PP Binary Format

PP file format

A brief description of the PP format with links to software utilities and code tables.


PP-format is a record-based binary format used in a number of datasets archived in the CEDA archives. It is a Met Office proprietary format mainly associated with Met Office products, though not exclusively.

CEDA holds a number of software utilities available for handling PP. These including decoding, unpacking, subsetting, converting and byte-swapping. Please see the XCONV/CONVSH pages for details on the software available.

If you are familiar with Python then you could use either the Python package IRIS, developed by the UK Met Office to read PP files or CF-Python (and the accompanying CF-Plot) to read and analyse PP files. 

Description of PP-format

The official Met Office Unified Model Documentation Paper F3 describes the PP-format in some detail.

More information about tools and the pp-format can be found on the NCAS CMS site.

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