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What is GRIB?

GRIB is the WMO's format for binary gridded data. The Metview GRIB interface is based on ecCodes and can handle both GRIB edition 1 and edition 2 seamlessly.

The GRIB icon

GRIB files are represented by this icon in the user interface:

Examining GRIB contents

The contents of a GRIB file can be inspected with the GRIB Examiner, which can be started up from the user interface (right-click examine on the icon).

Visualisation on maps

GRIB fields (with the exception of spherical harmonics fields) can be directly visualised in Metview on a map view. In the user interface just right-click visualise on the icon to get a plot with the default settings. GRIB map plots can be further customised with the Contouring or Wind Plotting icons for scalar fields or vector fields, respectively.

Visualisation on other views

As well as the map-based visualisation, we can also generate the following plot types from GRIB data:


It is also possible to extract vertical profiles (see Vertical Profile Data and Vertical Profile View) and time series.

The Thermo Data icon can prepare thermodynamic profiles which then can be visualised in a tephigram, skew-t or in emagram using a Thermo View.

Filtering and interpolation

The GRIB Filter icon provides the means to select a subset of fields from a GRIB file. It (and the MARS Retrieval icon) also contains some parameters, such as Grid and Area, which allow for interpolation to a new grid.

Data processing

There are quite a few icons available in Metview to process GRIB data. These include the icons mentioned above and the following other icons:

Metview's script interface provides access to all these icons and also offers a rich set of functions and operators to work with GRIB data (see Script language support below).

Retrieval from MARS

If Metview has been configured with access to ECMWF's MARS archive, GRIB data can be retrieved via the Mars Retrieval icon. At ECMWF, MARS access is set up on all computer systems, while outside ECMWF the MARS Web API could be used in Metview (see the setup instructions here).

Script language support

Metview provides full support for GRIB from its Macro and Python interfaces. In script, GRIB data is represented as a fieldset. Fieldset handling is probably Metview's richest and most powerful interface including (on top of the icon functions):

  • high-level field arithmetic
  • filtering and interpolation
  • masking, bitmaps
  • GRIB header and value access and modification
  • statistics, horizontal aggregations and vertical computations
  • derivatives
  • and many more ...

The full list of available functions and operators on fieldsets can be found on the Fieldset Functions and Thermodynamic Functions pages.

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