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MARS, the ECMWF archive


The Meteorological Archival and Retrieval System (MARS) is the main repository of meteorological data at ECMWF. It contains terabytes of operational and research data as well as data from Special Projects.

MARS data is available free of charge to registered users in the Member States and Co-operating States.

There is no public access to MARS. For research and commercial use, data can be obtained through our Data Services. For research use only, some datasets are available free of charge on our Data Server.


This (static) page is intended to give a high level overview of the content of the MARS archive,


The web pages that you will find here are dynamically built from the content of the MARS metadata databases, as you browse them. This catalogue represents the exact state of the MARS archive. Every one of the billions of meteorological fields can be reached and retrieved from it.

Support for observations is not yet available.

Data Finder

Since the catalogue above is organized according to the content of the MARS metadata databases, its structure may not be appropriate for quickly finding information such as "When were ozone fields first introduced into MARS?". The Data Finder tries to meet this need by fully indexing the operational part of the archive and allows you to navigate this index in various ways.

The Data Finder database is only updated two days after the archive.

Last update

Every night, the output of all ECMWF operational models is archived, as soon as it is produced. At the end of the archival process, a set of web pages that describe what meteorological fields have been added to MARS is created automatically.

Parameter database

This view of the MARS content is based on GRIB tables, e.g. on one page you can see which meteorological parameters in GRIB table 128 are archived in MARS and sort them by their GRIB code or MARS abbreviation. By following the appropriate links you can also find further information on the computation of individual parameters in our model.

Changes in the archive

These pages describe the changes in the archive, such as the addition or discontinuation of fields, as well as missing data.

Server activity

The MARS system responds to tens of thousands of requests daily. The duration of a retrieval depends on the number of concurrent requests the system is processing and the amount of data retrieved, as well as the number of tape mounts involved. You can monitor the progress of your requests from this page.


These pages contain information about the MARS system and the MARS request language.



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