I have a NetCDF of daily precipitation, where I need each time step as a separate ASCII file. I can import the NetCDF into ArcMap using the "Make NetCDF Raster Layer". When I try running the "Raster to ASCII" tool, ArcMap crashes. I think this might be due to either the size of the dataset or the fact that I am trying to convert a multi-dimensional raster layer into a single ASCII file.

My NetCDF to raster tool looks like this:

NetCDF to raster

And my raster to ASCII tool looks like this, with the output from the previous tool used directly as input here:

Raster to ASCII

Running this last tool causes ArcMap to crash. The file is created, but when trying to load it into ArcMap, it gives this message:


How do I split the multidimensional raster in NetCDF format into separate, single-dimensional rasters?

The end goal is to have an ASCII file for each time step. I am working in ArcMap (version 10.7.1).

  • 1
    You need to show your code or if you are just using tools then how you are running them. What you are asking in fairly standard conversion and I would not expect it to be crashing. Also you don't state which version of ArcMap you are using.
    – Hornbydd
    Oct 3, 2022 at 13:07
  • Thanks for your comments, I have updated the text.
    – Nisha
    Oct 4, 2022 at 7:01
  • Please always provide error messages as formatted text rather than pictures.
    – PolyGeo
    Mar 17, 2023 at 7:21

1 Answer 1


I too have ArcMap 10.7 and were able to replicate the problem, the export to ASCII caused ArcMap to crash. Interestingly for me the resulting ASCII file could be read in a new instance of ArcMap.

When you use the net cdf to raster layer tool you are creating a layer so I guess technically it's not a traditional raster format, its reading the data directly out of a net cdf file. Then the subsequent raster to ascii tool blows up as the input layer is not a raster dataset, well that's how I interpret it.

A simple solution is to run the layer through a Copy Raster tool first then run the export to ascii tool. This can very easily be wrapped up in a model as shown below:


  • Thanks for your suggestion. Unfortunately, it does not solve the problem for me. ArcMap no longer crashes, but the output ASCII file is still invalid. Additionally, it seems the Copy Raster tool only extracts one timestep from the NetCDF layer. Is there a way to get it to loop through all the time steps? And just to point this out, I ran the tools separately to test (not in a model), but that surely shouldn't make a difference?
    – Nisha
    Oct 5, 2022 at 8:49
  • 1
    OK if your ArcMap is mysteriously not crashing it would suggest the issue is elsewhere? I see from your file path you are writing to OneDrive, try another location on c:\ like c:\temp? You can easily loop in model builder using an iterator, you need to read the help file.
    – Hornbydd
    Oct 5, 2022 at 8:55

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