Panoply netCDF, HDF and GRIB Data Viewer
Additional Color Tables
The Panoply application distribution includes over 100 color tables that may be used as scale colorbars in plots. Additional color tables are provided here. Many more will be added in future.
Please see the notes at the bottom of this page to learn more about the origins of these color tables.
To use a color table in Panoply that you have downloaded from this webpage or from compatible sources such as CPT City (see source list at bottom of page), just open it using the Open command in the File menu. You will then be queried whether you would like to add the color table to Panoply's application support directory for future use.
Sequential Color Tables
Sequential palettes are useful for displaying values that range from a low value to a high value.
|NEO_ceres_sw||Dark blue to pale green to white. Example usage: reflected shortwave radiation.|
|NEO_modis_chlor||Dark blue to pale yellow. Example usage: chlorophyll concentration in ocean waters, with a logarithmic scale.|
|NEO_modis_bs_albedo||Blue to white. Example usage: albedo.|
|NEO_modis_cld_fr||Blue to white. Example usage: cloud fraction.|
|NEO_gebco_bathymetry||Dark blue to white. Example usage: ocean depth.|
|NEO_modis_cld_ot||Dark blue to white. Example usage: cloud optical thickness.|
|NEO_modis_cld_ci||Dark purple to white. Example usage: cloud reflectance.|
|EO_aura_omi_formal||White to light blue to purple. Example usage: formaldehyde.|
|NEO_modis_cld_rd||White to blue. Example usage: cloud particle radius.|
|NEO_omi_ozone_to3||Pale blue to dark blue. Example usage: ozone concentration.|
|NEO_trmm_rainfall||White to blue. Example usage: rainfall.|
|NEO_soil_moisture||White to teal to blue. Example usage: soil moisture.|
|NEO_modis_sky_wv||Cream to dark blue. Example usage: water vapor.|
|NEO_amsre_sst||Dark blue to purple to pale yellow. Example usage: sea surface temperature.|
|NEO_modis_sst_45||Dark blue to white. Example usage: sea surface temperature.|
|NEO_modis_cld_wp||Blue to pink to white. Example usage: cloud water content.|
|NEO_lightning_lis_otdp||Dark purple to pale pink. Example usage: lightning flash rate.|
|NEO_aquarius_sss||Dark blue to pink to pale yellow. Example usage: sea surface salinity.|
|GIST_heat||Black to red to white.|
|NEO_ceres_insol||Dark red to pale yellow. Example usage: solar insolation.|
|NEO_mopitt_co||Pale yellow to red. Example usage: carbon monoxide concentration.|
|NEO_modis_aer_od||Pale yellow to dark orange. Example usage: aerosol optical thickness.|
|NEO_omi_no2||Pale yellow to dark orange. Example usage: nitrogen dioxide concentration.|
|NEO_sedac_pop||White to red. Example usage: population density, with a logarithmic scale.|
|NEO_srtm_topography||Green to pale beige. Example usage: land topography.|
|NEO_modis_ndvi||Beige to dark green. Example usage: vegetation index.|
|NEO_carbon_density||Pale beige to dark green. Example usage: carbon density.|
|NCDC_precip20in||Brown to grown, with unevenly distributed colors and with special outlier colors. Example usage: Total precipitation.|
|SVS_soilmoisture||Yellow to green to blue. Example usage: Soil moisture.|
|NEO_ceres_lw||White to blue to red to yellow. Example usage: outgoing longwave radiation.|
|NEO_modis_lst||Blue to red to yellow. Example usage: land surface temperature.|
|NEO_omi_uvi||Pale green to pale yellow to dark purple. Example usage: UV index.|
Divergent Color Tables
Divergent palettes are useful for displaying values that diverge from a mean value or from a reference value such as 0. The middle colors of a divergent table are usually lighter colors, and often white.
