periods such as this by assuming a constant precipitation rate

during the accumulation period. For modeling purposes, this

assumption is suitable as long as the accumulation time period

is short (e.g., a few hours). However, for longer accumulation

periods, the use of the poorly time-resolved precipitation data

is not recommended. PMERGE will eliminate and flag as missing

any accumulate periods longer than a user-define maximum


PMERGE provides an option to "pack" the precipitation data

in the unformatted output in order to reduce the size of the

file. A "zero packing" method is used to pack the

precipitation data. Because many of the precipitation values

are zero, strings of zeros are replaced with a coded integer

identifying the number of consecutive zeros that are being

represented. For example, the following record with data from

20 stations requires 20 unpacked words:

0.0, 0.0, 0.0, 0.0, 0.0, 1.2, 3.5, 0.0, 0.0, 0.0,

0.0, 0.0, 0.0, 0.7, 0.0, 0.0, 0.0, 0.0, 0.0, 0.0,

These data in packed form would be represented in six


-5., 1.2, 3.5, -6., 0.7, -6.

where five zero values are replaced by -5., six zero values are

replaced by -6., etc. With many stations and a high frequency

of zeros, very high packing ratios can be obtained with this

simple method. All of the packing and unpacking operations are

performed internally by PMERGE and MESOPAC, and are transparent

to the user. The header records of the data file contain

information flagging the file to MESOPAC as a packed or

unpacked file. If the user selects the unpacked format, each

precipitation value is assigned one full word.

The input files used by PMERGE include a control file

(PMERGE.INP), an optional unformatted data file (PBIN.DAT)

created in a previous run of PMERGE, and up to 150 TD-3240

precipitation station files (e.g., as created by PXTRACT). The

output file consists of a list file and a new unformatted data

file in MESOPAC format with the data for all stations sorted by

hour. Table A-17 lists the name, type, format, and contents of

PMERGE's input and output data files.

The PMERGE control file (PMERGE.INP) contains the userspecified

input variables indicating the number of stations to

be processed, a flag indicating if data is to be added to an

existing, unformatted data file, the maximum length of an

accumulation period, packing options, station data, and time

zone data. PMERGE allows data from different time zones to be

merged by time-shifting the data to a user-specified base time




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