NCL (Visualization)


The NCAR Command Language or NCL is a free interpreted language designed specifically for scientific data processing and visualization from the Computational & Information Systems Laboratory at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) sponsored by the National Science Foundation.

NCL has robustfile input and output. It can read and write netCDF-3, netCDF-4 classic (as of version 4.3.1), HDF4, binary, and ASCII data, and read HDF-EOS2, GRIB1 and GRIB2 (as of version 4.3.0). The graphics are world class and highly customizable. As of version 5.0.0, NCL and NCAR Graphics are released as one package. If you are new to both NCAR Graphics and NCL, its recommended you learn NCL since it has more capabilities and the graphics are easier to use as explained here.

The NCL software comes with a couple of useful command line tools: 1) ncl_filedump – prints the contents of supported files (netCDF, HDF, GRIB1, GRIB2, HDF-EOS2, and CCM History Tape) and 2) ncl_convert2nc – converts one or more GRIB1, GRIB2, HDF and/or HDF-EOS files to netCDF formatted files.

Availability Table

Version Default Module Systems
System True copper, goblin, iqaluk, monk, mosaic, orca, redfin, tembo, vdi-centos6, vdi-fedora20, vdi-fedora23, windeee, wobbie


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Change Log

o July 31, 2016 : Installed version 6.3.0 on vdi-fedora23, 6.1.2 on vdi-fedora20 and 6.0.0 on angel, brown, copper, goblin, iqaluk, kraken, monk, mosaic, orca, redfin, saw, tembo, vdi-centos6, windeee and wobble from the respective default operating system repositories.