NCEP Synergy Meeting Highlights: February 23, 2009


This meeting was led by Bill Bua and attended by Mike Brennan and Richard Pasch, NHC; Jeff Waldstreicher and Dave Novak, Eastern Region; Geoff DiMego; Ed Danaher, HPC; Steve Weiss, SPC; Stephen Jascourt; Mark Mollner, Western Region; and Vera Gerald, MMAB.


1. NCO


Geoff DiMego reported on behalf of NCO. The transition from the old to new computer systems is keeping both NCO and EMC very busy. Most code is running faster on the new machine. Global GSI implementation is marred by variability in run time from cycle to cycle which needs to be resolved, but will become operational on 23 February.  This new GSI implementation includes data from the IASI (Infrared Atmospheric Sounding Interferometer).  Testing of the GFS with the new GSI as boundary conditions for the Hurricane WRF went well. 


New computer implementation issues related to insufficient power exist in Gaithersburg for running both the mist and stratus machines. This will result in the shut down of the computer designated as haze and the risk of shutdown of another smaller machine in the facility, denoted zephyr.  Stay tuned for further developments.




2a. Global Climate and Weather Modeling Branch


No report, beyond the updated GFS/GSI implementation.


2b. Mesoscale Modeling Branch (MMB)




Geoff DiMego reported that the Mesoscale branch is spending most of its resources preparing for 2010 implementations and getting the WRF-NMM code into the North American Environmental Modeling System (NEMS) framework.  The new WRF-NMM will be on an Arakawa B grid (different from the current E grid) with 4-km nested forecasts.


The MMB was considering running a 2-km WRF-NMM nest for the SPC spring program, but decided to keep it at about 4-km (similar to in-house runs being performed presently by Matt Pyle at MMB). This will be similar to what WFOs will be looking at operationally in 2010, and Steve Weiss from SPC concurred. 


Bugs have been discovered in the WRF-NMM in the non-hydrostatic dynamics (affecting vertical motion fields, but hardly detectable in standard verification scores) and the radiation scheme. Fixes to these are being tested and are expected to be implemented soon, within the moratorium period.


2c. Global Ensemble Prediction System


No report.


2d. Gridpoint Statistical Interpolation (GSI) Data Assimilation System


See above on GFS/GSI implementation.


2e. Short Range Ensemble Forecast System (SREF)


Geoff DiMego reported that the SREF parallel (see previous notes from prior to December 2008 meeting for parallel SREF details) has been running on the power-6 cirrus machine for about 4 weeks. SPC via David Bright has been pulling this data into SPC computers. Discussions are taking place with NCO to have the previous evaluations from before the holiday/computer implementation moratoriums used to support the SREF parallel implementation as soon as possible for this severe weather season. SPC concurred; they believe there is marked improvement in the parallel SREF.


2f. Marine Modeling and Analysis Branch


No report.




NCEP Centers and NWS Regions


Western Region:  None.


NHC discussed an issue related to the Gulf of Tehuantepec gap wind forecasting and extension of the high resolution WRF-NMM domain. Topographic downscaling of the GFS with a valley channeling algorithm may also be possible to use; this would expand the forecast from day 3 to day 8.

SPC, as previously noted, is happy with the parallel SREF.
David Bright has been gathering data from this parallel to calibrate probabilities that will be used as forecast guidance for an SPC experimental enhanced resolution thunderstorm product that will be available in early May.


Eastern Region also wants the SREF to be put on the fast track for implementation.


Alaska, Pacific, and Central regions:  No reports.


4. The next Synergy Meeting will be held at 2:30 pm EDT on Monday, 30 March 2009 in room 209, with remote teleconferencing capability.