Meteorology/Climatology related software

Software Tools


Computer Tools for Meteorology, Climate and Atmospheric Sciences...

Manipulation of Climate Files

  • cdo Climate Data Operators is a collection of commands to manipulate output of climate models on several formats like GRIB or netCDF. It is very useful for daily tasks and quick analysis of the netcdf outputs of climate models. For instance, ‘cdo sinfon’ will give you a broad view of the netcdf fields as an alternative to ncdump. But also it is possible to perform operations with variables, interpolations, re-gridding to give few examples. Finally note that it is possible to use it within Python with a wrapper avaiable online.
  • nco NetCDF Command Operators is a collection of commands to perform typical operations on netCDF output files from climate models (or numerical weather prediction models). It is very useful like cdo for daily tasks but it is not considered as a specific tool for climate/meteorological community and it can be used for any application. It is a very good complement to cdo to actually perform many analysis of netcdf files in a quick way. Like cdo there is also a Python wrapper.
  • cdat CDAT is a collection of Python modules for the analysis and visualization of atmospheric science data. Please check also: badc or the webpage esg.llnl.
  • cmor It is the so called “Climate Model Output Rewriter” (CMOR, pronounced “Seymour”). Instead of a collection of Python modules it is collection of FORTRAN 90 functions. The main idea is to produce CF-compliant netCDF files that fulfill the requirements of many of the climate community’s standard model experiments. These experiments are collectively referred to as MIP’s and include, for example, AMIP, CMIP, CFMIP, PMIP, APE, and IPCC scenario runs. The output resulting from CMOR is “self-describing” and facilitates analysis of results across models.
  • DB-All.e DB-All.e can import observations from various sources into a unique, high-level, physically-based data model (lon, lat, time, level, parameter, etc.), where they can be manipulated at will and exported back to BUFR or CREX messages.

Visualization Tools

  • GrADS It is a tool to visualize datasets. It is very flexible as GrADS supports many data file formats, including binary (stream or sequential), GRIB (version 1 and 2), NetCDF, HDF (version 4 and 5), and BUFR (for station data). Users might be also interested on check the set to complementary tools: opengrads
  • Ferret It is also a widely used tool for plotting and visualizing climate datasets. It also has a python wrapper. More information can be found in their NOAA webpage.
  • ncview Traditional simple, fast and easy viewer of netcdf files. While is not suited for high quality plots still is very useful for quick analysis.
  • ncl It is a script language specifically designed by NCAR/UCAR for plotting climate and meteorological datasets. It has also additional libraries to interacts with python.
  • IRIS A python library for Meteorology and Climatology. Iris provides a community-driven Python library for analysing and visualising meteorological and oceanographic data sets. It reads and writes (CF-)netCDF, GRIB, and PP files. It can be used to create graphs and maps via integration with matplotlib and cartopy. This library relies on the idea of a cube that represents the climate variables under analysis, it is a concept similar to named-arrays used by xarray but with xarray aimes to apply to a broader context.
  • matplotlib Althought it is not specific of atmospheric sciences, it is broadly used due to its versatily.
  • cartopy Based on matplotlib, it is a library to plot geographical maps, and it is close related with IRIS (it is created also by MetOffice of UK) although it is not dependent on IRIS library.
  • ESMValTool A tool whose focus is to perform standard cross-comparisions between models and also with observations. Althought based on Python it has an interface to use methods from ncl and R language. Relies in IRIS library.


  • xarray Very useful library to process the netcdf files commonly used on climate sciences. It is a library under development but currently it is very usable. Relies in the idea of create named-arrays directly derived from the netcdf files in such way that the data-analysis is much more easy. Shared ideas with Pandas.
  • Magics++
  • Libgrib-api-tools Library to encode and decode GRIB files.
  • Zygrib

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