Downloading WRF-GC

This section discusses:

  • Downloading the WRF model.

  • Downloading the WRF-GC coupler and the GEOS-Chem model.

  • Downloading the WPS (WRF Pre-Processor).


Currently, the GEOS-Chem model is included within the WRF-GC coupler. In the future, we plan to distribute these separately.

However, the GEOS-Chem model version within the WRF-GC coupler, located within the gc folder, is unmodified. You can change this copy of GEOS-Chem just as you would change any other copy of GEOS-Chem, for your research.


Do not move the WRF-GC directory after compiling, even on the same machine. Do not share a compiled copy of WRF-GC with others because during the compile process, the file paths are fixed. Always install a fresh copy of WRF and download the WRF-GC into the chem directory when you move folders!

Choose a folder to store your WRF-GC model, then proceed with the steps below.

Downloading WRF

Obtain the WRF model from the NCAR/WRFV3 GitHub (version for WRF-GC v1.0 and v2.0) or the wrf-model/WRF GitHub (version 4.0 and above for WRF-GC v3.0)

The currently supported version is WRF v3.9.1.1 (for WRF-GC v1.0 and v2.0).


If you would like to use WRF version 4, please contact the WRF-GC team for an experimental version.

For WRF-GC v1.0 and v2.0, use WRF version


Extract WRF into the WRFV3 folder (version 3). For simplicity, we refer to the folder as WRF below.

For WRF-GC v3.0, use WRF version 4.3 or 4.4


Extract WRF into the WRFV4.X folder (version 4), and rename it to WRF.

Downloading the WRF-GC coupler and GEOS-Chem model

  1. Go into the WRF folder and delete the existing WRF-Chem chemistry. Delete the chem folder entirely.

  2. Clone the WRF-GC repository into the chem folder.

git clone chem

Make sure you have cloned this into the chem folder. The folder should look like this:

WRF/chem$ ls
gc                config
chem_driver.F     module_chem_utilities.F    module_input_chem_data.F
chemics_init.F    module_convection_prep.F   module_data_rrtmgaeropt.F
wrfgc_convert_state_mod.F ...

Downloading the WPS Pre-Processor

Go outside the WRF folder and download WPS side-by-side with WPS, from the wrf-model/WPS GitHub. Download the version closest to your WRF version (3.9, 4.3, etc.)

Extract the WRF Pre-Processor.


If you are running simulations after July 2019, you have to use WPS version 4.0 or above. It works with WRF v3.9 as well. Refer to this post for details