some tools we recommend
Linux, Unix, Mac OSX
These operating systems are able to use command-line tools. Therefore you can use CDO which also were used to cut out the continents.
You can get CDO from http://www.mpimet.mpg.de/~cdo/. There are also some manuals.
You are able to install them by the typical procedure ./configure, make, make install.
CDO is able to handle NetCDF-files and can build NetCDF-files. To use this feature you have to install the NetCDF-library which you can get from http://www.unidata.ucar.edu/software/netcdf/index.html
After installing the library you should install CDO by running
./configure --with-netcdf=<netCDF root direcory>.
CDO is a powerful tool to process the data. It has a lot of functions you may wish to use. You should read the manual to work with it.
Please have a look at "Example Dataset".
There is a tool called WGRIB which you'll find at http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/wesley/wgrib.html.
It is a program to manipulate, inventory and decode GRIB files. It is said to run on every machine. You can download precompiled versions.
If you just want ascii-files you'll be able to use the GRIB converter (http://cera-www.dkrz.de/IPCC_DDC/GRIBGZIP.html). You will find it on the data medium(which we'll send to you) too.