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# What's coming in the next release of NCL

The next release of NCL will be version 6.6.0, which consists mainly of new functions and bug fixes for the suite of WRF-ARW routines. The release is planned for February 2019.

**06 February 2019**: While NCAR has announced the decision to adopt
Python as the scripting language platform of choice for future
development of analysis and visualization tools and place NCL into
maintenance mode, this release is still on schedule for release in
February 2019.

Please read this open letter to NCL users for more details.

- New WRF-ARW functions
- New WRF-ARW diagnostics added
- New miscellaneous functions
- Graphics updates
- Bugs fixed
- Deprecated WRF-ARW functions

**New WRF-ARW functions**

**wrf_user_interp_level**- Interpolates a horizontal slice from a three-dimensional WRF-ARW field at the given vertical level(s).**wrf_user_interp_line**- Interpolates a two-dimensional WRF-ARW field along a line.**wrf_user_ll_to_xy**- Finds the nearest WRF-ARW model grid indexes (0-based) that are the closest to the requested longitude and latitude locations.**wrf_user_vert_cross**- Interpolates a vertical cross-section from a three-dimensional WRF-ARW field at the given vertical level(s).**wrf_user_xy_to_ll**- Finds the nearest longitude, latitude locations to the specified WRF-ARW model grid indexes.

**New WRF-ARW diagnostics added**

**wrf_user_getvar** was updated to
add some new diagnostics for WRF-ARW model data:

*cfrac*- low, mid, high clouds*wspd_wdir*- grid relative wind speed and direction*wspd_wdir10*- 10m grid relative wind speed and direction*uvmet_wspd_wdir*- earth relative wind speed and direction*uvmet10_wspd_wdir*- 10m earth relative wind speed and direction

**New miscellaneous functions**

**advect_variable_cfd**- Using centered-finite_differences (cfd) to estimate gradients, advect a variable horizontally on a regional or global rectilinear grid.

**beta_dfdy_rossby**- Compute the Rossby parameter [beta=df/dy] which is the meridional variation of the Coriolis parameter.

**qvector_isobaric**- Use "highly accurate" spherical harmonics to derive the Q-vector components on a

**global**grid.

**qvector_isobaric_cfd**- Use centered finite differences to derive the Q-vector components on a

**global**or

**regional**grid.

**scale_values**- Scale the values of an array to a user specified range.

**shear_stretch_deform**- Using spherical harmonics, estimate the kinematic shear-deformation, stretch-deformation and total-deformation of a

**global**horizontal (east-west) wind field.

**shear_stretch_deform_cfd**- Using centered-finite-differences, estimate the kinematic shear-deformation, stretch-deformation and total-deformation of a

**global**or

**regional**horizontal (east-west) wind field.

**Graphics updates**

**gsn_coordinates**was updated to support the drawing of unstructured meshes (e.g. triangular meshes, hexagonal meshes).- A new cividis color table was added.

**Bugs fixed**

**gsn_panel**- Fixed a bug in which this procedure would fail if drawing a series of plots with gsnPanelLabelBar set to True and the first plot didn't have a labelbar but subsequent ones did. This has been fixed now such that one of the subsequent plots will be used to generate the common labelbar.**gsn_csm_contour_map**- Fixed bug in which filled contours were disappearing, in special
cases, near the boundary of some map projections. This happened
whenever the projection warped the points into a non-cartesian state
with the line of points not parallel to the y-axis.
- Fixed a bug where streaks would show up when contouring data on an
ICON grid over a Robinson projection.
- Fixed a bug where a contour plot of random data would not get drawn
if one or both axes were reversed.

**Deprecated WRF-ARW functions**

The following WRF-ARW functions are deprecated in NCL V6.6.0. For backwards-compatibility, they will continue to work as documented.