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The conversion of BUFR edition 3 to 4 is made easy starting from version 0.13.0 of ecCodes. To convert a message the user simply sets edition=4 and the message will be automatically converted to a valid BUFR edition 4 message. However the converted message is affected by the following unavoidable imperfections.

  1. In edition 3 only the year of century is reported and therefore we need to guess the century in the conversion. At the moment ecCodes assumes that the data have been collected in the 21st century and therefore the year of century 14 will be translated to year 2014 in the edition 4 message. Correction of the date will be needed after the conversion for data collected in other centuries.
  2. The international sub-category is not present in edition 3 messages and is set to 255 (missing) in the conversion.

A convenient way of converting messages from edition 3 to 4 is using the bufr_set tool as follows:

bufr_set -s edition=4 data.bufr3 data.bufr4

The conversion will not affect data which are already in edition 4.