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Python client for ECMWF web services API.

Project description



Install via pip with:

$ pip install ecmwf-api-client


Anonymous access (default, not recommended)

Anonymous access is the default type of access, with no configuration needed.

However, anonymous access is only available for a limited set of datasets, and comes with a much lower quality of service. For access to all the available datasets, and an improved quality of service, please use registered access (see below).

Registered access (recommended)

  • Register with ECMWF at

  • Login at

  • Retrieve you API access key at

    Note that the API access key expires in 1 year. You will receive an email to the registered email address 1 month before the expiration date with the renewal instructions. To check the expiry date of your current key, log into, and go to

  • Copy and paste the API access key into the file $HOME/.ecmwfapirc (Unix/Linux) or %USERPROFILE%\.ecmwfapirc (Windows: usually in C:\Users\<USERNAME>\.ecmwfapirc).

    Your $HOME/.ecmwfapirc (Unix/Linux) or %USERPROFILE%\.ecmwfapirc (Windows) should look something like this:

        "url"   : "",
        "email" : ""
  • Alternatively, one can use a file of their own liking, and point to it using environment variable ECMWF_API_RC_FILE. ECMWF_API_RC_FILE should be set to the full path of the given file. This method takes priority of the previous method of using a .ecmwfapirc file.

  • As yet another option, one can set the API access key values directly in the environment using variables ECMWF_API_KEY (key), ECMWF_API_URL (url), ECMWF_API_EMAIL (email). This method takes priority over the previous method of using environment variable ECMWF_API_RC_FILE.


You can test this small python script to retrieve TIGGE ( data. Note that access to TIGGE data requires registered access, and is subject to accepting a licence at

#!/usr/bin/env python
from ecmwfapi import ECMWFDataServer

# To run this example, you need an API key
# available from

server = ECMWFDataServer()
    'origin'    : "ecmf",
    'levtype'   : "sfc",
    'number'    : "1",
    'expver'    : "prod",
    'dataset'   : "tigge",
    'step'      : "0/6/12/18",
    'area'      : "70/-130/30/-60",
    'grid'      : "2/2",
    'param'     : "167",
    'time'      : "00/12",
    'date'      : "2014-11-01",
    'type'      : "pf",
    'class'     : "ti",
    'target'    : "tigge_2014-11-01_0012.grib"


Logging messages by default are emitted to stdout using Python's print statement.

To change that behaviour, one can define their own logging function and use it like so:

import logging
from ecmwfapi import ECMWFDataServer


def my_logging_function(msg):

server = ECMWFDataServer(log=my_logging_function)


Copyright 2019 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. In applying this licence, ECMWF does not waive the privileges and immunities granted to it by virtue of its status as an intergovernmental organisation nor does it submit to any jurisdiction.

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