Blog from October, 2020

The October 2020 release of our software provides many new features, improvements and fixes!


ecCodes, the heart of GRIB and BUFR handling, brings performance improvements, new parameters, contributions from users and several smaller features/bug fixes.
Please note that ecCodes' Python 2 interface is no longer being developed. Users are strongly advised to migrate to Python 3.
Also the pip package name has changed to 'eccodes'. Please use this command to install the ecCodes Python bindings:

pip install eccodes


Magics, ECMWF's plotting library, brings more improvements including :

  • a major code clean-up has reduced the number of dependencies. The Boost library and Python are not required to install Magics anymore.
  • fix issue with logging that was degrading observation plotting speed when used from Python
  • fix issue in python when passing single element array.


Metview brings several new features and functions, such as:

  • a new regridding module that exposes many new interpolation methods for expert users
  • user interface improvements such as a new preview panel that allows quick inspection of icons
  • the long-awaited ability to filter for parameters in the icon editors makes its way into this release
  • a whole raft of new Python/Macro functions for thermodynamic computations and plotting utilities
  • more - see the release notes!

Metview's new Regrid module brings new possibilities in gridding and transformation of data

Metview is built at ECMWF with all the versions of our libraries listed in the table below, and all are included in the Metview Bundle


CodesUI, ECMWF's standalone examiner for GRIB and BUFR data, adds:

  • syntax highlighting for textual GRIB dumps


The software stack that serves ECMWF MARS Catalogue has been updated and will be soon rolled out to operations, bringing:

  • improved ODB observation handling using the new ODC encoder/decoder software
  • improved remote access to FDB servers, including preparation a new FDB service dedicated to research experiments.


FDB, ECMWF's IFS model I/O library and server application, brings changes to its Remote Protocol that will:

  • improve the remote access by the MARS client
  • provide better user feedback on errors
  • provide support for the migration to Bologna by improved multi-lane access to data.


ecBuild, ECMWF's build system, used by all other software packages, brings major improvements to follow modern CMake best practices. In particular, the minimum CMake version requirement by all packages is now 3.12, for the following reasons:

  • better support of find_package, including the use of the <package>_ROOT environment variable
  • support for object libraries
  • improved dependency tracking in Fortran modules

A list of changes that need to be made to migrate to ecBuild 3.4 is available on GitHub.

Please note that because of the build changes, each package must be built with the latest version of the others.

The software versions of this release are available on all ECMWF computer systems as "new" versions. Versions on conda should be available in the coming days. If you encounter any issues please feel free to send feedback to