netCDF (network Common Data Form) is a file format for storing multidimensional scientific data (variables) such as temperature, humidity, pressure, wind speed, and direction (e.g., temperature varying with time in an area ).

A netCDF file contains dimensions, variables, and attributes. These components are used together to capture the meaning of data and relations among data fields in an array-oriented dataset.The structure of a netCDF file is described using CDL.

netcdf filename {
dimensions:
lat = 3 ;
lon = 3 ;
time = UNLIMITED ;
variables:
float lat(lat) ;
lat:units = "degrees_north" ;
float lon(lon) ;
lon:units = "degrees_east" ;
double time(time) ;
time:units = "seconds since 2009-01-01" ;
float pr(time, lat, lon) ;
pr:standard_name = "air_pressure_at_sea_level" ;
pr:units = "hPa" ;
:title="example CDL";

data:

lat = 25, 30, 35;
lon = -125, -110, -95 ;
time = 7776000, 15552000 ;
pr =
900.5, 901, 902, 903, 904, 905, 906, 907, 908, 909, 910, 911,
912, 913, 914, 915, 916, 917;
}