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HYSPLIT Graphical Utilities

Graphical Utilities

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HYSPLIT Utilities Download Page

The Windows executable of HYSPLIT is available as a self installing file. The package is complete in that it contains all the documentation and test data. However, the utility programs such as Tcl/Tk, Ghostscript, and ImageMagick must be independently downloaded and installed to be able to use all the features of the HYSPLIT Graphical User Interface (GUI). You can download these programs from the links below. Not that each section indicates the latest version that has been tested with HYSPLIT.

Installing the Tcl/Tk graphical user interface

Although not required to run the PC version of HYSPLIT, various GUI scripts are provided that use Tcl/Tk 8.5 or later. The model can also be run from a DOS window using a command line interface. However, it is easier for novice users to use the Tcl/Tk interface. The standard HYSPLIT installation includes all the GUI scripts, but the Tcl/Tk interpreter is not part of the distribution. You can download and compile the source code, use one of the precompiled binaries available from the Tcl/Tk web site, or download and unzip the file to a directory on your computer (C:\tcl for example) that contains a Windows executable (bin/wish86t.exe) we compiled for you. Install the tcl software prior to installing HYSPLIT. If you download our file, after unzipping the file, let's assume the binary (wish86t.exe) resides under C:\tcl\bin, right-click the HYSPLIT shortcut "Run Hysplit" on the desktop, then Properties. In the Target: field, add C:\tcl\bin\wish86t.exe before C:\hysplit\guicode\hysplit.tcl (assuming hysplit was installed in C:\hysplit and separate these two strings with a blank space). Tcl/Tk version 8.5 or later is required for HYSPLIT graphical user interface.

Installing the Ghostscript/Ghostview Postscript viewer

The HYSPLIT trajectory and concentration programs create high resolution publication quality graphics files in Postscript format. These can be printed directly on any Postscript printer or viewed on the standard PC display and printed on any printer (even non-Postscript) if Ghostscript has been installed. Ghostscript and Ghostview are not part of the standard distribution and should be obtained and installed prior to HYSPLIT. Installation to directories different from their suggested defaults may require editing the HYSPLIT GUI launch script: \guicode\hysplit.tcl. Tested versions include GSview 5.0 and Ghostscript 9.23 and 9.52. Ghostscript 9.54 is incompatible with GSview 5.0.

GSview has been used in the past to display the Postscript images on a PC, however it is no longer supported by its developer. Unsupported versions of GSview are still available for download ( Ghostscript can be used in place of GSview, but will require a change to the directory location of where HYSPLIT looks for Ghostview in the "Set Directories" GUI menu under the "Advanced/Configuration Setup/ tab. Set it to the same location and filename as Ghostscript (gswin64.exe)


  • Get Ghostscript - To download, register, and find out more about Ghostscript.


  • Get GSview - To download, register, and find out more about GSview.

Installing ImageMagick Graphics File Converter

One feature of the GUI is the ability to convert the Postscript graphics output file to other graphical formats. This capability is enabled through the installation of ImageMagick, which requires the prior installation of Ghostscript. ImageMagick is not part of the distribution and should be obtained and installed prior to HYSPLIT. Install the software to the suggested default directory, but when prompted for additional tasks check the box to Install Legacy Utilities. Tested versions include up to 7.0.7.

Predefined customized map background files

All HYSPLIT Postscript output files were created using the PSPLOT graphics library. Maps are created from customized programs which all use the same ASCII map background file called Arlmap which can be found in the /graphics directory. This is a coarse resolution global file of political boundaries and coastlines. This file can be replaced by higher resolution customized files, either created by the user, or taken from our library of existing regional data files. The files are stored in ZIP format and when decompressed will create a new Arlmap file. Either rename the original file and place the new file in the /graphics directory, or if you want to maintain both files, put the new file in the /working directory. All graphical programs first look for the map background file in the local startup directory before looking in the /graphics directory. Map background files can also be selected through the GUI. If you create your own map background file and would like to share it here with other users, please contact the ARL webmaster at

The following existing map background extracts are available for downloading:

Starting with HYSPLIT version 4.9, most Postscript mapping programs support the use of Shapefiles to draw map backgrounds. See the model User's Guide for more information on how to define these files to be used by the graphical programs. Shapefiles must be supplied by the user. Note that map background Shapefiles can contain any content even the output converted from a previous concentration or trajectory simulation. Public shapefiles for U.S. County boundaries, Canada, and Mexico are provided with the distribution.

Optional GIS Package to Analyze Meteorological Data and HYSPLIT Output

The MeteoInfo GIS package was designed to view and analysis meteorological data and HYSPLIT model output. The program currently supports HYSPLIT (ARL), NetCDF, and GrADS gridded meteorological file formats. You can create 2-dimensional plane or cross-section views, overlay multiple variables, satellite images, observations (METAR), trajectories and dispersion model results. Some map background shapefiles are provided. The UNIX version can be run using the .NET development framework under Mono.