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NCL + VAPOR July 2018 Workshop Page

This web page is for students registered for the following NCL + VAPOR Workshop:

July 9-12, 2018
Corporate Technical Training Center
3085 Center Green Drive, Building CG-2, Room 3024
Boulder, Colorado

We will use this page to provide up-to-date information about the workshop, hotel rooms for out-of-town guests, any schedule changes, links to sample scripts we develop in the workshop, and any other information that may be useful.

We strongly encourage people who are attending this workshop to come ready with some data they would like to analyze using NCL and/or VAPOR. If you can provide the instructors with your datasets before the workshop, then they will create some NCL scripts for you before the workshop starts. We may also use these scripts for interactive demos in the class, if permission is granted.

If you have some datasets you'd like to provide before the workshop, see these instructions for uploading your data.

Scripts used in class

NCL V6.5.0

If you have a MacOS 10.12 or 10.13 system, you can get the NCL 6.5.0 binary with one of the following wget commands:

1. OPeNDAP-enabled version (may require extra system librares to be installed)


2. Non OPeNDAP-enabled version:

You can either talk to Mary how to install NCL from this file, or, if you've done NCL installations before, the instructions are the same:

  1. Untar the file wherever you want NCL to reside
  2. Set the NCARG_ROOT environment variable
  3. Add $NCARG_ROOT/bin to your search path

For example, if you want NCL to reside in /usr/local/ncl-6.5.0:

  mkdir /usr/local/ncl-6.5.0:
  tar -C /usr/local/ncl-6.5.0 -zxf ncl_ncarg-6.5.0-MacOS_10.12_64bit_gnu710.tar.gz
  export NCARG_ROOT=/usr/local/ncl-6.5.0
  export PATH=$NCARG_ROOT/bin:$PATH

You can add the two export lines to your .bash_profile file so you don't have to set them every time you login. Once you've installed NCL, you can can remove the *.tar.gz file.

In order to run this version of NCL, you need have version 7.x of the GNU compilers installed on your system (download the gcc-7.1-bin.tar.gz file and follow the instructions in the second paragraph).

Workshop schedule

Note: the schedule below is tentative and may change slightly to accommodate instructors' and/or students' schedules. We will update this schedule if there are any changes.

Monday, July 9, 2018
8:30-8:45 AM Check-in and pick up workshop materials
9:00-10:15 AM NCL Language Basics lecture with interactive sessions
10:15 - 10:30 AM Break
10:30 AM - 12:00 PM NCL File Input/Output lecture with interactive sessions
12:00 - 1:30 PM Lunch on your own
1:30 - 2:00 PM NCL File Input/Output lecture/sessions continued
2:00 - 2:15 PM Short NCL website tour (part 1 of 2)
2:15 - 5:00 PM Hands-on lab*
Tuesday, July 10, 2018
9:00-10:15 AM NCL Graphics lecture with interactive sessions
10:15 - 10:30 AM Break
10:30 AM - 12:00 PM NCL Graphics lecture/sessions continued
12:00 - 1:30 PM Lunch on your own
1:30 - 2:00 PM NCL Graphics lecture/sessions continued
2:00 - 2:15 PM Short NCL website tour (part 2 of 2)
2:15 - 5:00 PM Hands-on lab*
Wednesday, July 11, 2018
9:00-10:15 AM NCL Data Analysis lecture with interactive sessions
10:15 - 10:30 AM Break
10:30 AM - 12:00 PM NCL Data Analysis lecture/sessions continued
12:00 - 1:30 PM Lunch on your own
1:30 - 2:00 PM NCL Data Analysis lecture/sessions continued (if needed)
2:00 - 5:00 PM Hands-on lab*
Thursday, July 12, 2018
9:00-10:15 AM Introduction to VAPOR lecture with interactive demonstrations
10:15 - 10:30 AM Break
10:30 AM - 12:00 PM Introduction to VAPOR lecture/sessions continued
12:00 - 1:30 PM Lunch on your own
1:30 - 5:00 PM Hands-on lab for both NCL and VAPOR*
*Note on hands-on labs
Students are expected to work with their own data files of interest during the labs. Instructors will ask about your data analysis objectives during the labs, and will help you use NCL and VAPOR to accomplish your objectives.


For a brief tutorial on VAPOR, watch this four part series on YouTube. The workshop will include much more detail.

To see examples of what kind of visualizations can be created by VAPOR, visit these links:

VAPOR installation instructions

For the VAPOR lecture, users are encouraged to bring their own computers with them to the workshop, preferrably with VAPOR already installed. View the links below for help on installing VAPOR. Otherwise, users can opt to use the UCAR provided workstations.

Code of Conduct

UCAR and NCAR are committed to providing a safe, productive, and welcoming environment for all staff and participants in any conference, workshop, field project or project hosted or managed by UCAR, no matter what role they play. All staff and participants are required to abide by this Code of Conduct. This Code of Conduct is adapted from the one adopted by AGU, complies with the new directive from the National Science Foundation (NSF) and applies to all UCAR related events, including those sponsored by organizations other than UCAR but held in conjunction with UCAR events, in any location throughout the world.

The full Code of Conduct document can be found here.

Send us your data before the workshop

If you would like to provide us with one or two sample datasets that you plan to use in class, and then you can use our ftp site to upload your data. Please do not ftp really large (> 1 GB) datasets.

FTP instructions (assume your files are called "" and ""):

    <log in as "anonymous">
    <Use email address as password>
    cd incoming

Once you ftp the file(s), email Mary, Rick, and Scott with the exact names of the files and tell us what you'd like to accomplish with them. We will try to provide some sample scripts either before or during the workshop.

NCAR Cafeteria

There's a cafeteria (menu) located next door to the workshop in CG-1 that is open for breakfast from 7:30-9:30 AM and lunch from 11:30 AM to 1:30 PM. You can get drinks and snacks until roughly 3 PM.

They only accept cash from non-NCAR employees and visitors.

Hotels and other information for out-of-town visitors

Hotel rooms fill up quickly in the summer in Boulder, so don't wait to book your room.

We have blocked off a limited number of rooms at the Residence Inn by Marriott Boulder ($209/night) and Courtyard by Marriott Boulder ($189/night) for workshop attendees.

The Residence Inn is an easy 5-minute walk to the workshop, while the Courtyard is about a 4-minute drive. Students receiving EPSCoR/MSI funding will automatically be booked at the Residence Inn so they don't have to worry about getting a car.

If you are not receiving EPSCoR/MSI funding and want to request a room, please email Elizabeth Faircloth <> by June 9, 2018. Elizabeth will add you to the rooming list and ensure that you receive the group rate. Please contact Elizabeth with any questions in regards to lodging.

For information about other hotels, see "Boulder hotel information and maps". Hotels in Boulder tend to fill up quickly in the summer, so book soon.

For other details on traveling to Boulder, see the information for out-of-town visitors on our main workshop page.