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HD(CP)² Data Sets

The data used in this contest is part of a larger simulation ans shows the weather over central Europe for April 26, 2013. The simulation uses COSMO reanalysis forcing data from exactly this day. Internally, the simulation was computed on the original ICON grid, but was additionally resampled to a rectilinear lat/lon grid for easier data access. The visualization tasks, however, also include visualizations of the data on the original ICON grid.

The data is organized as netCDF data files and is made available through the DKRZ cloud storage system, from which it can easily be download, either in part or full. Almost all visualization applications can read and visualize regular lon/lat netCDF data, while some are also able to read and render ICON data on it original unstructured grid. One of which is ParaView, which is also part of our regular workflow. If you'd like to use ParaView with the ICON plugin in a client/server setting, please contact at DKRZ. The flight trajectories are available as MATLAB data file. In order to receive the link to the download page, please register below with your full name, your email address and your affiliation. Afterwards, you will receive a link to the download website, but it is also possible to download the entire data set using wget.

As the contest is over, registration has been disabled. If you are still interested in this data, please contact at DKRZ.



The data files include the labeled 2D or 3D variables, as well as the lon/lat grid description, or the ICON grid description. The temporal resolution for 3D variables is 1 minute, for the 2D variables 10 seconds. The variable Z_IFC is only available for the lon/lat grid, but as all data is georeferenced, it can also easily be combined and used with the ICON data too. You can check the variables and the dimensions of a netCDF file using the command 'ncdump -h". Some of the variables also feature missing values, which means that at those positions a data value is not defined. Within a netCDF data file, this is shown using a missing_values or a _FillValues attribute. The following variables are available in the netCDF files:

3D Grid                                                                                         2D Grid

HUS - specific humidity (measured in kg/kg) Z_IFC - half grid levels i.e. height above sea level (measured in m)
CLW - specific cloud water content (measured in kg/kg) CLT - total cloud cover (measured in %)
CLI - specific cloud ice content (measured in kg/kg) CCT - cloud top pressure (measured in Pa)
QR - rain mixing ratio (measured in kg/kg) CCB - cloud base pressure (measured in Pa)
UA - zonal wind (measured in m/s) T_CTOP - cloud top temperature (measured in K)
VA - meridional wind (measured in m/s) T_CBASE - cloud base temperature (measured in K)
WA - vertical wind (measured in m/s) U_10 - zonal wind at 10m height (measured in m/s)
TA - air temperature (measured in K) V_10 - meridional wind at 10m height (measured in m/s)
PRES - air pressure (measured in Pa) RUNOFF_S -  weighted surface water runoff (measured in kg/m²)


As the data for this SciVis Contest is quite large, we decided to make it additionally available in smaller versions with less time steps. However, you will receive bonus points, if you are working with the full size data set and create animations using all timesteps available. The full size data is available for 240 minutes, while the two smaller data sets have 20 minutes or 1 minute respectively. The flight trajectories are provided as MATLAB table with a description of the table layout. The 2D/3D data showing the three different domains is only available as ICON data with 2D data only containing the cloud but not the surface variables.  

  • 81 MB, 12 GB - One single time step for 2D and 3D variables (LON/LAT, time: 8:00pm)
  • 8.1 GB, 236 GB - A 20 minute time series for 2D and 3D variables (LON/LAT, time range: 7.40pm - 8:00pm)
  • 96 GB, 2.6 TB - A 4 hour time series for 2D and 3D variables (LON/LAT, time range: 5:00pm - 9:00pm)
  • 780 MB, 2.5 GB, 7.3 GB - One single time step for 2D cloud variables Domain 1, 2 and 3 (ICON, time: 6.22pm)
  • 12 GB, 39 GB, 114 GB - One single time step for 3D variables Domain 1, 2 and 3 (ICON, time: 6.22pm)
  • 1.9 GB - One single time step for 3D variables Domain 2 (LON/LAT low resolution, time: 6.22pm)
  • 50 MB - Flight trajectories Europe for April 26, 2013

The HD(CP)² climate simulation data can also be used in other research projects and publications, provided that the data source is cited and referenced as: Data courtesy DKRZ/MPI-M.

The flight data and airplane trajectories from EUROCONTROL can also be used in other research projects and publications, provided that the data source is cited and referenced as: Data courtesy EUROCONTROL Network Manager.

CDO The Climate Data Operators

CDO is a very unique and great tool for processing netCDF climate data. It provides a large collection of operators for data selection and modification, interpolation and many more. If you feel the need to select certain variables and/or time steps, or to interpolate the data in the vertical direction, CDO is the tool of your choice. It is available on many platforms and supports all general grids.