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Atmospheric Model Evaluation Tool (AMET) v1.4

Installation Guide


1. Introduction
2. Download AMET Software and Test Case Data
3. Install AMET and Related Software
4. Configure AMET
5. Install Test Case Data

1. Introduction

The Atmospheric Model Evaluation Tool (AMET) (Appel et al., 2011; Gilliam et al., 2005) is a suite of software designed to facilitate the analysis and evaluation of results from meteorological and air quality models. AMET matches the model output for particular locations to the corresponding observed values from one or more networks of monitors. These pairings of values (model and observation) are then used to statistically and graphically analyze model performance.

More specifically, AMET can analyze outputs from the PSU/NCAR Mesoscale Model (MM5), the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model, the Model for Prediction Across Scales (MPAS), the Community Multiscale Air Quality (CMAQ) model, the Comprehensive Air Quality Model with Extensions (CAMx), and Meteorology-Chemistry Interface Processor (MCIP)-postprocessed meteorological data (surface only). The basic structure of AMET consists of two fields and two processes.

  • The two fields (scientific topics) are MET and AQ, corresponding to meteorology and air quality data.

  • The two processes (actions) are database population and analysis. Database population refers to the underlying structure of AMET; after the observations and model data are paired in space and time, the pairs are inserted into a MySQL database. Analysis refers to the statistical evaluation of these pairings and their subsequent plotting.

Practically, a user may be interested in using only one of the fields (either MET or AQ), or may be interested in using both fields. That decision is based on the scope of the study. The main software components of AMET are MySQL (an open-source database software system) and R (a free software environment for statistical computing and graphics).

Note that in AMETv1.3, perl was deprecated and is not longer used.

This installation guide describes the steps involved in the AMET software installation process. This guide describes how to (1) download the AMET scripts and test data, (2) install the AMET source code and scripts, (3) configure AMET, and (4) install pre-packaged data for testing the AMET installation. Notes are provided wherever appropriate pertaining to the installation on a Linux server.

Refer to the AMET User's Guide for instructions on adding new data to the system, and configuring/creating plots.

2. Download AMET Software and Test Case Data

Download the AMET software from GitHub and test case data from the CMAS Center as follows:

Download AMET source code and scripts

Go to

To download a zip archive of the software, click the "Clone or Download" button and select "Download ZIP".

To clone the AMET installation directory to a Linux server, use the following command:

git clone -b master AMET_v14

Note that this command assumes that git is installed on the Linux system.

Download AMET test data

  • Go to and log in using your existing CMAS account. If you do not already have an account, you will need to create one.
  • Navigate to the CMAS Software Clearinghouse by selected Download -> Software from the drop-down menu at the top of the CMAS Center home page.
  • Use the Select Software to Download box, select AMET, and click on the “Submit” button.
  • Choose “AMET 1.4” as the product, “Linux PC” as the operating system, and “GNU compilers” as the choice of compiler, and then click on the “Submit” button.
  • The following items are available for download:
  • a link to the AMET 1.4 Installation Guide (this document)
  • a link to the AMET 1.4 User’s Guide
  • a link to the AMET 1.4 Quick Start Guide
  • a tarball of CMAQ model test data and air quality observations (AMETv14_aqExample.tar.gz)
  • a tarball of WRF model test data and meteorology observations (AMETv14_metExample.tar.gz)

3. Install AMET and Related Software

The AMET distribution package consists primarily of Linux c-shell and R scripts. To work as expected for creating model performance evaluation products, the AMET scripts require a series of 3rd-party software packages to be installed on the AMET host Linux system.

Many of these 3rd-party packages are available through standard Linux package management systems, such as yum (RHEL-based) and apt (Debian-based). Users are encouraged to install as much of the 3rd-party AMET software as possible through these package management systems.

AMET Tier 1 Software

Tier 1 software are used by the AMET Tier 2 and Tier 3 components and must be present on a Linux system to run AMET. Confirm that all of the Tier 1 software are installed on your system before proceeding with the AMET installation. Refer to the documentation for each package for instructions on how to download and install the software.

The versions of these packages that were used by the CMAS Center in their installation and testing are included in parentheses:

  • gzip (1.3.9)

  • gfortran (4.1.2) or other F90 compiler

  • ImageMagick (; Note: You need only the convert utility from this package.

AMET Tier 2 Software

Tier 2 software includes scientific software utilities for accessing and storing data, calculating statistics, and creating graphics. Web links are provided here to the download the software. Refer to the documentation provided by the software distributors for installation instructions. Notes specific to the installation of these packages for use with AMET are provided here.

