Meteorology in Debian Science

The Sentinel page gathers meteorology packages.

Meteorology tools in Debian / currently being packaged

Data Manipulation


Analysis and Visualization

Software that could be included in Debian

* MCT Model Coupling Toolkit. Used by ESMF and now OASIS3-MCT


SZIP Compression

SZIP is a compression library for HDF and other scientific data. HDF which we ship, can be built against it, but SZIP is patented (US only?) and is free for non-commercial use (ie. not DFSG-free). It is unlikely to change and we could not ship it (can it be shipped in non-free ?). However it would be desirable for HDF on Debian to be able to use it if present: hence a patch could be written to dynamically open it if present. The patent is owned by NASA who have agreed not to enforce it; it expires in a year or so. A GNU GPL'd version of SZIP is being written so that SZIP can be included in WMO standards.


NCL depends a large number of packages, many in Debian. The ~~required~~ optional ones that could cause issues include:

Python and NetCDF

See this discussion. There are multiple packages in Debian/ the python archives providing NetCDF interfaces; some pass netcdf-type objects around. This is sub-optimal as they don't interoperate. This should be fixed.

Python packages / APIs include:

* pyCDF (circa 2007): * Scientific.IO.NetCDF : from python-netcdf or pupynere * : from scipy, or python-netcdf4

python-netcdf is built against recent netcdf4, and so reads/writes netcdf4 files, but does not provide NC4 capabilities such as compression, etc. Similarly python-scientific, python-netcdf do not provide python3 versions. Is python-scientific obsolete? Transition towards scipy ?

Python3 Transition

As part of the general transition in Debian/Ubuntu to Python3, it is my release goal for Jessie to get all the met. packages working with Python3.

See DebianScienceMetPython3 to see progress.

pkg-config pc files for all libraries

As a release goal, provide pkg-config files for all libraries provided by ?DebMet, and hence dependencies. This is most useful when thinking of MPI. See DebianScienceMPIPkgCongig for details.


spherepack is packaged, but NCL uses a variant with double-precision parameters, preceded by 'd' prefix. Implement this within spherepack, and apply as an external dependency.

Common GRIB tables

grib-api and ncl have Grib tables that could be factored out into a separate package.

GSHHS : Global Self-consistent Hierarchical High-resolution Shorelines

Several packages include their own copies of GSHHS maps and code. These should be merged, and one set of maps provided. DebianScienceGshhsMaps describes the work in progress.