Installing pysteps


The pysteps package needs the following dependencies

Additionally, the following packages can be installed for better computational efficiency:

  • dask and toolz (for code parallelization)
  • pyfftw (for faster FFT computation)

Other optional dependencies include:

  • cartopy (for geo-referenced visualization)
  • h5py (for importing HDF5 data)
  • pygrib (for importing MRMS data)
  • pywavelets (for intensity-scale verification)

Install from source

The recommended way to install pysteps from the source is using pip to adhere to the [PEP517 standards]( Using pip instead of guarantees that all the package dependencies are properly handled during the installation process.

OSX users

pySTEPS uses Cython extensions that need to be compiled with multi-threading support enabled. The default Apple Clang compiler does not support OpenMP. Hence, using the default compiler would have disabled multi-threading and may raise the following error during the installation:

clang: error: unsupported option '-fopenmp'
error: command 'gcc' failed with exit status 1

To solve this issue, obtain the latest gcc version with Homebrew that has multi-threading enabled:

brew install gcc

To make sure that the installer uses the homebrew’s gcc, export the following environmental variables in the terminal (supposing that gcc version 8 was installed):

export CC=gcc-8
export CXX=g++-8

First, check that the homebrew’s gcc is detected:

which gcc-8

This should point to the homebrew’s gcc installation.

Under certain circumstances, Homebrew does not add the symbolic links for the gcc executables under /usr/local/bin. If that is the case, specify the CC and CCX variables using the full path to the homebrew installation. For example:

export CC=/usr/local/Cellar/gcc/8.3.0/bin/gcc-8
export CXX=/usr/local/Cellar/gcc/8.3.0/bin/g++-8

Then, you can continue with the normal installation procedure described next.


The latest pysteps version in the repository can be installed using pip by simply running in a terminal:

pip install git+

Or, from a local copy of the repo (global installation):

git clone
cd pysteps
pip install .

The above commands install the latest version of the master branch, which is continuously under development.

Development mode

The latest version can also be installed in Development Mode, i.e., in such a way that the project appears to be installed, but yet is still editable from the source tree:

pip install -e <path to local pysteps repo>

Setting up the user-defined configuration file

The pysteps package allows the users to customize the default settings and configuration. The configuration parameters used by default are loaded from a user-defined JSON file and then stored in the pysteps.rcparams, a dictionary-like object that can be accessed as attributes or as items.