NCEP Modeling Synergy Meeting Highlights: February 25, 2008


The meeting was led by Michael Brennan and attended by Mary Hart, Geoff DiMego, Ed Danaher, Vera Gerald, Jim Hoke, Joey Carr, Chris Magee, Jeff Ator, Mark Iredell, Zoltan Toth, and Bill Bua.  Stephen Jascourt of UCAR/COMET, Rusty Billingsley of Southern Region HQ, David Bright and Steven Weiss of SPC, and Pete Browning from Central Region HQ attended by remote teleconference.


1. NCO


Joey Carr gave a rundown of the following upcoming implementations:


  • The Alaska RTMA NOAAPORT feed has been turned on, but the RTMA is not running in production yet.
  • NAM SmartInit grids for the CONUS, Alaska, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico will be sent to the Test NCF next week.
  • NWW3 wave model output will be sent to the test NCF next week.
  • The parallel NAM (see Mesoscale Modeling Branch section below) is now running in parallel on the CCS.
  • The Great Lakes Wave Model implementation with NAM initialization is running in parallel. The use of NDFD winds to drive the model will also be tested. There is a need for WFOs from Central and Eastern Region and perhaps the Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory (GLERL) to evaluate this output.
  • MDL has provided nearly all the necessary pieces for an upgrade to the LAMP system and NCO is awaiting the last piece necessary to begin work on implementation.
  • The wave model grid has been extended to the North Pole, with output going to 70°N and empty values filling in the remainder of the grid.
  • Work has not yet begun on the 3rd quarter GFS implementation described below.


A detailed list of all upcoming upgrades and implementations can be found here.




2a. Global Climate and Weather Modeling Branch


Mark Iredell reported on the following issues:


  • The 3rd quarter GFS upgrade described in previous meetings is still planned. The charter containing the details of the upgrade can be accessed at:


  • A GFS “data upgrade” is scheduled for the 4th quarter, but should not require a major evaluation effort.


2b. Mesoscale Modeling Branch


Geoff DiMego reported on the following:


  • The NAM implementation previously discussed is now running in parallel and is scheduled for operational implementation in March. This upgrade has updated the version of GSI, improved the land surface moisture analysis in areas outside the CONUS, and shown improved forecast progression of synoptic-scale waves due to the use of the GFS gravity-wave drag physics.
  • A new GEMPAK grid is needed for the expanded NAM domain now running in parallel. NCO is working on this and will ask the National Centers to evaluate the grid when it becomes available
  • A crisis change was implemented to correct a problem with the computation of simulated reflectivity from frozen hydrometeors in the ARW Hi-Res Window runs.
  • The RTMA for the CONUS, Alaska, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico are now running at the standard NDFD grid resolution for each area. Work is underway to increase the grid resolution for the CONUS RTMA to 2.5 km to meet the needs of WFOs producing NDFD grids at that grid resolution as well as address terrain mismatch problems between the downscaled RUC and the true elevation of observed data.
  • SmartInit grids for the CONUS, Alaska, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico are available and need to be evaluated largely by the field offices. These data offer centrally produced input data for GFE that are constructed from the native model grid, not the downscaled model output delivered to the WFOs via AWIPS. There continues to be an issue with the wind components, which are defined as grid relative in grib format. To alleviate this, Earth relative speed and direction grids will also be produced.


2c. Global Ensemble Prediction System


Zoltan Toth reported on the following:


  • Downscaled NAEFS output over Alaska will be available soon after the implementation of the Alaska RTMA. The output will be expanded to include dewpoint and wind speed and direction by late spring or early summer.
  • Working with CMC, NAEFS output variables will be expanded to include more output as requested by users in the next 4–5 months.
  • In the 4th quarter, an implementation is planned to increase the grid resolution of the GEFS, to implement hind-casting, stochastic perturbations, and potentially to increase the length of the run from 16 days to 30–35 days for one cycle per day.
  • The winter storm reconnaissance program has reached the halfway point for the season, and will continue through mid March. Next year the recon program will be coordinated with the THORPEX Pacific Asian Regional Campaign (TPARC)


2d. Short Range Ensemble Forecast System


Geoff DiMego reported on the following:


  • Work is underway on moving SREF output to the 221 grid, which covers the full SREF domain. Output on the 104 grid will be discontinued.
  • A SREF implementation will begin running in parallel in the 4th quarter of FY08 or the 1st quarter of FY09 to upgrade the WRF members to the latest available version and increase the resolution of the RSM and WRF members to 32 km (to match the Eta members).  Also, the components making up the SREF will be adjusted to include more WRF members. The new SREF will be composed of:

            6 Eta members

            5 RSM members

            10 WRF members (5 NMM, 5 ARW)


2e. Marine Modeling and Analysis Branch


Vera Gerald reported that the time step on the RTOFS was reduced to 100 s from 150 s to improve the stability of the model.




Steven Weiss of SPC asked if parallel NAM grids were available via NCOSRV. Joey Carr reported that they were, but were placed on the parallel netapp filer due to disk space issues.


Stephen Jascourt of UCAR/COMET asked if 12-km NAM parallel files with data every 25 mb in the vertical were available on the CCS. He has been unable to locate them to construct 12-km cross sections. Joey Carr said NCO would look into this. Stephen also reported that since the new N-AWIPS release, he has had problems converting some grib files to GEMPAK using nagrib.


Pete Browning of Central Region HQ reported that a couple of CR WFOs are looking at the new NAM SmartInit grids and will provide feedback to EMC.


4. The next Synergy Meeting will be held Monday, March 31, 2008, at 12:00 pm EDT in Room 209 at EMC, with remote conference capability.