEXRAD Level 1, 3 Yes No
NOXP Yes No
NSSL-MRD Yes No
ODIM-H5 (in development) Yes Yes
RAPIC - BOM Australia Yes No
SIGMET - raw format (Vaisala) Yes No
TDWR Yes No
TWOLF Yes No
UF - Universal Format Yes Yes

RadxConvert uses the Radx engine as a backend to convert between many different data formats. Since RadxPrint, RadxConvert, and Radx2Grid all have the same backend engine, they work seamlessly together. Many researchers spend a lot of time writing code just to get their data into a format they can use with their analysis software, and RadxConvert solves that problem for many common lidar and radar data formats. At a basic level, RadxConvert can do a simple conversion from one format to another, but it has a lot of flexibility and power options for advanced use cases. To see all command line options for RadxConvert, type the following command into a terminal:

lrose -- RadxConvert -h


Important Note: If you just type ‘RadxConvert’ on the command line without any options it goes into ‘REALTIME’ mode and waits for streaming data to come in. For most use cases with data files stored locally the preferred mode of operation is to use command line arguments or a parameter file. This can be a little confusing for first time users. If you forget the ‘-f’ or ‘-params’ flag then this can also trigger REALTIME mode, and can appear like the conversion is taking a long time when in fact it is just waiting for data. While accidentally using REALTIME mode can occasionally cause some confusion, it allows for a powerful streaming capability to convert data directly from an instrument into a different format in real time.

For most applications, user’s will have the data stored locally and want to convert to CfRadial or another data format. There are two different ways to specify the output file format, either on the command line or in a parameter file. If you don’t have specific requirements for the conversion settings, the easiest way to convert data to CfRadial format is to just use the command line ‘-f’ option, which specifies a list of files:

lrose -- RadxConvert -f <path/to/data/file_name>


For example, to convert a NEXRAD Level 2 file from the Miami radar into CfRadial and place the file in an ‘output’ subdirectory:

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


Note that RadxConvert will create the output subdirectory if it doesn’t exist.

Important Note: We encourage users to not move the converted data from the date subdirectory directory or rename the files. Many data file formats (such as both CfRadial and DORADE) keep metadata in the filename, and other LROSE tools such as HawkEye will work better when the data is organized by date at the subdirectory level. RadxConvert will automatically name and sort the files chronologically, and will organize the converted data by date into subdirectories with a YYYYMMDD naming convention.

lrose -- RadxConvert -dorade -f <path/to/data/file_name>

lrose -- RadxConvert -print_params > $PWD/RadxConvert.params  The user can specify the specific output format in RadxConvert.params file. For example: Open RadxConvert.params in the terminal and find the line with ‘output_format’. Set the desired output format as one of the options. For example, to choose CfRadial: output_format = OUTPUT_FORMAT_CFRADIAL  or for DORADE: output_format= OUTPUT_FORMAT_DORADE  Use the following command to convert using the settings provided by the parameter file: lrose -- RadxConvert -f <path/to/data/file_name> -params$PWD/RadxConvert.params