NCEP Synergy Meeting Highlights: February 28, 2011


This meeting was led by David Novak (HPC) and attended by Chris Caruso Magee (NCO); Becky Cosgrove (NCO); Geoff DiMego (EMC); John Ward (EMC); Chad Carry (EMC); Mary Hart (EMC); Bob Grumbine (EMC); Bill Bua (COMET/UCAR); Kathy Gilbert (MDL); Hendrik Tolman (EMC); Vera Gerald (EMC); Jason Levit (AWC); Steve Silberberg (AWC); Amy Harless (AWC); Steve Weiss (SPC); Andy Dean (SPC); Hugh Cobb (NHC); Keith Brill (HPC); Ed Danaher (HPC); Joe Sienkiewicz (OPC); Andy Edman (WR); Bernard Meisner (SR); Ken Johnson (ER); Jeff Waldstreicher(ER); David Radell (ER), and Brian Miretzky (ER); John Kelly (NOS); Frank Aikman (NOS)


1. NCO (Chris Caruso Magee)


NAEFS Implementation

A upgrade to the NAEFS to include more stratospheric variables and GRIB 2 data format will be made March 1st. More details available in the TIN.

The FNMOC Global Ensemble will not be included in the derived products as mixed performance was observed upon inclusion. Access to the FNMOC ensemble will be provided via NOMADS.


High Res Window Runs

Implementation is scheduled for March 29. The implementation updates the models, and includes physics changes. The implementation also adds a Guam run and associated products, changes the Puerto Rico grid domain, adds additional elements, and changes the directory location of the data. More details available in the TIN.


CFS V2.0

CFSv2.0 has a scheduled implementation of March 30. See:


GFS bundle

GFS adjustments and GSI update expected to be implemented April 26th. A parallel will start soon. The parallel will lag the real-time products be ~ 2 hours.


Hurricane WRF/ GFDL

Changes are expected to be made in the May/June time frame.


For the latest schedule updates see:






2a. Global Climate and Weather Modeling Branch (GCWMB) (John Ward)


Climate Forecast System v2.0

A major upgrade to the Climate Forecast System (CFS v2.0) is expected March 30. The upgrade includes resolution changes, assimilation changes, atmospheric and ocean model changes, addition of sea-ice and land modeling, coupling, and other significant changes. Version 1.0 may need to continue running for some time.



A summary of the pending GFS and GSI changes is available at: weafeb2411aa.ppt


The major upgrade to the GFS in August 2010 introduced three biases:

-2 m temp warm bias

-cold bias in the stratosphere

-low wind bias

Corrective changes are expected to be implemented April 26, 2011.


-Inconsistencies in the display of MSLP and winds in AWIPS were found to be due to smoothing (by EMC). This smoothing has been improved and will be added to the April 26th bundle.


-A problem with the 12 hr precipitation bucket at 192 hrs is also being corrected


The April 26th bundle will also include GSI enhancements.


Complete retrospective verification is available at:



2b. Mesoscale Modeling Branch (MMB) (Geoff DiMego)


High Resolution Window Runs

The High Resolution Window Run upgrade is expected March 29. The NCEP Director is scheduled to be briefed on 17th and NCO will need evaluations in advance of that briefing.  If successful, a link to the EMC briefing package will be distributed to this list.


The changes include upgrading the WRF code version (from v2.2 to v3.2) and adding a twice-per-day (00z & 12z) run to cover Guam (which would use GFS initial and boundary conditions). The newer WRF versions for both NMM and ARW use a more conservative advection scheme for the passive variables (e.g. water vapor, hydrometeor fields, turbulent kinetic energy) which has the effect of reducing QPF bias. Pacific region has authorized the new run over Guam to replace the current RSM run over Hawaii. Additionally, the Puerto Rico domain will be expanded to cover Hispaniola to provide QPF guidance for the NOAA/IA supported Hydrologic Research Center (San Diego, CA)s flash flood support program for Haiti.


Once implemented, testing will begin in a parallel RTMA for Guam using the HRW as a much improved first guess compared to downscaled GFS.




