• A friendly and periodic reminder of the rules we use for fostering high SNR and quality conversation and interaction at Stormtrack: Forum rules

    P.S. - Nothing specific happened to prompt this message! No one is in trouble, there are no flame wars in effect, nor any inappropriate conversation ongoing. This is being posted sitewide as a casual refresher.

New Forecast Soundings Online - SHARPpy

Suggestion: Use UWyo's upper air soundings page for the RAOB? It seems to be updated much faster than where you're using currently...
That's actually something I've wanted to do for a while. My hangup is with the interface: I want people to be able to go back for the entire archive, but the current interface (a list of available times) would make that a pain in the neck. I'm thinking of some kind of calendar widget, but that's for the future.

What's the easiest way to update the program without using GitHub? I have Anaconda and Windows; or would github be the easiest?
One option would be to rename the SHARPpy directory to something else (like "SHARPpy-old") and then use whatever procedure you used to obtain the code the first time. Make sure you run 'python setup.py install' on the new code, though. :) After verifying that your new version of the code works, you can delete SHARPpy-old, if you want. I'm a fan of the github solution that Rob suggested, but I also understand people not wanting to mess with git for only one thing.
Just wanted to provide people with a heads up: SHARPpy has just released another major update, adding some pretty cool features, including displaying multiple model forecasts/observed soundings at the same time. There are plenty other features too, so I recommend reading through the release notes to get acquainted with the new stuff.

RELEASE: https://github.com/sharppy/SHARPpy/releases/tag/v1.3.0-Xenia-beta

Additionally, the README document has been restructured to give clearer descriptions of features and how to use the program.
README: https://github.com/sharppy/SHARPpy/blob/master/README.md

Lastly, we now support Windows and Mac OS X binaries. No more difficult installations and updates - just download the executable, open it, and you're on your way!

Mac OS X 64bit
Windows 8.1 64bit
Windows 7 64bit
Windows 7 32bit
Impressive. Was literally able to download the zip folder, extract the files, and run it right out of my Downloads folder first time. Not a problem was had. Thanks!

I should add that I did this on a machine running 64-bit Win 7.
Impressive. Was literally able to download the zip folder, extract the files, and run it right out of my Downloads folder first time. Not a problem was had. Thanks!

I should add that I did this on a machine running 64-bit Win 7.
Awesome, thats great to hear! Thanks for letting us know, Jeff!
I thought I might go ahead and share an example of one of my personal favorites in the new features category: the ability to do dprog/dt analysis of forecast models.

There is no automatic function to do this yet, so you have to add in each sounding one at a time. Perhaps in the next update we'll change that. However, the idea being that you can add, say, all GFS forecasts for a particular location and time, and see how they vary from run to run. This image is of every GFS forecast available to the program for Yankton, SD, at 00Z tonight. In front is this morning's 12Z model forecast, and in the background are the 06Z, 00Z, and 18Z model forecasts for the same location and time. It's very useful for evaluating model consistency and certainty.

There's no reason to limit it to just GFS. You could also add all NAM and RAP forecasts for the same location and time (if the location is available in the dataset) and get a model-comprehensive look at uncertainty. Anyway, just thought it was pretty neat/powerful.

We are presenting SHARPpy to the attendees of the Annual National Weather Association meeting being held in Oklahoma City this October, and we would like to know more about who uses SHARPpy and why!

If you could please take the time to fill out this short survey, we would greatly appreciate it. The responses to this survey will be presented at the annual meeting, so by taking the survey we are assuming consent. The responses are anonymous, save for the affiliation of your organization (one of the form questions).

Please share this with other users of SHARPpy so that we can get a comprehensive sample!

Andy, it will not. Our binary has the SARS sounding files bundled within the binary, and it may be difficult to get at the files. Your method should only work as long as you have downloaded the source code from Github and also installed that same source.
Not right now. Overall, we've been quite satisfied in keeping with Python 2. We've discussed extending support to Python 3, but we currently have some bigger fish to fry. I also believe there are some issues with the dependencies and Python 3, but I don't remember exactly what the issue is.
PySide (one of the requirements) doesn't exist for Python 3.5 yet.
The problem is that PySide is not Python 3 compatible, and the other option, PyQt, uses different Qt bindings for Python2 than it does for Python 3, meaning the code is not portable.

