Environmental Modeling Center Environmental Modeling Center Environmental Modeling Center United States Department of Commerce

EMC Operational Wave Model Data Access

The content provided on this page supports model development. These are not official NWS products and should not be relied upon for operational purposes. This web site is not subject to 24/7 support, and thus may be unavailable during system outages.

Operationally generated graphics of the wave fields (no spectra or source terms) are available from Model Analyses and Guidance.

Bulletin files are available from the Production FTP/HTTPS server. Look for gfs.YYYYMMDD/CC/wave/station/bulls.tCCz/gfswave.stationID.bull

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Model Data

Model data from the latest NOAA WAVEWATCH III® runs is available in GRIB (GRIdded Binary) format on the Marine Modeling and Analyses Branch FTP server, the NCEP NOMADS GDS/DODS data server, and the NCEP Central Operations Production FTP server, at the following URLs:

  • Current Data (WAVEWATCH III® multigrid latest version)
    1. FTPPRD (NCO Production FTP Server, today and three days prior.)
    2. MMAB FTP (Marine Branch FTP server, last six runs)
    3. NOMADS (in Ocean Models) (present + 1 week archive)

  • Current Data (WAVEWATCH III® ensemble)
    1. MMAB FTP (Marine Branch FTP server, today and three days prior)

  • Archived Data (WAVEWATCH III® Production Hindcast)
    1. MMAB FTP (Marine Branch FTP server, 1999 - 2018)
    2. NODC THREDDS (NODC Archive, 2005 - 2018)

Notes and Information on Using WAVEWATCH III® Model Data


The operational data file format is GRiB (GRIdded Binary). Additional information on the use of GRiB at NCEP is available here.

To work with WAVEWATCH III® GRiB, any standard tools which read GRiB will work. One such tool is the freely available wgrib2 utility. The wgrib2 home page and software is here.

For analyzing the model data in MATLAB® we recommend the NCTOOLBOX for MATLAB. NCTOOLBOX can read NetCDF, OPeNDAP, HDF5, GRIB, GRIB2, HDF4 and many (15+) other file formats. The complete list of formats is available here.