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GRIB Explorer

GRIB Explorer


Industry-standard GRIB viewer for viewing downloaded GRIB files on  your computer or laptop.

SKU: OGRIBEX. Category: . Brands: .

From: $199.00

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GRIB ExplorerNow any mariner from day sailors to coastal cruisers and fishermen can use the weather and ocean charts offered by GRIB data. Surface pressure, wind, waves, swell, cloud cover, precipitation, sea temperature, currents, salinity, even sub-surface temperatures and mixed layer depths are available in GRIB format. Because GRIB data files are not standard graphics files, many graphics and/or navigation programs cannot open GRIB files. In the past, GRIB data was available only to ocean racers, shipping lines, and routing companies; those running expensive software packages. Not Anymore. Unleash the power of GRIB weather data with this easy-to-use GRIB viewer.

GRIB Explorer is a sophisticated GRIB viewer with a simple user interface. Here are a few of its features:

  • Open and view GRIB data in full color.
  • Customize the display to meet your needs.
  • View data, like 500mb and sea surface heights, in 3D.
  • Layer multiple weather parameters for enhanced analysis.
  • View cursor position at lat and lon, and weather data.
  • Easily add graphs of weather variables.
  • Zoom to specific locations and view in high detail.
  • Animate multiple GRIB products to gain an intuitive feel of upcoming weather and ocean conditions.
  • Supports GPS input allowing your vessel’s position to display on the screen.

AND, GRIB Explorer seamlessly integrates OCENS WeatherNet service with access to over 20,000 GRIB files available for quick and convenient download.

Why GRIB Data?

GRIB Explorer AnimationGRIB data is special because of its size, information content, and versatility of use. Generated by weather and ocean models operating on national, regional and sometimes global scales, GRIB files associate an environmental variable with a geographic position. Because the resulting file consists of just a collection of these points they are extremely small and thus readily transferred over bandwidth limited satcoms, cell phones and other wireless devices. The information content of GRIB data is awe-inspiring. Almost every conceivable weather and ocean data variable is available in GRIB format. Surface pressure, wind, waves, swell, cloud cover, precipitation, sea temperature, currents, salinity, even sub-surface temperatures and mixed layer depths are available in GRIB format. In many cases, spatial resolutions reach as low as to 0.1 degree lat/lon and are available on a global basis. The weather variables are forecasted out to 120 hours and longer so it is possible to use the GRIB data to view weather anticipated several days in advance.

Is GRIB Explorer Hard to Use?

GRIB Explorer has a simple, easy-to-use graphical user interface. Double-click on the GRIB file you have downloaded and it will instantly display the file in a very dynamic graphical format. The display can easily be changed to show contours lines, color filled contours, arrows or wind barbs, and even data point values. All of this allows relevant weather or ocean features to become much more evident.

How Do I Access GRIB Data?

GRIB files are available through many different resources, however, we highly recommend using OCENS WeatherNet to access GRIB files. With over 20,000 GRIB files, WeatherNet carries the world’s largest collection of GRIB weather and ocean data. Not only is the collection robust, but the WeatherNet delivery service drops those files onto your computer just seconds after your request through any satcom, cell phone or wireless device. Once delivered, the synergy between OCENS WeatherNet and OCENS GRIB Explorer is clearly evident. After the GRIB files are downloaded via WeatherNet, GRIB Explorer will launch and display your downloaded GRIB data. If you’ve downloaded a point forecast for a given GRIB variable, that file is displayed by itself. But if you’ve downloaded a series of forecasts (i.e. the analysis of present conditions out to 120 hours), GRIB Explorer kicks into animation mode automatically to put the weather in motion like you’ve never seen before.

What GRIB Types are Supported?

GRIB Explorer supports all the GRIB types available in WeatherNet. Here is a summary of the GRIB types that can be viewed:

  • NOAA (AVN) – world coverage at 1×1 degree resolution: surface wind, surface pressure, 500 mb wind, 500 mb contours, cloud cover, precipitation, surface temperature.
  • NAVY (NOGAPS/WW3) – world coverage at 1×1 degree resolution including the Med surface wind, surface pressure, 500 mb wind, 500 mb contours, cloud cover, precipitation, surface temperature primary wave, secondary wave, wind wave (Wave data consists of wave period, direction, and mean height).
  • NAVY (NLOM) – world overage at 1/16 x 1/16 degree resolution and 1/4 x 1/4 degree resolution surface currents, sea surface temperature, sea surface height, mixed layer depth.
  • NAVY (OTIS) – world coverage at 1×1 degree resolution sub-surface temperatures to 5000m, mixed layer depth
  • NOAA ( WW3) – world coverage at 1.25×1.25 degree resolution excluding the Med surface winds (2m), primary wave height, direction, and period.
  • NOAA (COFS) – East Coast US at 0.1×0.1 degree resolution currents from surface to 5000m, sea temp from surface to 5000m, salinity to 5000m.
  • THEYR – High resolution GRIB files for Med, North and Mid Atlantic, Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, East and West coast US and Alaska at 1/4 degree resolution, surface wind, surface pressure, 500 mb wind, 500 mb contours, precipitation, and surface temperature.


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What is a GRIB?

Gridded Binary data files (GRIB) are output files generated by computer forecasting models. They are tremendously more compact than regular weather charts and because of their size are very well suited for download via wireless means. The largest producer of GRIB weather is NOAA although other organizations such as the military and research institutions also generate GRIB files. NOAA GRIB files are the best ones suited for marine forecasts.

Be aware that these forecasts are published without human intervention. Human forecasters do not review the data before it’s published and therefore some knowledge and awareness is required by the end user. Also note that NOAA uses several models to generate GRIB files and it is the users responsibility to know the strengths and weaknesses of each forecast model before using them to plan their travels.

It is best to familiarize oneself with the GRIB files from each model for the area you travel in and compare these forecasts with other reliable weather sources before depending on them to make predictions. You will find that GRIB forecasts can be extremely accurate and in remote parts of the world possibly the only source of weather forecasting. We have had reports from users in the Beagle channel in South America that claim that the GRIB forecasts received from GMN are “spookily accurate”. None the less a keep in mind that a forecast is a “forecast” and forecasts have been known to inaccurately predict the future.

GFS/AVN vs. Wwave3 GRIB Files

NOAA produces two GRIB formats suitable for Ocean wind forecasts. These GRIB formats are produced by the Global Forecast System known as GFS/AVN and the wave watch model known as wwatch3. Both models generate similar forecasts but there are a few differences enumerated below:


  • Generates wind forecasts at Sea Level taking into account wave and current effects. Forecasts are only for Ocean waters. The model does not generate forecasts for interior bodies of water such as the Mediterranean, Baltic, Black Sea, and Great Lakes. Does not forecast winds over land. This results in smaller GRIB files which is a tremendous advantage to wireless users.
  • Generates forecasts for significant wave height, mean wave direction, mean wave period, peak wave period, peak wave direction, wind sea direction, and wind sea period. Forecasts are produced in 3 hour intervals for 7 days (168 Hours).
  • Model is run 4 times a day.
  • Data generated on 1×1.25 degree grids.


  • Produces wind forecasts for the globe (Ocean and Land) at 10m. Wave action is not taken into effect.
  • Forecasts are produced in 12 hour intervals to 7 days and then in 24 hour intervals to 14 days.
  • Generates forecasts for pressure at mean sea level, 500 mb pressure height, surface temperature at 10m, relative humidity, precipitation, plus much more.
  • Model is run 4 times a day.
  • Data generated on 1×1 or 2.5×2.5 grids.

GMN uses wwave3 GRIB data to generate Ocean wind and wave forecasts and GFS/AVN for pressure, temperature, 500mb. As a public service GMN delivers wwave3 wind forecasts at no charge via ftp, http, and email. No subscription is necessary to access the wind GRIB files. Users wishing additional data should consider using our premier data download product WeatherNet.

Advantages of GMN GRIB over other providers

  • GMN GRIB files are considerably smaller. Almost by a factor of 2.
  • More forecasts are packed into the files. You get forecasts for every 6 hours vs. 12 hour forecasts for most others.
  • E-Mail robot syntax is simpler supporting custom regions and automatic scheduling.
  • Wwave3 GRIB files used for wind forecasts.
  • The only disadvantage wwave3 has over GFS/AVN for wind forecasts is that it does not create wind data for interior bodies of water such as the Med, Baltic, Black Sea, etc… For these you will have to use the GFS/AVN GRIB files.

Note: The GMN mail robot will send you wwave3 GRIBs if you request a custom region or one of the static regions which does not contain an “interior” body of water. If your request a static region which contains an “interior” body of water such as the Med or Great Lakes you will receive an AVN GRIB file.

GRIB Explorer Quickstart Guide

GRIB Explorer User Guide (Mac)

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