Network Common Data Form (netCDF)


  • Installation needs to include a static library and include files.
  • You will need the ncdump utility.
  • By default, netCDF is installed in /usr/local. To install it in a different directory, see the installation notes.
  • When using the gcc compilers, make sure g++ is set up to use gcc, as the c++ compiler will not work correctly.
  • For netCDF versions later than 4.1, the C and Fortran versions of the library are distributed and built separately.

Input/Output Applications Programming Interface (I/O API)


  • If I/O API and netCDF are already installed on your system, use those packages for AMET.
  • Build the nocpl version of the I/O API for the data formats used with AMET.



  • Install both the MySQL server and client. At a minimum, the MySQL client must be on the same machine that will host the AMET scripts. The MySQL server can either be installed on the AMET host or an a remote host.
  • MySQL development files (include files and libraries), such as mysql.h and, are needed on the system that will run AMET.
  • If MySQL server is installed on a remote host, the server permissions will need to be granted to support accessing the database from the AMET local host.
  • There are different ways to configure MySQL for use with AMET. In the example below, a single database user, ametsecure, is created with root access to the database. This user is given full privileges to read-write to the database. This user would then be able to load data into the database and create plots. As write access to the database is only needed to load data into the system and not to create plots, additional users with only read access could be created, if needed.

Example for configuring MySQL on a remote host with a user that has full access privileges.

After installing MySQL, initialize a data directory for AMET and then start the server, and connect to the server, per the MySQL instructions.

Once connected to the server, use the following commands to set up a single AMET user called ametsecure with full access to the database. In this example replace, "some_pass" with a password of your choice. You'll use this password in the AMET configuration script to provide access to the database.

mysql> create user 'ametsecure'@'localhost' identified by 'some_pass';
mysql> grant all privileges on \*.\* to 'ametsecure'@'localhost' with grant option;
mysql> \q


After you have installed the basic R software, AMET also requires the following additional R packages:

  • RMySQL
  • date
  • maps
  • mapdata
  • stats
  • plotrix
  • fields
  • leaflet
  • htmlwidgets

The easiest way to install R packages, is through the R package manager. Once R is installed, use the following commands to install these packages (note that the ">" denotes the Linux command prompt):

> sudo R
> install.packages(c("RMySQL", "date", "maps", "mapdata","stats","plotrix", "Fields"))


Note: The tarball from the above link does not contain its own directory, so we recommend that you create a wgrib directory before untarring.

Install AMET Source Code and Tier 3 Software

The AMET Tier 3 software includes utilities for pairing model and observation data. Unlike the Tier 1 and Tier 2 software, the Tier 3 software is included in the AMET software distribution package. After either unzipping the AMET zip file from GitHub or using the git clone command provided above, the AMET source code and Tier 3 software will be installed on your Linux system.

The AMET top-level installation directory will include the following subdirectories (with brief descriptions):

  • bin - 3rd party binaries used by the AMET scripts
  • configure - configuration settings for the local AMET installation
  • model_data - model output data for comparison with observations
  • obs - ambient air quality and meteorology observations
  • output - output of AMET scripts, including plots
  • R_analysis_code - R scripts for all AMET analyses
  • R_db_code - R scripts for loading data into the MySQL database
  • scripts_analysis - AMET analysis scripts
  • scripts_db - scripts for populating the AMET database
  • src - source code for AMET Tier 3 software
  • web_interface - templates for a PHP web interface to AMET

In the src directory there are three Fortran programs for pairing model and observed data. Before using the AMET database and analysis scripts, these programs must be compiled using Fortran Makefiles that are included in the source code directories. The executables for these programs must be available for the AMET database scripts (scripts_db), as they are used to pair the model and observations before the data are loaded into the AMET database.

  • bldoverlay - creates a PAVE overlay file for creating observation overlay plots
  • sitecmp - pairs hourly and daily observation and model data for many of the networks compatible with AMET
  • sitecmp_dailyo3 - calculates daily maximum 1-hour and 8-hour ozone pairs for analysis with AMET

To compile these programs, edit the makefile file that is located in each tool src directory. Point the makefile to the location of the local I/O API and netCDF installation directories. Use the following commands to apply the settings in the config.amet script before running make to build the Tier 3 programs.

> cd $AMETBASE/tools_src
cd combine/src
edit the combine Makefile
> Make
> cd bldoverlay/src
edit the bldoverlay Makefile
> Make
> cd ../sitecmp/scr
edit the sitecmp Makefile
> Make
> cd ../sitecmp_dailyo3/scr
edit the sitecmp_dailyo3 Makefile
> Make

4. Configure AMET

AMET uses a centralized R script to set up the AMET environment for loading data into the database and for producing plots. The AMET configuration script is located in the configure directory under the base AMET installation area. The following environment variables in the amet-config.R script must be set before using any of the other AMET scripts.

