Graphics: RIP4

RIP, which stands for Read/Interpolate/Plot, is a Fortran program that utilizes the NCAR Graphics System Plot Package suite of plotting routines for creating plots, primarily from mesoscale model output.

RIP is capable of producing horizontal or vertical cross section plots of scalar fields (contours) or vector fields (barbs or arrows), vertical profiles and soundings, and trajectories.

Its primary strengths are its portability, its complete and up-to-date documentation, and its extensive set of derived diagnostic quantities that are available for calculation and plotting. "RIP4" refers to the fourth major release of RIP, which has been generalized to process output from any model regardless of the vertical coordinate the model uses.


Features and Limitations

  • Requires a large intermediate data set (seen by some as a disadvantage). A program called "ripdp" converts WRF system data files into files only the RIP plotting program can read. Both the data converter and the plotting program are provided in this download.
  • Vertical interpolation to pressure, height levels, etc. is handled on-the-fly by the plotting program, providing added versatility.
  • Can process model input and output files.
  • Can process output from real-weather, 2-D and idealized simulations.
  • Does not yet make use of the WRF I/O API software, so only netCDF data can be processed.
  • A very large number of diagnostics are available.
  • Cannot currently be used for global or lat-lon WRF model domains



NCAR Graphics libraries (


Since the release of NCL version 5 (November 2007), NCL (NCAR Command Language) and NCAR Graphics have been merged. If you don't already have NCAR Graphics on you system, simply install NCL version 5 or higher.


The RIP Users Guide (ripug) is available in the RIP4 tar file in the Doc/ directory, or online at:


Get the source code