It's possible this has changed, but this was the case the last time I looked into this.

However, I'm slowly but surely re-writing the GUI code in openGL code to utilize the GPU for graphics instead of the CPU, which should greatly improve performance. The nice thing is that both PySide and PyQt have openGl wrapper support, meaning it might re-open the possibility for Python 3 support.

Can sharppy open bufkit files?

Yes, it can and does open bufkit files.
Yes, it can and does open bufkit files.

Thanks for the response. I was asking because I've tried opening several bufkit files via File | Open and I keep getting the error "IOError: Could not figure out the format of the file..." All other aspects of SHARPpy are working perfectly though.
I was wondering if there was a SHARPpy legend, key, or tutorial for understanding all of the information on the sounding/hodo. There are a few boxes where I don't entirely understand what information is being represented. Any help/guidance would be greatly appreciated. Btw, I do not have the downloaded SHARPpy. I see it on CoD. They do not have the options available on the site that are accessible in the downloaded version. Therefore, the information I am hoping to get from a legend or key or tutorial is solely for identifying and deciphering the information presented in each box of the SHARPpy layout; not in understanding how to use the program. Thanks!
I was wondering if there was a SHARPpy legend, key, or tutorial for understanding all of the information on the sounding/hodo. There are a few boxes where I don't entirely understand what information is being represented. Any help/guidance would be greatly appreciated.

I was just looking for info on this yesterday. Particularly trying to find info on the red/blue/magenta lines in the “SR Winds vs Height” box. I did find this page that had good info for coming up to speed on that one:

I figured I ought to comment as one of the developers...

At this moment, the README is the best guidance we can provide specifically for the use of the program, and we'd like to provide an overall guide explaining the colors and different windows that are included in the program. It’s been a part of a long TODO list for us. Unfortunately, our development of SHARPpy slowed down recently due to both school and job commitments, but we have been picking it back up.

Until we are able to produce a guide of some sort, I’d highly suggest the websites mentioned by those above me as they refer to the program (NSHARP) that we derived heavily from when we wrote SHARPpy. When we wrote the program, we worked closely with SPC and took many cues from those websites when we couldn't meet with them (e.g. with the red, blue and purple bars in the SR-winds with height panel). These websites will provide guidance for most of what you find on the SHARPpy GUI (I’ve recopied them below):


You can think of the program as a subset of tools considered to be important to analyzing, diagnosing, and forecasting the implications of different environments that support deep convection. The subset of tools included in in the program are a direct result of work and experiences of people within both the operational and research community. They will largely acknowledge that no one tool works 100% of the time. The tools are redundant in that often when one calculation or algorithm or tool lights up, others will too. All tools are based off of some calculation of the four primary ingredients: shear, instability, moisture, and lift. Not all functions of the program are explained or validated in the scientific literature (e.g. the Possible Hazard Type Box, the Storm Slinky), but most are described and tested in the literature (e.g. STP, CAPE, SARS) as tools that have some known ability to explain different environments. If you’d like to read those papers, we have a list of those references. We really recommend others to read those papers and learn those concepts. Getting to code SHARPpy and read the papers its functionality derives from gave us an insight into when certain tools may work and when they may fail. Reading the papers can give you a leg up on becoming a SHARPpy power user, I guess. Here's the list of papers many of the program's functions refer to:


Unfortunately, we can’t comment on CoD's implementation of the SHARPpy program on their website. They deviated significantly from our original color scheme (that we pulled from the SPC operational version of NSHARP), so I would ask them directly what their colors correspond to.
Last edited:
Does this work with Windows 10 64 bit? I read the entire thread and looked around the Git hub for awhile, but didn't see a build for W10. Hope I didn't overlook something. Thanks in advance.