  • amet_base - base AMET installation directory path
  • EXEC_sitex_daily_config - sitecmp_dailyo3 executable directory path
  • EXEC_sitex_config - sitecmp executable directory path
  • obs_data_dir - observational data directory path; typically $amet_base/obs
  • mysql_server - IP Address or name of MySQL server used for AMET
  • amet_login - login ID to the AMET MySQL database server
  • amet_pass- password for the AMET MySQL database server
  • maxrec - the maximum number of records allowed in a single MySQL query
  • Bldoverlay_exe_config - bldoverlay executable directory path

Note: the amet_login and amet_pass settings in the amet-config.R script must be for a MySQL user that has read-write access to the database.

Following from the example above, if you created a user called ametsecure with the password some_pass, set amet_login and amet_pass in amet-config.R to use these settings. Otherwise, set these variable to login and password that you selected when setting up MySQL.

Additional AMET configuration is handled in the database loading and plot creation scripts. See the AMET 1.3 User’s Guide on configuring AMET for additional details.

5. Install Test Case Data

The final step in the installation process is to install the test case data sets. These include sample model output data and observational data.

Install sample data

In this step, you will untar the previously downloaded model outputs and observational data from Section 2 in the corresponding directories indicated below.

Meteorological data

(25 GB uncompressed, 16 GB compressed)

Untar the file AMETv13_metExample.tar.gz in the directory $AMETBASE. This tarball contains 31 days’ worth of WRF and MPAS outputs in netCDF format, hourly point METAR data from MADIS, and example AMET analysis plots. The temporal range is July 1 2011 0:00 UTC to July 31 2011 23:00 UTC for WRF and July 1 2013 0:00 UTC to July 31 2013 23:00 UTC for MPAS. The spatial domain covers the continental U.S. at 12-km resolution.

After you untar the tarfiles above, the directory $AMETBASE/model_data/MET/metExample will contain the following files.

Meteorology observational data are installed under $AMETBASE/obs/MET.

Air quality data

(35 GB uncompressed; 30 GB compressed)

Untar the AMETv13_aqExample.tar.gz file in the directory $AMETBASE. For CMAQ, we have provided an ACONC and a WETDEP output file from a CMAQ simulation to demonstrate analysis capabilities involving the AERO6 suite of species. The model output files are netCDF outputs from the combine postprocessing step. The temporal range is from July 1 2011 00:00 UTC to July 31 2011 00:00 UTC with a spatial domain covering the continental U.S at 12-km resolution. This archive also contains surface air quality observations for 2011 and sample AMET analysis plots.

After you untar the tarfiles above, the directory $AMETBASE/model_data/AQ/aqExample will contain the following files.

-rw-r----- 1 user user 67800289168 Mar 15 11:34 CCTM_CMAQv52_Sep15_cb6_Hemi_New_LTGNO_combine.aconc.07
-rw-r----- 1 user user 46561648232 Mar 15 11:48 CCTM_CMAQv52_Sep15_cb6_Hemi_New_LTGNO_combine.dep.07

Air quality observational data for the following networks are installed under $AMETBASE/obs/AQ:

North America

  • Air Quality System (AQS) network
  • Clean Air Status and Trends Network (CASTNET)
  • Interagency Monitoring of Protected Visual Environments (IMPROVE)
  • Chemical Speciation Network (CSN)
  • National Atmospheric Deposition Program (NADP) network
  • SouthEastern Aerosol Research and Characterization Study (SEARCH)


  • Aerosol Robotic Network (AERONET)
  • Regional and global analysis of CO2, water vapor and energy (FLUXNET)

A brief description of data from each of these networks is provided in the AMET User’s Guide included in this release. Refer to the respective web sites for additional information on these datasets, monitoring protocols, updates, etc. The observational datasets have been preprocessed and reformatted (in some instances from their original sources) for access by AMET. We have also provided the monitoring station locations in a set of .csv files in the subdirectory $AMETBASE/obs/AQ/site_files. The site lists are an important set of metadata files that allow AMET to match modeled and observed data at the available locations from each network, and is critical to the database loading.

Please see the Atmospheric Model Evaluation Tool (AMET) User’s Guide for instructions on how to load new data, configure and create plots.


Appel, K. Wyat, et al. "Overview of the atmospheric model evaluation tool (AMET) v1. 1 for evaluating meteorological and air quality models." Environmental Modelling & Software 26.4 (2011): 434-443.

Gilliam, R. C., W. Appel, and S. Phillips. The Atmospheric Model Evaluation (AMET): Meteorology Module. Presented at 4th Annual CMAS Models-3 Users Conference, Chapel Hill, NC, September 26 - 28, 2005.