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HOME > Monitoring_and_Data > Oceanic and Atmospheric Data > Reanalysis: Atmospheric Data > wgrib2 -set_scaling

wgrib2: -set_scaling


The values at the grid points points are stared in a general format,

  Y = (R + i*2**B)*(10**D)

  R = reference value
  i = integer, 0..2**N-1
  N = binary bit precision
  B = binary scaling
  D = decimal scaling
There are 3 sytems for storing the number which I have called

ECMWF convention: D = 0, N = parameter

  Y = R + i*2**B
  R = reference value
  i = integer, 0..2**N-1
  N = binary bit precision, a parameter
  B = binary scaling, determined by grib routines

NCEP convention: B = parameter, D = parameter

  R = reference value
  i = integer, 0..2**N-1
  N = binary bit precision, determined by grib routines
  B = binary scaling, a parameter
  D = decimal scaling, a parameter

  Note, global model uses a variant: B = 0, D = parameter

Both the ECMWF and NCEP conventions have their advantages and disadvantages. The ECMWF method is easier to use, you just set the binary precision to 12 or 16 bits for all variables and you are done. With the NCEP convention, you have to set the scaling for each variable separately. For some variables such as specific humidity, the scaling should be pressure dependent. On the other hand, if you are trying to get the smallest files, the NCEP convention is better. For example, you want to get the RH to the nearest integer. With the NCEP method, you simply set D = B = 0. For general use, I suggest that you use the ECMWF convention because people time is usually more valuable than disk space. Ok, I value my time more than a few GB. On the othe hand, I've been involved with more than my share of projects were disk space has been the critical issue.


The -set_scaling option is used to set wgrib2 to encode data using the NCEP convention.

-set_scaling D B
  D = decimal scaling
  B = binary scaling

See alse: -set_bin_prec -set_grib_max_bits

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Page last modified: May 15, 2005
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