Installing Py-ART and other radar software on keeling

Updated 4 August 2016

These instructions should work on linux or OS X, once you have installed python on your machine.  Follow the instructions here to install anaconda python on keeling.

How to install Py-ART

There are a few python dependencies to install before installing Py-ART.

You should be able to install them all in one fell swoop like this:

conda install Basemap nose gdal

conda install –channel trmm_rsl

conda install –channel cbc

conda install –channel cylp

Finally, install Py-ART

Now, we will install pyart.  There are two options: Install using conda (if you don’t need the latest development version), or installing from source.

Installing using conda:

Couldn’t be easier:

conda install --c pyart

Installing from source:

I create a python directory in my home directory, and enter it:

mkdir python
cd python

Now, I am going to use github (an open source package distribution site), where the latest Py-ART distribution is available.  Go to and sign up for an account (or sign in if you have one already).  The developers recommend setting up your keeling ssh keys so you can be on the development chain for pyart.  See instructions here on how to do this for linux. [This section needs some help, ultimately generate keys on keeling, copy the contents of ~/.ssh/ and paste them into the github account settings, and you should be good to go]

You also need to set your github username on keeling, substituting your username for the github username you just set up.

git config --global "githubusername"

Now, clone the repository to your computer

git clone

This will download Py-ART into a pyart subdirectory in your python directory.

Now, we’ll install Py-ART (almost)

cd github
python install

This will install the Py-ART package into your anaconda python environment.

Now you’re ready to run Py-ART.  To test it, you should see the following without error messages:

bash-4.1$ python
Python 2.7.6 |Anaconda 1.8.0 (64-bit)| (default, Jan 17 2014, 10:13:17) 
[GCC 4.1.2 20080704 (Red Hat 4.1.2-54)] on linux2
Type "help", "copyright", "credits" or "license" for more information.
>>> import pyart

Now what?

You now have a powerful tool to interactively process and display radar data.  You may want to also check out installing Radx (see accompanying page) for additional file conversion, gridding, and stratiform-convective separation tools.  These two tools together provide an excellent toolkit to work with radar data.

Important Py-ART Links

For help and more information, including documentation, examples, and mailing lists, see the following:


If you use the Python ARM Radar Toolkit (Py-ART) to prepare a publication please cite:

Helmus, J.J. & Collis, S.M., (2016). The Python ARM Radar Toolkit (Py-ART), a Library for Working with Weather Radar Data in the Python Programming Language. Journal of Open Research Software. 4(1), p.e25. DOI:

Py-ART implements many published scientific methods which should also be cited if you make use of them. Refer to the References section in the documentation of the functions used for information on these citations.

Py-ART Extensions

There are a bunch of extensions that use Py-Art, as well as other radar software.  As of writing, here are a few:

  • ARTView : Interactive radar viewing browser.
  • PyTDA : Python Turbulence Detection Algorithm.
  • SingleDop : Single Doppler Retrieval Toolkit.
  • DualPol : Python Interface to Dual-Pol Radar Algorithms.
  • PyBlock: Python Polarimetric Radar Beam Blockage Calculation

Other related open source software for working with weather radar data:

  • wradlib : An open source library for weather radar data processing.
  • BALTRAD : Community-based weather radar networking.
  • MMM-Py : Marshall MRMS Mosaic Python Toolkit.
  • CSU_RadarTools : Colorado State University Radar Tools.
  • TRMM RSL : TRMM Radar Software Library.
  • RadX: Radx C++ Software Package for Radial Radar Data.


While much of this information is from my experience, some of this information has been ungraciously lifted from the Py-ART


Py-ART is funded by the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement program of the Department of Energy.  S. Nesbitt has been supported by the Atmospheric System Research program of the Department of Energy.