Plot a sounding using MetPy with more advanced features.

Beyond just plotting data, this uses calculations from metpy.calc to find the lifted condensation level (LCL) and the profile of a surface-based parcel. The area between the ambient profile and the parcel profile is colored as well.

import matplotlib.pyplot as plt
import numpy as np
import pandas as pd

import metpy.calc as mpcalc
from metpy.cbook import get_test_data
from metpy.units import units


Upper air data can be obtained using the siphon package, but for this example we will use some of MetPy’s sample data.

col_names = ['pressure', 'height', 'temperature', 'dewpoint', 'direction', 'speed']

skiprows=5, usecols=[0, 1, 2, 3, 6, 7], names=col_names)

df['u_wind'], df['v_wind'] = mpcalc.wind_components(df['speed'],

# Drop any rows with all NaN values for T, Td, winds
df = df.dropna(subset=('temperature', 'dewpoint', 'direction', 'speed',
'u_wind', 'v_wind'), how='all').reset_index(drop=True)


We will pull the data out of the example dataset into individual variables and assign units.

p = df['pressure'].values * units.hPa
T = df['temperature'].values * units.degC
Td = df['dewpoint'].values * units.degC
wind_speed = df['speed'].values * units.knots
wind_dir = df['direction'].values * units.degrees
u, v = mpcalc.wind_components(wind_speed, wind_dir)


Create a new figure. The dimensions here give a good aspect ratio.

fig = plt.figure(figsize=(9, 9))
skew = SkewT(fig, rotation=45)

# Plot the data using normal plotting functions, in this case using
# log scaling in Y, as dictated by the typical meteorological plot
skew.plot(p, T, 'r')
skew.plot(p, Td, 'g')
skew.plot_barbs(p, u, v)
skew.ax.set_ylim(1000, 100)
skew.ax.set_xlim(-40, 60)

# Calculate LCL height and plot as black dot
lcl_pressure, lcl_temperature = mpcalc.lcl(p[0], T[0], Td[0])
skew.plot(lcl_pressure, lcl_temperature, 'ko', markerfacecolor='black')

# Calculate full parcel profile and add to plot as black line
prof = mpcalc.parcel_profile(p, T[0], Td[0]).to('degC')
skew.plot(p, prof, 'k', linewidth=2)

# Shade areas of CAPE and CIN

# An example of a slanted line at constant T -- in this case the 0
# isotherm
skew.ax.axvline(0, color='c', linestyle='--', linewidth=2)

# Add the relevant special lines