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Python interface to plot meteorological data in GRIB, NetCDF and BUFR.

Project description

Magics is the latest generation of the ECMWF’s meteorological plotting software and can be either accessed directly through its Python or Fortran interfaces or by using Metview.

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  • supports plotting of contours, wind fields, observations, satellite images, symbols, text, axis and graphs (including boxplots)
  • can plot GRIB 1 and 2 coded data, gaussian grid, regularly spaced grid and fitted data


  • development stage: Alpha,


The package is installed from PyPI with:

$ pip install Magics

System dependencies

The python module depends on the ECMWF Magics library that must be installed on the system and accessible as a shared library. Some Linux distributions ship a binary version that may be installed with the standard package manager. On Ubuntu 18.04 use the command:

$ sudo apt-get install libmagplus3v5

As an alternative you may install the official source distribution by following the instructions at

Note that Magics support for the Windows operating system is experimental.

You may run a simple selfcheck command to ensure that your system is set up correctly:

$ python -m Magics selfcheck
Found: Magics '4.0.0'.
Your system is ready.


First, you need a well-formed GRIB file, if you don’t have one at hand you can download our a 2m temperature grib file:

$ wget

You may try out the high level API in a python interpreter:

from Magics import macro as magics

name = 'magics'
#Setting of the output file name
output = magics.output(output_formats = ['png'],
             output_name_first_page_number = "off",
             output_name = "magics")

#Import the  data
data =  magics.mgrib(grib_input_file_name  = "2m_temperature.grib", )

#Apply an automatic styling
contour = magics.mcont( contour_automatic_setting = "ecmwf", )
coast = magics.mcoast()
magics.plot(output, data, contour, coast)

Running the test program will create a png named magics.png

You can find notebooks examples :


The main repository is hosted on GitHub, testing, bug reports and contributions are highly welcomed and appreciated:

Please see the CONTRIBUTING.rst document for the best way to help.

Lead developer:

Main contributors:


Copyright 2017-2018 European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF).

Licensed under the Apache License, Version 2.0 (the “License”); you may not use this file except in compliance with the License. You may obtain a copy of the License at: Unless required by applicable law or agreed to in writing, software distributed under the License is distributed on an “AS IS” BASIS, WITHOUT WARRANTIES OR CONDITIONS OF ANY KIND, either express or implied. See the License for the specific language governing permissions and limitations under the License.

Project details

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