Post-Processing and Visualization

TIEGCM netCDF history files can be read by any application with access to the netCDF library, including many freely available software packages developed for mainpulating or displaying netCDF data (see At HAO, we often use the netCDF Operators NCO for file manipulation (subset extracting, concatenation, hyperslabbing, metadata editing, etc). However for visualization, we typically use one of three post-processors developed at HAO:


  • tgcmproc_f90 is a batch-style processor written in fortran 90. This program reads a user namelist input file via stdin, and outputs multi-frame plot files (cgm and/or ps), and output data files (e.g., ascii, netCDF).
  • Uses the freely available NCAR Graphics libraries for basic contouring, making maps at various projections, vector plots, etc.
  • Plots 2d horizontal and vertical slices, and time-dependent plots on the model grid.
  • Calculates a large number of diagnostics from fields on the histories.
  • Custom contouring (setting cmin,cmax,cint)
  • Can interpolate to constant height surfaces.
  • Can be downloaded from the TGCM website, but the f90 code must be compiled, and NCAR Graphics libraries must be linked.


  • tgcmproc_idl is an IDL application for browsing and plotting TIEGCM output, with an easy to use Graphical User Interface (GUI).
  • 2d contouring of horizontal and vertical slices, including maps at various projections.
  • Can save images and plots to a variety of image formats.
  • Custom contouring (setting cmin,cmax,cint).
  • Can interpolate to constant height surfaces.
  • Can plot fields on the magnetic grid (tgcmproc_f90 does not do this).
  • Can make and save png movie animations.
  • Should run fine for anybody w/ IDL, but IDL is licensed, and can be expensive.


  • utproc is an IDL/GUI application that makes time-series contours and images including ut vs zp pressure at selected grid lat x lon locations, and ut vs latitude at selected zp pressure surfaces.

These applications are available at the TGCM download page. Tgcmproc_f90 is best for generating large numbers of plots in a “batch-style” environment, whereas tgcmproc_idl is best for browsing history files in a GUI interface, and saving plots or images as desired. The utproc processor is a hybrid in the sense that a series of plots can be setup using the GUI, and then created when requested.

At HAO, we also use the NCAR Command Language (NCL) for plotting, analysis, and converting to/from various file formats (GRIB, HDF, etc). NCL scripts can be used to generate customized plots and images, as well as providing a variety of analysis and file-manipulation tools.

Table Of Contents

Previous topic

Benchmark Test Runs of v1.95

Next topic

Contact Information

This Page