For more than 30 years, meteorology students, researchers, and operational practitioners
have used the GEMPAK (GEneral Meteorology PAcKage) software package for data analysis and
visualization of a diverse set of atmospheric science datasets. Initially developed in the
late 1980s to produce forecast and analysis graphics for the National Weather Service’s
National Centers for Environmental Prediction, GEMPAK has been superseded by more modern
software in operational settings, and has not been actively developed by the Weather
Service since 2008. Within the education and research community, however, GEMPAK’s potent
combination of powerful analysis and visualization tools, ease of use, and low cost (it’s
free) has led to its continued use, despite its age.
Unidata’s MetPy project aims to help the academic community modernize its software toolset
by bringing the best features of GEMPAK into the burgeoning world of scientific Python.