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The Python ARM Radar Toolkit (Py-ART)

The Python ARM Radar Toolkit, Py-ART, is an open source Python module containing a growing collection of weather radar algorithms and utilities build on top of the Scientific Python stack and distributed under the 3-Clause BSD license. Py-ART is used by the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Climate Research Facility for working with data from a number of precipitation and cloud radars, but has been designed so that it can be used by others in the radar and atmospheric communities to examine, processes, and analyse data from many types of weather radars.

Important Links


Py-ART is tested to work under Python 2.6, 2.7, 3.3, and 3.4.

The required dependencies to install Py-ART in addition to Python are:

As well as a working C/C++ compiler. An easy method to install these dependencies is by using a Scientific Python distributions. Anaconda will install all of the above packages by default on Linux and Mac computers and is provided free of charge by Continuum Analytics.

Optional Dependences

The above Python modules are require before installing Py-ART, additional functionality is available of the the following modules are installed.

  • TRMM Radar Software Library (RSL). If installed Py-ART will be able to read in radar data in a number of additional formats (Lassen, McGill, Universal Format, and RADTEC) and perform automatic dealiasing of doppler velocities. RSL should be install prior to installing Py-ART. The environmental variable RSL_PATH should point to the location where RSL was installed if RSL was not installed in the default location (/usr/local/trmm).
  • A linear programming solver and Python wrapper to use the LP phase processing method. CyLP is recommended as it gives the fastest results, but PyGLPK and CVXOPT are also supported. The underlying LP solvers CBC or GLPK will also be required depending on which wrapper is used.
  • Basemap. If installed the ability to plot grids on geographic maps is available.
  • wradlib. Needed to calculate the texture of a differential phase field.
  • nose. Required to run the Py-ART unit tests.


The latest source code for Py-ART can be obtained from the GitHub repository, Either download and unpack the zip file of the source code or use git to checkout the repository:

git clone

To install in your home directory, use:

python install --user

To install for all users on Unix/Linux:

python build
sudo python install

Additional install instructions can be found in the INSTALL.rst file in this directory.


Py-ART is an open source, community software project. Contributions to the package are welcomed from all users.


The latest source code can be obtained with the command:

git clone

If you are planning on making changes that you would like included in Py-ART, forking the repository is highly recommended.


We welcome contributions for all used of Py-ART provided the code can be distributed under the BSD 3-clause license. A copy of this license is available in the LICENSE.txt file in this directory.


After installation, you can launch the test suite from outside the source directory (you will need to have nosetests installed):

$ nosetests --exe pyart

In-place installs can be tested using the nosetest command from within the source directory.

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