I have been looking for a proper way to create a netCDF file that is compliant with the Climate and Forecast (CF) Metadata Convention. It is amazing that I can find a compliance checker for NetCDF files at the CF-Metadata web page, but I have problems to find any tools or methods to create such a file. How can I create a CF-compliant netCDF file? Are there any good tools, which I can use?

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    $\begingroup$ Just follow the documentation and use any NetCDF library of your choice? I'm not sure what your question is. $\endgroup$
    – gerrit
    Commented Apr 16, 2014 at 18:17
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    $\begingroup$ Please don't ask shopping /recommendation questions here. Try Software Recommendations $\endgroup$
    – 410 gone
    Commented Apr 17, 2014 at 7:41
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    $\begingroup$ @hugovdberg Wouldn't it be like calling anything with a wheel on it a car? It is a machine-independent common data format, so yes there is no reason for GIS to not use it. Nowhere in my question I mentioned GIS. Nevertheless, thank you for the link that you provided. Although not the answer to my question, it is somewhat relevant to one aspect of it. Thumbs up! $\endgroup$
    – ZZZ
    Commented Apr 18, 2014 at 21:18
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    $\begingroup$ Without knowing what exactly your requirements are, it's really difficult to know how to answer this question. (Just so you know, in my previous job I installed a utility to make our data NetCDF complient. It was highly customized to our particular dataset. I don't know if a general solution is available or even possible.) If you provide more detail, we might be able to open this question then. $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 18, 2014 at 22:25
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    $\begingroup$ Hmm. This meta discussion is relevant here: meta.earthscience.stackexchange.com/questions/77/… Yes, this could be seen as a recommendation question, but it's also "I have this geoscience-related problem, how do I solve it". We wouldn't object to that if it didn't involve software. I agree with the too-broad aspect, and would welcome the asker giving a specific example of the problem to be solved. $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 19, 2014 at 7:39

1 Answer 1


So far this has been the most suitable answer to my question...

NOAA's National Oceanographic Data Center has posted NetCDF Templates v1.0 the CDL templates on their web site. These can be used with netCDF Operator (NCO) commands to create Climate and Forecast (CF) compliant files.



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