|NCDC_temp_anom||Dark blue to dark red. 20 colors plus special outlier colors. Example usage: global surface temperature anomaly.|
|NCDC_temp_anom_f||Dark blue to white to dark maroon. Example usage: surface temperature anomaly.|
|NEO_giss_temp_anom||Blue to white to red. Example usage: global temperature anomalies.|
|NEO_amsre_sst_anom||Dark blue to white to dark red. Example usage: sea surface temperature anomaly.|
|NEO_modis_lst_anom||Dark blue to white to dark red. Example usage: land surface temperature anomaly.|
|SVS_tempanomaly||Dark blue to white to dark red. Example usage: global surface temperature anomaly.|
|UKM_hadcrut_10||Dark blue to pale yellow to dark red. Example usage: global surface temperature anomaly.|
|NCDC_pres_anom||Blue to pale gray to red, with special outlier colors. Example usage: Pressure height anomaly.|
|NEO_ceres_net||Blue-green to pale yellow to red. Example usage: net radiation.|
|NYT_drought.cpt||Green to pale yellow to red. Example usage: drought index.|
|NEO_grace_lwe_anom||Brown to white to teal. Example usage: water equivalence anomaly.|
|NCDC_snow_anom||Brown to white to blue. Example usage: snow cover anomaly.|
|EVL_wind_anom||Dark brown to white to dark blue. Example usage: wind speed anomaly.|
|NCDC_precip_anom||Brown to blue. 10 colors plus special outlier colors. Example usage: precipitation anomaly.|
|GMT_split||Blue to black to red.|
Topographic (or Earth/Ocean) Color Tables
Topographic color tables are, in a sense, a form of sequential color table specifically designed for showing topographic relief. However, color shifts may be dis-continuous, particularly if the color table is designed to show both ocean depth and land height. Use of topographic color tables usually requires knowledge of the minimum and maximum values for which a specific color table is designed.
|GIST_earth||Example usage: Ocean and land topography.|
|GMT_globe||Example usage: Ocean and land topography.|
|GMT_relief||Example usage: Ocean and land topography.|
|NEO_srtm_topography||Green to white. Example usage: land topography.|
|NEO_gebco_bathymetry||Dark blue to white. Example usage: ocean depth.|
Rainbow Color Tables
Rainbow color tables are a form of sequential of color table that to some degree mimics the color spectrum. They may begin with red and progress through orange, yellow, green and blue to reach purple, or vice versa. Sometimes they are cyclic, wrapping around so that red follows purple. Although rainbow color tables are very often used to display sequential data, their use is discouraged because they can be hard to interpret by persons who have some form of color blindness or vision deficiency.
|GISS_isccp_rainbow_20||Rainbow, 20 colors.|
|GMT_haxby||Rainbow, 32 colors.|
|NCDC_temp100f||Dark blue to pale yellow to dark red; 20 colors plus special outlier colors. Example usage: Surface temperature.|
Qualitative or Category Color Tables
A qualitative color table is typically used to indicate a number of discrete values that probably do not have a logical progression. They might, for example, be category IDs. The hue and saturation of each color in the table may also be used to show some relative factor such as strength or importance.
The color tables built into Panoply and those available here come from several sources. Among them are:
CB. Color tables whose names begin with the prefix "CB" are based on color information obtained from ColorBrewer2.org by Cynthia A. Brewer of the Dept. of Geography at Pennsylvania State University.
EVL. Color tables whose names begin with "EVL" are based on color schema used by the NOAA Environmental Visualization Laboratory.
GMT. Color tables whose names begin with "GMT" are based on color schemes from the Generic Mapping Tools software from SOEST at the University of Hawai'i.
NCDC. Color tables whose names begin with "NCDC" are based on color schema used by the NOAA National Climatic Data Center.
NCL. Color tables whose names begin with "NCL" are based on color schemes from the NCL Graphics Color Table Gallery from UCAR.
NEO. Color tables whose names begin with "NEO" are based on color schemes from the NASA Earth Observations website by the EOS Project Science Office at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.
NYT. Color tables whose names begin with "NYT" are based on color schemes used in graphics that appeared in the New York Times.
SVS. Color tables whose names begin with "SVS" are based on color schemes used by the Scientific Visualization Studio at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.
UO. Color tables whose names begin with "UO" are based on color schemes described by Light & Bartlein of the Dept. of Geography at the University of Oregon.
UKM. Color tables whose names begin with "UKM" are based on color schemes used by the UK Met Office.
Some color tables included with the Panoply software package were obtained from J.J. Green's CPT City website. See that site for many more CPT format color tables compatible with Panoply.
Panoply is able to read and apply several different color tables formats. These may be identified by their filename extension and include:
ACT indicates an Adobe Color Table, which may be created by the Photoshop program. The format allows for up to 256 distinct colors.
CPT indicates a color palette format used by the Generic Mapping Tools program. The format defines a number of solid color and/or gradient bands between the colorbar extrema rather than a finite number of distinct colors.
RGB indicates a color table used by the NCL Graphics (formerly NCAR Graphics) software. Although the format does not necessarily have a limit on the number of colors it may define, one rarely sees an RGB color table with more than 256 colors.