The upcoming June 2011 major implementation will transition the WRF-based NMM to a NEMS-based NMM-B. This transition allows the establishment of multiple internal nests: 4 km over CONUS, 6 km over Alaska, 3 km over Hawaii and 3 km over Puerto Rico/Hispaniola; while the North American parent domain remains at 12 km. Reinstatement of the Fire Weather / IMET Support run will be accomplished by running a single FWIS nest either within the CONUS domain at 1.33 km or within the Alaska domain at 1.2 km.


The parent 12 km will run out to 84 hours and will populate all existing NAM guidance products. The 4 child nests will run to 60 hours and distribution is expected on the existing NAM DNG. Finally, the FWIS runs will extend to 36 hrs with data expected to be distributed via Fx-Net. Full complements of output will be available on NOMADS and anonymous ftp servers in Silver Spring, MD.


Geoff DiMego asked the regions to respond to choices regarding whether NAM-DNG should stop at the 60 hr range of the NAM-nests (his preferred option) or to continue to extend to 84hr and be populated beyond 60 hr with NAM downscaled 12km parent fields (a discontinuity between 60hr and 63 hr being unavoidable). 


Geoff also will send a picture of the domains covered by special NAM output being made for AFWA.  These grids are all 0.1 degree by 0.1 degree lat-long grids and two of the four cover more of the NAM oceanic domain in Atlantic, Caribbean & Central America regions than existing AWIPS grids.



A major upgrade to SREF is planned for late FY11 which eliminates the members based on the legacy Eta and RSM models and adds members based on the NEMS-NMMB. Membership will remain at 21 by having 7 members generated each by NMMB, WRF-ARW and WRF-NMM. This upgrade would also increase resolution from 32-25km to 22-25 km.  The WRF Development Testbed Center (DTC) is helping evaluate NCAR-based physics packages to be run in the ARW members. The Eta and RSM models will be discontinued, pending all dependencies on Eta and RSM models can be removed.



3 km Alaska RTMA being established along with an additional domain for the Juneau area at 2 km or finer and an additional small domain covering southwest Canada and northwest CONUS (to cover the RFC in that area).



2c. Marine Modeling and Analysis Branch (Hendrik Tolman)


Looking into spurious analyses of ice in the Alaska domain of the wave model.



Q3 SST of the RTG update planned to include AMSR-E SST data.


Wave Model

Additional major physics upgrade in the wave model is expected at the end of FY11. This is the first major physics upgrade in a decade and will address some of the known issues of WAVEWATCH III



An implementation of the RTOFS Global (HYCOM based) is expected in FY11Q4. The 1/12th degree data is now available on NOMADS and in netCDF format.


The Marine Branch has committed to support local coastal modeling efforts using Swan and WW3.


2d. NOS (Frank Aikman)

NOS has established the Great Lakes Operational Forecast System (GLOFS) which has been operational on the CCS since December 2009. GLOFS are Princeton Ocean Model (POM)-based (one for each of the five Great Lakes) and are driven by NDFD winds.  Three new Regional Ocean Modeling System (ROMS)-based OFS for the Chesapeake Bay, Delaware Bay, and Tampa Bay are expected to be implemented operationally on the CCS by March 29th. CBOFS, DBOFS and TBOFS are driven by  NAM winds.



3a. MDL (Kathy Gilbert)

-2.5 km CONUS grids are pending work by NCO.


-HRMOS (deterministic and probabilistic MOS QPF) are pending work by NCO.


-EKDMOS Ensemble Kernal Density MOS (MWR article) implementation is the next high priority item.


3b. NCEP Centers and NWS Regions


SR has AWIPS II system at HQ.


Andy Edman (WR) raised interest in learning about data assimilation improvement efforts. John Ward noted that EMC is working with NASA and ESRL to develop a hybrid ENKF and 3D-Var approach. The new assimilation technique may be available in FY12.


The late January early February period saw a skill drop among the Global models. This suggests the northern hemispheric was in a low predictability flow regime during this period.


Dave Novak asked whether there was interest in learning about Southern Region LDM efforts to help WFOs pick and choose data of interest. It was noted that information on the latest NOMADS improvements may also be of interest, as well as the AWIPS II data paradigm. A NOMADS discussion is planned for the NWS RITT forum May 18, and this may be an effective forum for discussion.


The 5th NCEP Ensemble User Workshop is scheduled for May 10-12. See here for more details.


4. The next Synergy Meeting will be held at 2:30 pm EST on Monday, March 28, 2011 in room 209, with remote teleconferencing capability.